May 5: Am I Romanian?

For lunch, we traveled to Hanz’s, house in Sinandrei, Romania. He was born there in 1968, and lived there as a Donauschwaben, an ethnic German, for 20 years. Then, he went to Germany to study and went back to Romania to start a business.

Oma, Hanz, and Seppi, all Donauschwaben members who were born in Sinandrei. They are drinking Hanz’s win, which he grew in Sinandrei.

When asked why he opened his logistics business for transporting car parts from Romania around the world, he told us how he could make more money in Romania. He even married a Romanian woman. He did say that he doesn’t know of any German women marry ing Romanian men, which I see as telling. I think it’s interesting that it’s only one-sided.

His daughter, who is now 20, went to German schools, as there is more job opportunity if a person knows English and German. Again, the fact that the school’s were not integrated in terms of language struck me.

We also asked about ethnic communities, and he said that they stick to themselves: Italians with Italians, Serbians with Serbians, Germans with Germans (belonging  to German business clubs as well), Romanians with Romanians, Croatians with Croatians. I think that there is something lacking in a national identity.

Hans identifies as a German-Romanian, which is the first I’ve heard of a Donauschwaben identifying as both. I like that. I’m currently in a place of deciding: what am I? Am I Romanian-Donauschwaben? Am I German? Am I nothing? Am I merely a human?

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