Among the Ukrainians of Romania, boys and girls have different lives

DSC_0322 DSC_0293 DSC_0272  DSC_0225 DSC_0163 DSC_0170 DSC_0195 DSC_0202 The sun is on the top of our head. The few streets of the Repedea village are crowded of worshipping people. The women wear nice clothes under their dark coat, with a veil to cover their hair. Strangely, there are only girls walking off. As every Sunday morning, they follow the service of their Ukrainian orthodox church. 

The gap between boys and girls is also shown after the church’s service.

Amalai-Georgiana Cucicea was having a tea-time with her sister Ana and some friends, while the guys where absents. They were sitting around a garden table next to their house, on the main street of Repedea, a village located in the mountains of Maramureş.

The village is well known for its major population of Ukrainians. In 2011, 4472 of its citizen were from Ukraine, which means 94,83% of the total population.

It is easier to take picture of girls than guys. In the Miculaiciuc family, the men don’t want to be taken, so they send me to the girls. They are swinging behind the house, while the guys have a conversation on the roadside.

During the whole afternoon, boys and girls didn’t show up together on the same picture. The only occasion to have that was with these two kids: Mihai Luceceo & Claudia Ileana Banzar.

Together, they looked like a cute couple, running up and down the hill, visiting the elders, and helping a stranger, the photojournalist I am. They also wanted to be taken in picture together.

Both of them spoke Romanian and Ukrainian, as they learn both at school. They notice I don’t speak any of these languages, but kept talking to me, as I was one of them, a Romanian speaker.

Mihai and Claudia aren’t the only persons not paying attention of what is going on around them in their village. Their friends are also playing together, boys and girls mixed.

As well as the kids, the elders seem peaceful. Maria Ciorei is watching her son working on her front yard. She shows a smile when she sees Mihai and Claudia coming.

Nothing seems to torment them. Many of the population don’t have electricity or Internet to get to know what is going on a few kilometers away, on the other side of the mountains: the Ukrainian revolution.

This story was first published on StudentPress.ro on May 7th, 2014

By Marie Damman, from Belgium

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