On the border of Harghita and Bacau counties, in a picturesque commune located on the Trotusului Valley, with good and hardworking people, a local young man set his mind to heal society through education, art and culture, to inspire children and young people, to show them true values.
Damian Pal was born 32 years ago, in Ghimes-Faget commune (Bacau county), in a mixed family, where the parents spoke both Romanian and Hungarian.
He studied at the village school, completed high school in Bacau and then university and master's studies in Cluj-Napoca, where he specialized in Business Law.
From an early age, his father, who had started a woodworking business, committed him and his sister to various activities, and when they were 12-14 years old, they had to complete certain tasks in order to receive something they wanted: a vacation, a camp, a bicycle.
As a result, Damian has worked in the family business for as long as he can remember, especially after the age of 18, when he also became an employee of the company, and his return to the community, in 2014, after finishing his university studies, was a natural thing, which he assumed.
"I think that we are not born in one place or another by chance and I think it is important to return some values to the people and areas that propelled us and basically gave us the courage to get into life. And then, somehow, morally, we owe it to return some values to the people who held our hands when we had to cross the street and we weren't so vigilant yet. (...) If we undertake to do something for the areas where we live, surely it's a much bigger effort, but the satisfaction is just as much. Because you come home and it's not empty at home," says Damian Pal.
When he is not working on promotion and logistics at the wood processing and wooden constructions factory founded by his father, when he is not negotiating and concluding contracts or when he is not on construction sites, in the country or abroad, Damian does everything he can to heal'' the dysfunctionalities he identifies in society.
He was only 20 years old when he wrote the book "An X-ray of society between transition and dehumanization", in which he talked about the things that frustrated and displeased him and that he observed around him. And his soul project, Oamenii Inspira / People Inspire, was born to "heal" society, and education is one of the levers that can solve some of the problems, believes the young man from Ghimes-Faget.
Oamenii Inspira is a concept that strives to build a bridge between children, young people and adults alike, and people who have left a significant mark throughout their career, within the project events being organized in various fields, such as music, sport or research.
The Oameni Inspira project was launched in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, and when no one was organizing events anymore, in Ghimes-Faget or in other surrounding towns, performances with renowned guests took place.
Until now, most of the events have been in the musical and sports fields, because, in Damian's opinion, these are two very important elements for the development of children, through which they can acquire discipline, develop their creativity, be determined or work in team.
"I organized music concerts and mediated meetings between artists and children passionate about music in schools, high schools, performance halls or cultural centers. Most of the events took place in Harghita and Bacau counties with artists such as Alexandru Tomescu, Robert Sinha, Peter Novak, Dora Danics, Gryllus Daniel, Lackfi Dorottya, Marcel Pavel, Alis Fainita, Dragos Ilie, Stefan Cazacu, Sinziana Mircea, Josu de Solaun, Omar Massa, Gheorghe Anghel, Lari Giorgescu, Maria Luiza Mih," says Damian.
At the shows organized by him, a quarter of the spectators are children and young people, selected from those who are passionate about music or are performers of an instrument and who, then, have meetings and discussions with artists who inspire them.
One of the events that enjoyed success in the area was the concert supported by the great violinist Alexandru Tomescu, who brought the Stradivarius International Tour to Ghimes-Faget three years in a row, and this year he came for the first time in Harghita, to Baile Tusnad, where he gave a concert accompanied by the pianist Sinziana Mircea and Stefan Cazacu on the cello.
The discreet and reserved young man, who does not like to talk about himself too much and who is never in the front row at the events he organizes, financially supports, mostly alone, this project, which he says will be in the long term, meant to create a community of people who will be models for each other.
"In the future, Oameni Inspira I believe will be a community of people, a propulsion of self-discipline and motivation, determination, exchange of experience and models for each other, from the smallest to the largest and vice versa, regardless of social status and celebrity or whatever. I always thought about this project on a macro level and wanted to spread it as much as possible. I didn't want to do a superficial promotion, but to get by word of mouth, between people, to say: 'look, this is a project worth getting involved in'. And that's how artists come to us. We did a lot of concerts without the artists' fees, because they were excited about the concept in itself, and I think this would be one of the greatest values: to give something for something, but it's not always about money," says Damian Pal.
Even though the project took place mainly in Harghita and Bacau, events were also organized in Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest, because everywhere there is a need for models to inspire people.
And even if he is always away, either with the business, or with the projects he runs, or to follow his passions that every young man has, Damian always returns to Ghimes-Faget, the place where he likes nature the most and warm, caring and innocent people.
"When people lose their innocence, I already think that they also lose the emotion and the charm and the joy of living," Damian believes.
"I consider multiculturalism, identity, commitment and cooperation to be the fundamental attributes necessary for the valorization of our area," he points out.
When I ask him what he thinks Romania has offered him, Damian answers: "It offered me a culture, two native languages from a single mother, study opportunity, education, accessibility, freedom of movement, thought, expression, history, nature, integrity, even if there is a terrifying war near the border. And I have offered it respect, dignity and I take a step towards development every day, through all the levers I possess."
Regarding Romania's National Day, Damian believes that "it is a suitable occasion to honor the people who inspire us", regardless of the field in which they are active and how well-known they are.
He also has a message for those who complain about what is happening in society, namely to get involved, be professional and do things for others.
"I invite young people and those who complain about the surrounding conditions, society and everything that happens to man up, to get involved. And let's stop being better at the work that others have to do, let's be professionals in our fields and when we are unhappy to say it then, not to reproach people for things. I think that would be one of the lessons that we have learned and I think it would be important for everyone to know and take into account. And I encourage them to take on things and do things for others. When you do things for others, something always comes back to you without expecting it," concludes the young man who inspires people and communities and who is convinced that if we really get involved, we can achieve great things, regardless of where we are.AGERPRES