October 3, 2008

Hungarian-Romanian Village Window Paintings
Periş (Mureş), Romania

Despite its location in the near the center of Romania, the small village of Periş is nearly 100% Hungarian. The inhabitants speak Hungarian, the supermarket signs are printed up Hungarian, and Hungarian traditions are practiced freely.

This town is far from the only Hungarian enclave in Romania; there's a large (and still thriving) Hungarian population living within its borders:

The Hungarian minority of Romania is the largest ethnic minority in Romania, consisting of 1,434,377 people and making up 6.6% of the total population, according to the 2002 census. For historic reasons, most ethnic Hungarians of Romania live in what is today known as Transylvania, where they make up about 19% of the population. [ more ]

But not in Hungary or Romania (or any other place in the world for that matter) have I seen such a concentrated custom of painting landscape scenes on glass windows. So many homes all over the village are sporting the look that I had to ask our host family if a local artist was doing the work. (They responded no, telling me that there was no rhyme or reason why people are doing it, only that some of them do).

Here's a brief collection of snapshots that I took as I strolled through town of the interesting behavior:

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