Vurpar, Romania
Vurpar Street
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Life and People

Brukenthal High School
Barry Gossett, Baltimore, stands with Emil Dragan of
Vurpar, in front of the Brukenthal High School, a
German school in Sibiu. Sibiu is the administrative
center of the county in which Vurpar lies. Because
there is no high school in Vurpar students wishing to
continue their studies must go a school in Sibiu, such
as Brukenthal.

Mr. Coldea
Toma Coldea is a village elder. He survived the Second World War and endured the Communists. Here he stands with village-son, Simon Dragan of Fort Wayne. Coldea maintains his farmstead and his animals that support his wife and adopted daughter. He is a member of the town council.
Simon Dragan, at right, and two villagers in their more traditional clothing in the living room of their home. Average income is approximately $20 a month in the village. Most people in Vurpar have reverted to barter, some receive pensions, a few have earned income and some receive money from family and friends in the West.
Aunt Paraschiva
She has raised her children and maintains her farmstead. Her husband died a few years ago and she still mourns for him during traditional Parastas ceremonies where the living help the dead rise to heaven. Her farm is over the hill from Vurpar in Tichindeal, a neighboring village, but she is also part of the family of Vurpar. She is pictured with her nephew, Simon Dragan.
The Courtyard
The rhythms of the life of the family are played in the courtyard. Here pigs are slaughtered, vehicles are repaired, crops are dried, cloths are hung and celebration conducted. These days the barn often serves to store farm tools, an occasional car and the remnants of a non-functioning tractor, as well as housing oxen, cow and horse.
Family yard
In Vurpar each family is self-sufficient. It is a definition of subsistence farming. Each family farm is a collection of buildings arranged around a central courtyard. A barn, a main house, a summer kitchen, a lager, a chicken coup, a pig pen, a woodshed and an outhouse are joined by walls and gates to create a secure compound against thieves, stray animals and visiting armies. Compounds usually adjoin one another forming a sort of walled village. Most doors open into the courtyard, not onto the street.
Welcome to the Village of Vurpar. Learn about us and help if you can.
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