It's late at night now and the silence has descended over the city. It's been already a day since the presidential elections ended and the vibration of that day still moves me to tears. I have never experienced something similar, those last two weeks and especially the last Sunday have been extraordinary. Yes, I almost cry when I go back in time. I relive the excitement and the fear and the desperate hope and the encouragements and... everything! I've watched the tv transmisions from everywhere in Europe where Romanians were waiting in long queues, unacceptably long queues!, for long hours, unacceptably long hours, regardless of the cold and rain and wind and hunger and thirs and lack of sleep the night before, regardless of the crying of the tired children and the difficulties of the older people! So much determination, so much inner strength, so much pride!
For those of you who don't know first hand what was like to live under a communist regime, you cannot understand this way of doing things. These two Sundays were not about a wrong way of organizing these elections, it was government's intent to make things as hard as possible, so Romanians in diaspora won't vote in large numbers, because they always vote with the right-wing parties, not with the communists. Yes, it was a clear violation of the law above all and you might be astounded by hearing this, you might not understand why we put up with this, why we didn't fight back for so long. To understand us you had to be in our shoes for 44 years, so you could see what communism meant. How it distroyed everything valuable in peoples' minds, hearts, sistem of values, everything! How it distroyed hope and in time, even the remembrance of what was true, normal, moral, proper.
When, 25 years ago, Romanians got out in the streets to free themselves from communism, they were the second generation of people born and educated in the communism spirit, whose ties with their past had been cut of for long years before. They were tought to let the Party to think for themselves, to give them instead to let them do, to lie and hide, to assume no responsability, whatever the situation, to not get really involved in anything.
Still, somewhere beneath all that perverted education, deep in the folds of their souls, Romanians kept something valuable and true, the need for freedom. And when time became right, they went out for it! So brave, so fearless, so young!
So like Romanians from those unacceptable queues all over Europe in 2nd and 16th of November! So beautiful in their determination to vote! So warm inside their hearts in the cold outside! All being determined to wipe the communist claws from our country, from our future, from our children's future.
You might think I am exagerating this, but I assure you I don't. It is what we experienced first hand and we don't want it anymore!
Dupa ce am votat duminica, am iesit pe twitter si ni s-a taiat respiratia! O multime de mesaje inundau ecranele laptopului si tabletelor. Romanii se anuntau, se intrebau, se imbarbatau, postau poze ce ne strangeau sufletele de teama, de grija, de uimire, de bucurie, un amalgam sufletesc urias si lacrimi cand si cand. Imi amintesc un moment observat de cineva la una din cozile din Italia: un copil obosit de orele de stat in picioare la coada, se asezase trist pe o bordura, iar un carabinier il mangaia pe cap, spunandu-i: "Rabdare, e pentru tara ta!" Cum sa ramai cu ochii uscati la o asemenea scena?
On Sunday the 16th, after casting our votes, we got on twitter and we were amazed! Hundreds of tweets from Romanians in queues! They were asking, answering, spreading news and photos, telling what was going on where they were. Our hearts became quickly filled with pride, fear, compassion, worries and from time to time even tears. I remember a scene, somewhere in Italy, a child, very tired of queuing for hours, was carresed on his head by a policeman, who told him: "Patience, it's for your country!". Well, how can you keep your eyes dry when hearing this?
Citeam mesajele lor si traiam alaturi de ei, eram acolo, in ploaie, in frig, in vant, ne era foame cu ei, ne era frig cu ei, ne dureau picioarele, ne ardea spatele, ne lasau nervii. Ne adunam insa unii langa altii, cantam, povesteam, dadeam mesaje pe facebook, pe twitter, iar cand si cand strigam impotriva celor pe care ii voiam plecati inapoi in istoria de unde incercasera atatia ani sa vina dupa noi. Totul era atat de real! Eram acolo, cu ei!
We were reading their tweets and we were living there, with them, in the rain and cold and wind, we were hungry with them, we were thrirsty with them, we were tired with them, our feet were killing us and our backs were aching, just as them. But we gathered together and we sang, and told stories and posted on facebook and tweeted and from time to time we were shouting against those who we wished them back into the history and never out again. It was so real, we were there, with them!
Eram emotionati profund! Citeam tot ce aparea, apoi transmiteam mai departe la vecini, parinti, prieteni, cunoscuti sau nu, caci atunci eram cu totii prieteni! Ceva mai tarziu insa au aparut mesaje legate de oboseala celor de la cozi, de temerile legate de sansele tot mai scazute de a putea vota, de posibilitatea ca unii sa nu mai poata rezista... In tara oamenii mergeau spre sectiile de votare in valuri, cum n-am vazut inca; dar dintre ei nu toti votau contra comunistilor, asa ca diaspora, flamanda, insetata, udata de ploaie si inghetata de vantul rece, umilita si epuizata, trebuia sa reziste! Ce sa facem noi, cum sa facem noi?
We were deeply touched! We read everything they sent on twitter and then we retweeted and we announced our friends and parents and neighbours. Later messages of tiredness became frecquent, Romanians were tired and afraid they would not get the chance to vote, maybe they just won't resist and they would give up... Back home, people were going to cast their vote in large numbers, like I never saw before; but not all of them would vote against communists, so diaspora, hungry, thirsty, frozen and tired, humuliated and exausted, had to resist! What to do? How to help?
Si-am scris mesaje catre oameni pe care nu i-am cunoscut vreodata, pe care nici macar nu i-am vazut in vreo poza, unora nu le stiam nici numele real, dar ce conta? Erau Romani, Romanii nostri frumosi, curajosi si buni, care aveau nevoie sa simta ca suntem langa ei. Aveau nevoie sa stie ca nu sunt singuri, ca cei din tara eram cu ei. Si, Doamne, eram! Le citeam mesajele si plangeam de emotie, ii incurajam si le spuneam ca in tara se voteaza, ca toti sunt alaturi de ei, ca trebuie sa fie tari, sa reziste, ca trebuie sa invingem. Valuri de teama, de emotie, de speranta ne strabateau permanent. Ce va fi? Ce va fi?...
And we began writing tweets of support to people we have never met, nor saw them in any picture, not even knew their names to all, but they were our people, they were Romanians, brave and beautiful, who needed us to reassure them we were there, that we heard them, we saw them, we supported them in any way we could: a kind word of encouragement, news from home, information, words of hope. They were there and we were there also, God, indeed we were! Time was running out and so their strengths and we tried to help them resist and to keep calm and believe in our victory. Waves of emotions swept our hearts, fear and hope combined. How would this end, how would this end?...
Si s-a terminat cu bine! Am invins! Dincolo de toate (sectii de votare inchise inainte de termenul legal, jandarmi chemati sa faca ordine cu gaze lacrimogene si bastoane de cauciuc unde oamenii, terminati de oboseala unei zile infernale si insultati de refuzul de a putea vota in final si-au strigat nemultumirea pentru felul in care au fost tratati de autoritati), am invins! Cu totii! Chiar si cei care, epuizati, au cedat si au plecat, cu totii am reusit!
And it ended well, we won! All things considering, we won! Even those who didn't get the chance to vote and, exhausted and humiliated by the authorities' refusal to let them vote, started to shout for their right to vote and the local police used against them tear gas, even they won in the end! Even those who abbandoned the queue and left after 9-10 hours of waiting, even they won, we all won!
Am trait zile absolut deosebite, iar duminica turului doi a fost exceptionala! Un sentiment profund de camaraderie, de apartenenta la acelasi univers sufletesc romanesc, extraordinar! Nu am cuvinte sa descriu ce am simtit, a fost minunat! Cum ar fi lumea asta daca asa am simti si am trai mereu? Perfecta!
We lived special days, but this Sunday the 16th was exceptional! A deep feeling of friendship, of brotherhood, of being part of the same univers, the Romanian Soul, absolutely wonderful! I have no proper words to describe what we felt. How would this world look like if we would always feel and live like this? Just Perfect!
Respect pentru Diaspora Romana!
Multumim, fratilor, multumim!
Thank you, brothers, thank you!