Transylvania is – up until today – a multi cultural region, since it formerly belonged to Austria-Hungary. Most people spoke German, Hungarian and Romanian when I grew up there in the early seventies.
Although the economic situation declined yearly during communist times, I enjoyed a wonderful time growing up. I must admit though that I enjoyed a rather unusual childhood. My parents build electricity dams in the Carpation Mountains. No German schools were anywhere close and certainly none of quality.
I had been 7 years old and 3 months when I started school since it took some time to find a solution. My parents rented a small apartment in the beautiful German town “Hermannstadt” and asked my grandma Hella to move in during school time. From Monday to Friday afternoon my sister Brigitte and I were in the city, attending school, and during the weekend and vacations we were up in the mountains.
Hella came from a very rich family that lost all possessions to the communist regime. Her family had all been very musical and creative. Handcraft and “homeconcerts” had been very important to my great-grandmother. She herself had studied music and piano in Vienna before getting married. (We are talking early 1900s!!!) So her 3 daughters learned to sew, draw, do imbroidery, manage a big household with many domestics and play an instrument. Her son, of course, the future heir, learned on the creative side to play instruments and apart from that to run the brick factory.
I must admit though that my grandma Hella had not inherited the musicality at all. Neither did her daughters nor granddaughters. My son Max seems to have some musicality, he plays the piano very well.
During my time with Hella in Hermannstadt, she taught me quite alot of these skills. Sewing as well as knitting became a beloved hobby of mine.
My kids Max (mid-2017: 16) and Klara (12) seem to have inherited a fair portion of these creativity genes.
Max draws very well, is very knowledgeable in maths, physics and computer sciences and would like to study industry design.
Klara is very knowledgeable in maths and all sciences yet her passion is writing. And she sure writes beautiful stories.
I’m very proud of the two of them and strongly support their special skills.