Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rosia Montana: A Paradise in Jeopardy

by David Alan Paty

English: Roşia Montană, in the Judeţul Alba, R...
Roşia Montană, in the Judeţul Alba, Romania (Wikipedia)
In the heart of Transylvania, in the Apuseni Mountains of western Romania, an idyllic village sits in a valley of unparalleled beauty and quiet defiance.

In this village, every stone, every trail under a blossoming apple tree speaks of the joy of life where people share in nature's seasonal abundance; it is a paradise on earth.

But there is also a shadow lurking; a dark force that threatens to alter and destroy two-thousand years of history and an environment that has stood for millenniums.

This dark force has many names; ignorance, greed, self-absorption and fear but its goal is always the same - to blind people to the truth, that happiness can be found only in selfless service to one another.

For most of its two-thousand year history, Rosia Montana has been a village where families lived in relative harmony with the earth.

Mining for gold in miles of underground tunnels and shafts, they also took wood from the abundant forests and harvested fields of chicory and garlic, red beets and rhubarb, without destroying its ability to regenerate and renew.

They understood that the land offered them life and it was their duty to protect the natural resources of the area not only for their generation but for all the generations that would follow. The land was their heritage, it defined them as a people. Rosia Montana was who they were.

But the passing centuries brought more advanced technology; men were able to extract tiny amounts of gold, invisible to the eye, from the soil. Large, international companies began to scour the earth for gold hiding in distant lands.

Eventually, they discovered Romania's hidden treasure in the place where gold had always been; Rosia Montana.

At first, the people of Rosia Montana said "No! Go away! Go back to your homes across the sea!" but the men from beyond the ocean knew what would make the people forget their traditions, their culture and their heritage.

They showed the people bags of money and told them to forget the land that was in their blood, the land of their fathers and grandfathers.

Many people listened to the company's lies and took the money to spend on cars and big-screen TVs and a bigger house.They forgot their community and watched as the birthplace of their people was destroyed house by house, family by family.

They sacrificed their community, their neighbors, their friends and bowed down to the greed of a foreign company lusting to take the gold from the earth, gold that belonged to the land and to all of Romania.

Rosia Montana reminds people of their heritage, not only for those who once called Rosia Montana home, not only for all Romanians but for the whole world; for Rosia Montana represents the best of the human spirit.

It's a flame that speaks of living in harmony with nature and with each other; a flame of yearning that burns in all of our hearts, a flame that should never be extinguished.

The Rosia Montana Cultural Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the cultural and natural patrimony of Rosia Montana, Romania.

Threatened with the largest open pit gold mining operation in Europe, Rosia Montana needs your support in ending government corruption and the gold corporation's misinformation. Please visit us at

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