Sighisoara is hosting again, after a two-year hiatus, the most important intercultural festival in Romania, ProEtnica, from August 25 to August 28, where 600 representatives of Romania's 20 national minorities are expected.
The festival, now in its 18th edition, is organised in partnership with the Department for Interethnic Relations of the Romanian government and the Mures County Council. Funding the event is the Ministry of Culture, and the town of Sighisoara provides the logistics and makes the public domain available, according to a press statement released by the organiser, the Youth Inter-Ethnic Educational Centre Association (IBZ).
ProEtnica is a unique tool for highlighting the ethnic and cultural diversity of Romania's national cultural heritage, which is confirmed by the previous 17 editions. It is, at the same time, a model for peaceful coexistence that promotes ethnic and cultural diversity as an engine and treasure of development and not as a danger to be fought against. The mission of the festival is simple: peace - by promoting dialogue, peace - by offering the rights of expression to the national minorities of Romania and Europe, according to the organisers.
"We believe that this festival actually contributes to the consolidation of peace in a pluralistic and democratic society. It is a signal that peoples and ethnicities no longer accept dictatorial systems that promote the thesis that one people is superior to others, that promote wars and genocides as legitimate instruments for the fulfillment of dreams of ethnic hegemony," says Volker Reiter, initiator and chairman of the festival.
This year's edition of the event will commemorate Carol Konig, expert in military history, and Aurel Vainer, former chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, who died in the autumn of 2021, and the organisers are grateful to them for their generosity, optimism and profound humanity with which they supported the ProEtnica festival since the first edition in 2001.
As many as 600 representatives of Romania's 20 national minorities, organisations that facilitate intercultural dialogue, mass media and over 10,000 spectators are expected at the festival.
The bill of play includes 60 traditional dance and music performances set up by ensembles of national minorities, which can be watched on stage in the Citadel Square. At the same time, in the Literary Salon, four ethnic writers will present their works.
"Agora of intercultural dialogue" includes nine lectures, roundtable conferences and symposia, and the public is invited to actively participate in three workshops.
There are also four arts and photography exhibitions with four presentation stands of national minorities and other ethnocultural organisations.
Joining the festival will be the Sorbian national minority of Germany as part of the international side of the event. Moreover, ProEtnica is part of a series of events dedicated to the anniversary of 30 years of Romanian-German friendship and partnership. On April 21, 1992, Romania and Germany signed in Bucharest a treaty between Romania and the Federal Republic of Germany regarding friendly co-operation and partnership in Europe, which laid the foundations for the development of bilateral relations after the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany.