“Symbol of a struggle”, titles New York Times, covering the story of an ice hockey team based in Transylvania, Romania. The team, Miercurea Ciuc Sport Club, has become the symbol of the Hungarian speaking minority Secui (Szekely), an ethnic minority demanding for autonomy. The NY team reporter compares the story of the hockey team with the story of CF Barcelona, the symbol of Catalan nationalism during Franco’s dictatorship.
- Here is the NY Times story: “In-romanias-top-hockey-team-ethnic-hungarians-find-a-strong-voice”
- Here is an actual piece about these days diplomatic tensions between Hungary and Romania, on the issue of the Szekely Land. Source: RomaniaInsider.com: “Unofficial flag issue heats up Romania-Hungary relations, change of constitution demands on the table again”
- Here is some background
Secuii (Szekely, in Hungarian), a Hungarian speaking minority, were brought in Transylvania by the Hungary’s kings to guard the kingdom’s border, when the region of Transylvania was part of Hungary. In the 90s, after Ceausescu’s fall in Romania, with Transylvania being a part of Romania, the Hungarian minority started a debate about the autonomy of “Tinutul Secuiesc”. The debate is not concluded: the Hungarians have not find unanimity, while the Romanians reject the idea of separation from Romania.
But the Szekely feel they have a strong ally in the neighboring Hungary. The Viktor Orban Government opened agencies all over the Romania’s Szekely County, offering to this Hungarian ethnic group the opportunity to become also Hungarian citizens. In 2010, The Szekely County opened its own office in Bruxelles, at the EU.