-photos Valentin Grigore
text Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

The Mures River, one of the most important on the Romanian territory,
which crosses entire Transylvania from east to west,
has its source in Harghita,
a county with a majority of Magyar population.

After the Kingdom of Hungary conquered Transylvania,
step by step during three centuries (from around 900 to around 1200),
the Magyars installed colonists in the border regions.

They iere Saxons - in South Transylvania -
and izekelys,
a population who mainly claims itself as
the follower of King Attila of the Huns.

So, until the 19th century,
the “Szekelyland” or the “Szekelyfold” existed in East Transylvania,
consisting of a few zonal “chairs”.

After World War I
the former Szekelyland became part of Romania,
and the Szekelys
have remained part of its territorial heart,
have preserved their membership to the Magyar culture,
and today they declare themselves as Magyar ethnics.

They are more numerous in two (of fourty) Romanian counties,
the biggest proportion being in the Harghita County (79%),
which has the Capital in Miercurea Ciuc (Csiksereda in Magyar),
a city attested for the first time in the 16th century.

In Miercurea Ciuc (about 40,000 inhabitants)
the Szekelys (who prefer to keep the cultural connotation of Szekelyfold
in Covasna, Harghita and a part of the Mures County)
organize various international cultural festivals,
in which they promote their traditions.

The city is also the Capital of the ice hockey game in Romania,
the local teams winning many national championships,
plus the Panonian Cup and the MOL Cup
(reserved to teams from Hungary and Romania,
with special guests from Slovakia, Austria or Serbia),
and permanently giving many players to the Romanian national team
(including its golden times in the 1970s,
when Romania obtained the 7th place at the Winter Olympics
the 8th place at the World Championship, with a victory against the USA,
the 3rd place at the military championship of the socialist eastern countries,
and the 3rd place at the world university championship).

An edition of the World Ice Hockey Championship (Division C)
and one of the World Ice Hockey Youth Championship
were organized here,
the international tour of Szekelyland in cycling
is organized here,
while their selected football team,
mainly based on players from the local club (active in the 3rd Romanian league)
touched the semifinals of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup,
defeating the Tuvalu state from Oceania
and the Matabeleland region from Zimbabwe
in the pools,
and the Western Armenia province from Turkey
in the quarter finals.

In 2017 December
four local sky lovers
(three from the Romanian community and one from the Magyar community),
Cosmin Sorin Miclos (president).
Sergiu Sangeorzan, Sorin Bota and Zsolt Antal Focze,
who had recently founded the Astronomer Disciple Association,
organized at the local Romanian college (named after the patriot poet Octavian Goga),
the prefecture and the local cinema
the first astronomical meeting with national participation in Miercurea Ciuc,
with guests from all over Romania
(including leaders of
the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy-SARM,
Valentin Grigore and Cristian Danescu,
and the local vice-president of
the Magyar Astronomical Association of Transylvania,
Attila Munzlinger,
the great national laureate for astrophotography in Romania).

A luminous invitation to harmony,
beyond the political-economical interests
which sometimes push to inter-ethnical controversies.

This memorable event continued with an excursion to Izvorul Muresului
*The Water Soring of the Mures River”),
a zone with superb landscapes,
chosen by the “Astronomer Disciple”
for the construction of a future astronomical observatory.

Significant aspects for me to hope in a future similar meeting here
and to end with the following stanza:

In Csiksereda or Miercurea Ciuc
The Moon can certainly be
Just a transit point between
Ice hockey and astronomy.


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)