Saturday, September 06, 2008

Last month I and my family took a trip to Romania. The goal of our trip was a village northwest of Constanta, Rimnicu de Jos, where my mom had been born. She was 2 when her family had to migrate, together with other 60,000 Bulgarians, from northern Dobrudja to southern Dobrudja, as a result of a treaty between Bulgaria and Romania. They left their house and were given another house, whose former Romanian owners had to leave to Romania.

Long time ago all the region of Dobrudja used to belong to Bulgaria. During th Ottoman empire it was settled predominantly with Bulgarians. After the Balkan wars Bulgaria lost not only its northern but also its southern part. In 1940 it was given back the south of the region.

Out trip had to be quick because we didn't want to stay at a hotel and had nowhere else to spend the night. We stopped just for an hour at the beautiful Mamaia beach in Constanta. Then we continued our trip northward. After I asked for directions several times finally we got to the village. There I met a Bulgarian who turned out to be a relative of ours, second cousin of my mother. It was a touching meeting. She still speaks Bulgarian so it was great to understand and to be understood. We went into her house, she treated us some cookies she had made. Then we went to the place where my mom's house had been. She didn't remember the old house, of course, neither had she visited before. But it was good to get to know the people who live in the new house now, to see the river and drink water from the well.

In the afternoon we had to say bye and leave for Bulgaria. We took a longer route via Silistra, Bulgaria, on our way to Russe. From there we went to a village nearby where we visited some old friends. On the following day we headed home.

My mom was very happy that she was finally able to see her 'home village', 68 years after she had left it!