Remember the 100-day siege of Constantinople in the year 301 that saw Turkish invaders carry away almost all the Christian world’s treasures? It’s a long time ago, but this is still happening in a field of ancient olive trees in Tresrada, northern Romania, just a few miles from the border with Ukraine. The fire is burning for just over a month and was started by a gust of wind from above. (At 1.5 million liters, it is no small event.) Thousands of olive trees have perished in this historic pocket of medieval Europe, but still the people of Ukraine, whose own monuments at the Crimea shoreline are getting trampled by several metres of sand, are thankful to have their own ancient monuments left untouched.
The best website about the Bonyi and its people is the Roman Catholic radio station La Miaña (aka The Queen of Peace). Every day they run interviews with Ukrainians whose devotion to the Bonyi is based on their own ethnicity or religious convictions.
One girl makes apricot strudel and pastries on her head. “This is what I did when I was a child,” she says. “My mother thought it was a good recipe to show others. Now, everyone in Tresrada makes them.”
This article was originally published in Spanish in EFE and is translated here