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Irishman Peter Hurley: I found my ancestors in your country

Irishman Peter Hurley, the main character of the “Discover Romania with Peter Hurely” documentary, made by AGERPRES Video department, says he is under the impression he has found, on Romanian soil, his ancestors.

Hurley was present in a dialogue with the public, together with the documentary producer Camelia Moise, and image director Sergiu Olteanu, after the film screening, on Monday evening at the Peasant Museum Cinema in Bucharest.

He spoke of the decision he made four years ago to walk from northern Sapanta to southeastern Bucharest in order to promote Romanian traditions.

“I reached the conclusion that something very important roots in the Romanian village and Romania’s rural area (…), that it is something worth fighting for,” Hurley confessed. Moreover, he said that the respective journey was designed as an event meant to draw attention on Romanian values.

“This was the idea: if I do something (…), some sort of a publicity stunt, to draw attention, I said ‘I don’t know what it would be, but it must cost nothing’,” he added.

“If you have money, it is no guarantee that you can do something valuable. I said: ‘What doesn’t cost anything? ‘Walking costs nothing’,” Hurley remembered.

He recalled how he trained to cover the more than 600 km from Sapanta to Bucharest, the final destination of his journey having been the Museum of the Romanian Peasant.

“I walked [in one day] 30 km to see if I can. I couldn’t walk for a week after that,” he said. After he saw that the plan is still achievable, Hurley divided the rout in 30 km segments each and set out, counting on the good will of those he met on the way food and accommodation. He added that he dedicates his initiative to the people living “with no pennies in their pockets” most of the time.

“Maybe I have been without money for 26 days, but there are millions and millions of Romanians who stay three or four weeks with no money in their pockets. The film is for them, the message is for them,” Peter Hurley said.

Hurley, who is Irish-born, confessed he has found his ancestors in Romania.

“I have found my ancestors, my ancestral father, in your country. He lives there, I have met him,” he said.

In his opinion, each person can do something to promote traditional values.

“We all speak of Romania’s problems (…). I believe that each day, each person can do something concrete for his/her traditional culture. There is no person who cannot do it. And it is not about money. I take my traditional bag each day when I leave the house. It is not because I want to show off, but because it is super practical,” he added. Moreover, Peter Hurley confessed that on Monday he saw the documentary on a big screen for the first time.

“I was so glad to see all the characters,” he said.

In her turn, the “Discover Romania with Peter Hurley” documentary producer Camelia Moise said this project was born during the shooting of another AGERPRES Video film.

“On Easter, we left for Maramures. The main character of that film reminded me, told me how [Peter Hurley] was doing,” Camelia Moise explained.

The “Discover Romania with Peter Hurley” documentary, made by AGERPRES’ Video department – which describes both Hurley’s journey between Sapanta and Bucharest and his connection with Romania – will be screened at the Peasant Museum Cinema on Tuesday, at 17:30, also. Entrance is free.

After 15 years having worked in advertising, while he promoted all kinds of goods to Romanians, Irishman Peter Hurley, who settled in Romania, decided o promote to Romanians the product called Romania.

The Irishman left in 2012 on foot, from Sapanta, to the Museum of the Romanian Peasant in the Capital. He then wrote a book about the people who welcomed him without asking for anything in return.

The “Discover Romania with Peter Hurley” documentary was presented within the first edition of the Romanian Film Festival in China, carried out in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an in the period 14 – 24 November, under the organisation of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR).

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