Many say that Kolozsvár (Cluj Napoca) is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania, with a rich historical heritage and a lively atmosphere from ruin pubs to university events. In 2020, there was no Christmas fair in the city because of the epidemic. This year the city council organized it, but the lack of Hungarian inscriptions overshadows the happiness of the local Hungarians.
Kolozsvár is widely known as the capital of Transylvania. That is because, in the 16th-17th century, it became the centre of the political life of the Principality of Transylvania. The city could retain that position even in the Habsburg era. Moreover, it became one of the education, economy, and social centres of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The 1910 census found 62 thousand inhabitants in Kolozsvár, 82 pc of them Hungarians.
The Hungarian majority of the city remained even after the end of WWII. It became a minority with 42 pc and 78,520 Hungarians in 1966. Today, when Cluj Napoca is still the second or third biggest city of Romania behind Bucharest and a hub of, for example, higher education and IT in the country. The number and rate of Hungarian inhabitants decreased a lot. However,
even today almost 50 thousand Hungarians are living in the city, which is around 12-13 pc of the settlement’s population.
The city council organized the Christmas fair of Kolozsvár after a gap in 2020. That was very brave since the fourth wave hit Romania hard in the last few weeks. As a result, the Romanian healthcare system collapsed, countries like Germany and Hungary treated many Romanian COVID patients because of the lack of capacities in the country. Thus, the city council implemented the most severe restrictions during the Christmas fair.
The citizens of Kolozsvár expected the fair and the main square was crammed with people every day after its opening – Helló Magyar reported. The number of vendors is lower than it was in 2019, but the atmosphere is great, as the photos state. You can even
buy traditional Hungarian dishes, for example, lángos, or chimney cake (kürtőskalács).
The Ferris wheel and the carousels amuse not only the small ones but also their parents.
What angers local Hungarians is the complete lack of Hungarian or bilingual inscription in the fair even though almost 15 pc of the city’s population is Hungarian. Furthermore, there are thousands of Hungarian students continuing their studies at the universities of Kolozsvár. Finally, there are those Hungarians, who live abroad, but go home before Christmas to visit their relatives and friends.
The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) has representatives in the local council. Moreover, one of the deputy mayors, Emese Oláh, is Hungarian, as well.
According to maszol.ro, the city council and the company organizing the event signed a 4-year-long agreement in 2017. But putting out Hungarian inscriptions was not part of that.
The local representatives stood up against that and offered that they would translate every inscription for free. However, they received only promises from the company.
RMDSZ said that they would not vote for the Christmas fair of 2022 provided Hungarian inscriptions are not part of the contract.
Here is a photo gallery about the event:
Source: Helló Magyar, maszol.ro