I have the pleasure of introducing Things about Transylvania's First Guest Blog Writer Petra Vlah. A former Romanian, with great links to transylvania now living in America, she is a writer of considerable talent. She writes on hubpages and from here on in here is her post:
I often wondered “What is it that makes Transylvania so special, so unique and so controversial” in the context of the Romanian culture and history.
Before deciding what Transylvania is (for me and many other Romanians) I had to eliminate most of what Transylvania is not.
Transylvania is not the heart of Romania although it is the cradle of the first settlement and the beginning of more than 2000 years of history that started with Decebal at Sarmisegetuza, way before the Romanization of the Carpatinian land.
The reason this ancient and beloved region is not the heart of the country is mostly because its people are overly realistic, disciplined, hard working, and not sentimental enough to let feelings rule their lives.
Transylvania is not the soul of Romania either; its people are too practical and too straightforward to be “bothered” by transcendental questions and philosophical uncertainties. Their comfort zone is grounded in the palpable reality of everyday life.
Is Transylvania the brain of Romania? Again, the answer is no. Transylvanians are known to take their sweet time before making any decision whether big or small. Those solid people are analytical and well known for thinking everything through; events and history is moving way too fast for Transylvanians and keeping up with new realities proved to be hard for them.
So what is Transylvania?
The way I see it, Transylvania is the Magic Eye of a nation; that scrutinizing eye that keeps things in prospective, the eye that sees the obvious, but also the unseen. It is the objective eye that keeps in check the overly enthusiastic optimism the rest of Romanians suffer from.
Transylvania will forever be the unforgiving Eye that analyses and sorts out the details of a meaningful past as well as the only Eye that has an almost 20/20 vision for the future of an entire nation.
Thanks so much Petra, a very valuable and insightful post.