We were looking for Dumitru, one of the Festival’s organizers who I got in contact via e-mail beforehand. He was very busy, but took some time and took us to the outdoor café next door.
Then we met people from Russia, Georgia, Armenia and even Moldova on the table. All very friendly. I soon connected with Roman, the Russian, who said wanted to move to Brazil.
My sister had to leave soon to meet Natasha and Mauro to go to the Museum, but I decided to stay, and even watched some films. The CRONOGRAF festival is small but organized. I never imagined finding such an international crowd in Moldova: Germans, Austrians, Russians, Armenians, Serbians, Romanians… Nobody from the US or Latin America though.
I also learned that once Moldova became independent in 1991, there was a huge backlash against the Russian influence. Nationalistic ideas started to rise, and some people even wanted to ban the Russian language. Nowadays, people in Moldova speak Russian and “Moldovan” (more like Romanian with a Russian accent) and there is little adversity between Russian and Romanian ethnicities. However when Moldova became independent, some wanted to ban the Russian influence, other wanted to stick with it. So a region called Transnistria self-proclaimed its separation from Moldova in order to be like in soviet times. I found that Viorel and his friends were much more proud to have a Romanian heritage than Russian.