Day 3. Enough with NGO Bitish ladies and sleeptalking sailors! We started our day at 2 am, such early birds! A group of loud Italians were shamelessly screaming the refrain of one of those horrible songs, with absolutely zero meaning in the lyrics, very popular in the ’80s.

Sometimes I pretend that I am not Italian. Especially in such situations. People often mistakes me for French (why French, why?!?). I am not particularly happy about that, but sometimes I just go with whatever nationality I am attributed. It’s already sad enough when in movies and TV shows you see those SO TERRIBLE impressions of Italian people…seriously, it’s wrong, so wrong on so many levels…even worse than Lady Gaga singing in French (just an example…).

At breakfast we met our new dorm-mates: a couple from France who clearly did not understand the social need of wearing clothes.

But back on the “useful” content…RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS in Romania.

The strategic survival of places of worship, despite the regime’s ban, was what interested me the most. I come from a Country that is just another, but bigger, branch of the Vatican. Even during the Fascist regime, the Church managed to live (long) and prosper so this practice adopted by the Romanian wasn’t really familiar.

Cluj has many churches. Not just many, but a lot, a large amount, a tonns! And they are literally everywhere. You sit on a bench at a park and BAM, here’s a church in front of you. You walk down the street, churches accompanying you all along. However, most of them are under construction. I was really surprised, why Romanians need so many churches? And 3/4 of them are not even completed? And, btw, where are all the worshippers?

What was even more interesting was that these were actually not churches but places of worship. Not simply churches, but synagogues and convents, and seminars too. Were we in the middle of a religious boom? Not really.

All these buildings are a form of “apology” for what Ceausescu regime did in the past. It doesn’t matter which confession they support, and it doesn’t even matter if, right now, there are (or not) believers. This is at least what we were told…

To be fair, I felt it was wrong. Ancient churches, in order to survive, had to change use and purpose: they are now libraries, schools, universities. Building new places of worship, and so many of them, feels somehow weird. You can re-build as many as you will ever need, but it doesn’t change the past, and surely it is not enough of an apology. Moreover, right now we have many creeds and religions but very few believers. Do we really need more churches? Well, at least they are beautiful, not like modern churches in Italy, big and horrible like a soccer stadium and so empty (literally and spiritually).

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