Romania’s revolt against Romania

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A few hundreds of persons are gathered in silence. The room is so crowded that there are no more seats on benches, and therefore, some people are standing. There is a smell of smoke from the candles, suffering and autumn. Nobody says a word. Attentive to the magnific sounds released by twenty fingers gently playing an organ, they are praying in silence with their heads bowed. On notes written by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy for eternity, they pray and try to cast away the thoughts that follow one another like a waterfall. They try… but they do not succeed.

And while the images behind their retinas are following each other at great speed, their fingers are clenched with growing tension on the edges of the benches in front of them, their eyes narrow more and more, forming deep yellow wrinkles and their tears push into their eyelids with growing intensity, impatient so finally burst out in the light and yell their desperation. It is about them, cheerful and playful, it is about them, smart and beautiful. They are… They were… Why?

The organ sounds beautiful and wild in the cathedral, in their memory. They are no longer among us. They went to a concert and they ended up in hell. Who would have expected such thing to happen? Who would have believed it?

A girl comes out of the trance and blows her nose. She wears black, just like the most of the people there, and wears no makeup. What would be the use? The makeup that could erase the pain was not invented yet. She sees nothing around her.

Near her, a boy is making great efforts not to cry. In the end, he covers his face with his hands and stays that way. And the organ is playing and playing long, notes are higher and stronger, as if they wanted to force the pain out of everyone in the room and carry it far away.

But above it, there is something else. Something that cannot be removed, something that cannot be broken or cooled off, something that clenches jaws, something that makes foreheads frown, something that rose back to life. There is revolt floating in the air. A pure revolt, something this country has not seen in a long while. It is a revolt that overwhelmed the souls of Romanians after the fire that occurred in the night of October 30, a revolt no sound of any organ can quench. What determined the dozens of thousands of Romanians to take to the streets at this time? the whole world wondered.

We were among those who wondered, too; we, the ones who were there, who yelled, who rose placards and flags sporting holes, who marched down the streets, who held moments of recollection, who lighted candles and who cried for days in a row. We were not truly aware of what we wanted. We wanted a change, yes; a reset of the whole system, a Romania 2:0, yes. This is how one can put it. But things are much deeper. Because the entire revolt, that carried us out to the streets in such a high number, apparently pointed at them, is actually on ourselves. On each and every one of us. Our revolt does not refer to them. The ones we blame for all that happened, for the ongoing tragedy that cannot stop, the owners of the club where the disaster happened, the organizers of the concert, the employees that failed to do their jobs, the civil servants, the Mayor, the Prime Minister, the members of the Parliament, the Vice-Premier, the President…
No. Our revolt concerns ourselves. Because, in the sound of organs, in the house of Our Lord, among hundreds of people who have come to pray for the souls of people who have died innocent and for the bodies of those who are still in the Purgatory of hospitals, wrenching in sterile bandages, with their bodies burnt inside and out, we realize the greater truth. Politicians are not the ones to blame; we are.

We allowed such tragedies to happen. We murdered these young people. We killed ourselves. For 26 years, we have slept. For 26 years, all we cared about was feeling good in our small universe. We forgot to react, to be present, to point our finger at guilty people and to condemn each small deviation from what the law said.

We, the ones who said we hated politics and politicians, we, the ones who encouraged corruption by not getting involved and by not caring at all, the ones we allowed small thefts that lead to massive burglaries, the ones who refused to watch the news anymore, the ones who stood away, saying it was not our business, the ones who only minded their own business and attempted to escape the dirty and sad reality, we, the ones who forgot to cooperate without awaiting anything in return, the ones who always demanded but never offered anything. We are to blame at this point.

Now, in the House of Our Lord when, at the end of the concert in the memory of victims of Colectiv, the priest announces that the 47th light ran out, now that tears run in the corners of our eyes and our nails are stuck into our flesh, now, we are looking inside of ourselves… and we see the Truth.

With us, with each and every one of us, the reset of this country must start, and lead to the reality all of us want, the one we demand on the streets. We, every one of us is tomorrow’s Romania. We can bring our own safety, fairness, equity, honesty and respect. And we are the only ones who can stop such sacrifices.

Because we, each and every one of us, can do wonders for our future, so that these young people, who continue to day, would not die in vain. Therefore, let us just look inside ourselves. The change lies within.

PS: Since this article was written, three more of these young people spread their wings and left their burnt bodies, far from this world, where they were unable to show who they were and what they were able to do.