Happiness, family, harmony, economy and community in Transylvanian Saxons

By Tibor Hartel

The various links between cooperation and economy, sustainable resource use and defense, the trade-off(s) between the individual and community life are now researched by many people.

Below I paste two quotes written by a Hungarian agronomist in 1910, who came in the Saxon area especially to learn what makes the Saxons (they community, economy, prosperity) so famous in the whole Eastern Europe. The idea is: I like them.

I know, such a system is not applicable nowadays.

But at least, these people had a guideline for their personal and community life. Which worked some centuries. What is our guideline for life today? Money? Sexuality? Individualism? (capital-ism?) I don’t know. What I certainly know: something is not working with our society and life. Something is missing from it. And that is necessarily linked to the quality of our community and implicitly individual life. I had this feeling after listening 50 stories about rural life in the (ex) Saxon area told by Romanians, Hungarians and Rroma and those few Saxons who still are here. The quotes below fit well with the first quote about the past, presented by an old woman here. More will come in the next weeks.

From my side, I wish Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for all of you! And to be in the spirit of Christmas: I wish all of you to be (truly) helpful for your community, no matter what that means and in what status (biologist, teacher, bus driver or other) you make it.


‘In rural people the happiness of married life in a literal sense – is very rare. The situation is the same with the Saxons, as well. A peaceful, good marriage, the spiritual harmony of rural couple is rare, even if the couples were formed based on spiritual attraction. Spiritual attraction is rare; because parents are motivated by financial control when marry their children. The couple lives side by side rather than to each other and the gender unity in this way are growing into an economic unity.’

‘From the cradle to grave Transylvanian Saxon must feel and experience that he is living, working and fighting not just only for himself, only for his house, not just for his children, but for his community as well, which keep him and protect him, he need to think, tax and work, to obey and serve the community he belongs.’

(Dorner Bela 1910 about Saxons)

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