Basic information about interviewed person:
Name / pseudonym: Florea M.
Place of birth: Sasca Română, Caraș-Severin
Place of residence: Giroc, Timiș
When were you born?
I was born in 1937, in the village Sasca Romana, Caras-Severin county. The village is beautiful, on the bank of the Nera River, at the base of the mountains.
Please briefly describe living circumstances in your childhood
My parents were very young, they had no job, they were peasants. I lived with them and the grandparents from my mother's side of the family... .
Did you have any brothers or sisters?
I did not have any brothers, or sisters. Neither my mother, nor my father did.
Did you go to school?
Yes, I went to the local primary school. It was very good, we had two teachers, husband and wife, who worked very hard to teach us and help us at school. I remember them in particular. My teacher called my mom to school and told her to do whatever it takes to sign me up for secondary school, as the village did not have one. What we did was move to Resita, a town in the same county. One of my cousins helped us, as my mom got a job as an Operator and I continued my studies at the so-called "Concrete school", the best in town.
Please briefly describe living circumstances from your teenage up to your retirement
While I was at school in Resita, I started admiring teaching as a job and I convinced my mother to help me get into the Pedagogical High School in Caransebeş. She helped me, I got accepted, I graduated. High School was a beautiful time..... I graduated in 1955 and after that I found a job in Sasca, so I could stay with my grandmother. I was not lucky, my grandmother fell ill and died in February, meaning that I was left alone; then I moved to Sasca Montană, where I taught secondary school. After three years I moved to Naidăş. I taught Romanian in secondary school there, and then went to college the following year, where I finished Literature. After that I went back there as a Romanian teacher. I married a fellow teacher from the same school and we had two girls together. Life in Naidăşwas beautiful!... It was a large, lovely village. The school was beautiful, too. My husband was the Headmaster and he sure took good care of it. During his time, he laid parquet in the school, he put windows where it was necessary, he built terracotta stoves in each class...... And me, I lived beautifully there ... The girls grew up, went to school and both to college afterwards. The older one is a Romanian Literature teacher in Oravita and the younger is too, but teaches in Timisoara.
What was the position of elderly persons when you were young?
I fondly remember my mother-in-law. She was a very imposing person and I would not dare to contradict her. But I do remember that at that time very wide skirts were worn and I had a skirt that I was washing and squeezing to keep it swollen when I was going somewhere. My mother-in-law took it without saying anything, washed it again in order for it to stay tight and left it to dry... I did the same thing again and again and she did, too, but in the end I took the skirt swollen... I did not say anything to her, but still managed to get my way... Young people were much more polite to the elderly and the elderly were much closer to young people...
Please describe intergenerational liaisons in your family
In our family, there was just me, my husband and our kids. My parents at the time were always at their job and could not leave. We were living with our two girls and they were leaving at their own places. They did come by during holidays, through.
Did you take care of your parents?
I didn't, as it was not the case; they died at a pretty young age, so it was not the case. We were always helping each other, through.
Please compare what were you thinking about old age when you were young, your expectation of your life in retirement, and how it is really now
When we were young, we weren't even thinking about old age! We thought we would live forever! We didn't think about retirement... When we did eventually retire, I thought my husband and I would go on trip abroad and do a lot for our kids , but because he died, I went to my younger daughter in Timisoara to help her raise her child, as her husband was outside the country at that time.
I was planning to stay with her until her husband returned, but when he did they insisted I stayed.
Please briefly describe living circumstances in your current life
Nowadays I live with my younger daughter, her husband and my granddaughter, who is in the seventh grade, in Timisoara. My pension is enough for my needs. The kids don't ask for any money from me. I am quite healthy for my age, often finding myself walking in the garden, around the house...
Please describe your daily routines at the moment
At the moment I stay at home, I take care of the house, the garden…. I have a cat and a dog ... I also cook. I take care of everyone around here, I also go out on the street to talk to the neighbors. I go to the city from time to time and ... that's about it ...
Which kinds of media do you consume in everyday life (TV, radio, newspapers)?
I use the TV, radio and I also read books.
Which new technologies do you use?
What motivates you or can motivate you?
I keep in touch with my first-born daughter. We talk on the phone daily! I also keep in touch with my granddaughter from Bucharest, we speak on the phone weekly. I also try to stay in shape, I do that by exercising regularly.
In your opinion, what are the major roles of retired persons?
Transferring our customs and beliefs, helping them with school.
What is aging?
Aging is normal, after all... If societies destined for old people existed, I would sign op for them. But as there aren't any nearby, I can't participate, but I am fine doing housework...
Having in mind representations of elderly persons in media, what would be your message for the younger generations?
My message for them is that they should take better care of old people. These people worked their whole life, raised children and are the reason younger generations have what they have now. They are not considerate enough and should be more considerate of old people.
Questions specifically for Romania:
1. Which traditional customs do you still keep in your family?
Our family keeps religious customs, regarding holidays... Easter, Christmas; we also keep the custom of meeting every Sunday for a cooked meal.
2. Did you go through a painful experience caused by the communist regime (persecution, deportation, nationalization, etc.)? How did you manage to overcome that difficult time?
My family did not have problems with nationalization, as they lived in a region with mountains and did not have their acres nationalized. We didn't have any issues...
3. What are the values that guided you throughout life and that you want to transfer to the next generations?
Throughout my life I've tried to teach my children to be honest, hard-working and dignified. They are and always were that way.