Firijba – An Old Forgotten Romanian Village Dating Back 2,000 Years
Human history in the region which is now, present-day Romania, dates back to the first people setting foot onto the continent. Even though more modern accounts of the region place a cohesive rulership only from the 13th century onward, people have been living in the region for a very long time. During Roman times, the province of Dacia (modern Romania) was assimilated into the empire, only to be later abandoned and left to face the incoming barbaric hordes.
Nevertheless, high up in the Carpathian mountains, many people survived waves upon waves of migratory people, trying to forge their own destiny in the world. Even to this day, one such forgotten Romanian village remains mostly unchanged, dating back to those ancient times. Though officially recognized only in 1850 with a population of 100 people, by 1900 the village had 150. Today Firijba is home to 11 families and a total of 32 houses, most of which are old ladies. Since Romania has entered the EU several years ago, many young people have begun looking for a better future in the more prosperous West, leaving their ancestral home to their elderly parents.
Even if the youngest person there is just over 80 years old, nobody seems to feel the pains of old age and they continue on working the fields, chopping wood and tend to their livestock, the same as they’ve done for countless generations. In an interview with the local, Vocea Valcii newspaper, a village elder says: “We’re all fine here, we have nothing to complain about. We were able to hire someone with a car which brings us bread. When we need something, we walk to the nearest town and buy it from the market there.”
Some foreign institutions, like the University of Vienna, have taken an interest in Firijba and its historic background, with the hopes of recreating the long forgotten ways of the ancient Dacians. The local government has set some plans to transform the village into a national tourist attraction. Let’s just hope that by doing so, they’ll manage to keep Firijba, its locals, and the surrounding landscapes as they were for over 2,000 years.