Community News

We welcome with great pleasure the following new members (NOTE: Because it was delayed until May 1990, the February 1990 issue included the names of many who joined the Society in the last six months):

Anne Nastu Bridgeport, CT
Masato Masukawa Ann Arbor, MI
Virginia Foley Rehoboth, MA

We goofed: Besides mailing out the February 1990 issue two months late, we gave it the wrong number, Volume IV, Issue 2 — it should have been Volume IV, Issue 1.

We are happy to inform our readers that John (Nacu) Zdru, publisher of Frandza Vlaha (Vlach Newsletter), has apparently regained entry into Greece. In the February 1990 issue we cited a report by the U.S. State Department that Mr. Zdru’s Greek citizenship was cancelled by the government of Greece without explanation, forcing Mr. Zdru to leave the home he had just built in his ancestral village, Kedronas (in Vlach, Candruva). Mr. Zdru speculates that articles in The GreekAmerican and in our own Newsletter helped resolve the matter by bringing wider public attention to it. We hope to have more details for you in the next issue.

There is a Kurdish Library in Brooklyn, New York. Isn’t it about time our community established a Vlach Library in this country as well?

A Greek American dance and folklore organization is interested in obtaining donations of authentic Vlach folk costumes for permanent use and exhibit. Contact Marianthi Thatos (a member of the Society Farsarotul) evenings at (212) 242-0145.

The big news in our community this year is the April visit to America by Professor Tom J. Winnifrith. Dr. Winnifrith came to interview senior members of our community about their recollections of Aromanian life in the Balkans. His arrival in New York City was hailed by Mayor David N. Dinkins, who proclaimed April 8, 1990, “Vlach Cultural Preservation Day” in New York (the Proclamation appears in the centerfold of this issue). Dr. Winnifrith offered a lecture at Sacred Heart University on the history of the Vlachs; it was very well received by the 75 people who attended. Dr. Winnifrith’s work is particularly important for our people as he is non-partisan, as opposed to the vast majority of scholars who have studied the Aromanians under the influence of pro-Greek, pro-Romanian, pro-Yugoslavian, or pro-Albanian biases. Our deepest thanks to Beverly Dacey, who arranged the lecture and interviews in Bridgeport, and to Robert Talabac, who arranged the interviews in New York. An interview with Dr. Winnifrith appears in this issue.

NEWS BULLETIN: Our heartland in the Pindus Mountains of Greece is facing a serious ecological threat. Valia Kalda (in Vlach, “Warm Vale”) is the name of a well-known Vlach region between the villages of Baieasa (in Greek, Vovousa), Perivoli, and Metsovo. The government of Greece has designated it as Valia Kalda National Park, one of only ten such parks in the entire country. The Greek Public Electric Corporation has begun building a dam on the Aous River, which flows through the very heart of the park. The dam is technically illegal and is opposed by the Greek Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture; nevertheless, construction has continued with the support of the Greek Ministry of Energy. The Cultural Association of Baieasa spearheaded the fight against the dam and has enlisted the support of many European environmentalists along the way. They have appealed to the Greek government, to the European Community, and now they are appealing to Vlachs throughout the world for our support. The Greek government honored us by making the area a National Park and by retaining its original Vlach name, Valia Kalda. It makes no sense now to destroy this unique and rich ecological region by stripping its forests and then sinking it under a huge artifical lake. Our help is needed now. For information concerning the effort to save Valia Kalda National Park, contact Janine Tegu, 24 Claremont Avenue, Providence, RI 09028.

Mark your calendars: The Autumn Cooking Class sponsored by the Society Farsarotul will be held on Wednesday evening, September 26, 1990 at the Tonna Center of the St. Dimitrie Church in Bridgeport, CT. Members and friends are welcome; in exchange for a nominal fee to defray expenses, all who attend will enjoy a wine and cheese social as well as samples of the dishes prepared in the course of the evening. To make reservations, call Sylvia Fatse at (203) 255-5244 before September 21st.


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