Victor Enache | Dudeștii Noi

Mr Enache is the president of the Banat Aromanian Cultural Association and his mission is to save the Aromanian culture in the area. There are currently less than 100 Aromanians in Timiș. The Aromanians are a somewhat unusual sight in the area. They arrived in the last century after a long pilgrimage. Mr Enache’s grandparents are from Greece, near Thessaloniki, from where they went to Cadrilater, from there to Moldova, and then they arrived in Banat, in Dudeștii Noi, sometime in the interwar period.  

They enjoyed being with the Swabians. They learned discipline and practicality from them, they learned their language, they lived with them, but they kept the boldness and courage of their great-grandparents, who were shepherds and lived in the mountain wilderness. Their boldness is reflected today in their efforts to preserve their identity.

For them, their name day is more important than their birthday, which they celebrate with great pomp. At the end of the year, they tie a piece of string to a stick and the children have to catch it in their mouths, and the winner is named the champion of the year. Before entering the church they wash their hands and face at the well, to be clean before God. On Sunday evenings, the elders tell the young people stories of the Balkans, of ancient heroes, of wars, of wanderings, of shepherding and of man’s relationship with the mountain and with God. They cook with sheep’s milk, peppers, tomatoes and cheese. They are Aromanians and they live exactly like that. “You are what you feel, and the way you count tells you who you are!”