Discovering the cultural pluralism of Moldova – Excursion to Gagauzia

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On Saturday, the 8th of October 2016, the Charity Centre for Refugees went on a field excursion to Gagauzia, an autonomous region in the south of Moldova. We visited the most representative local museums about Gagauz culture and history.

We had the occasion to learn that the Gagauz people have a proud history with their own specific culture and language. To preserve this, the region today enjoys a special autonomous state within the Republic of Moldova. Although, the origin of the Gagauz people is debated, most theories subscribe that the Gagauzians are descendants of a Turkic clan who after conflicts with other clans migrated and later converted from Islam to Christian Orthodoxy.

The field excursion is part of the Charity Centre for Refugees aim to familiarize refugees with Moldovan Culture and history. It is the Charity Centre belief that in order to improve the refugees chances at integrating in Moldovan society through some understanding of local culture and history is necessary. As such the Charity Centre for Refugees occasionally organizes excursions to sites of importance to Moldovan culture and history. The aim of this trip was to learn something about the Gagauz region as part of the Moldovan teritory and show the diversity of people living in Moldova. We were happy to visit the National Gagauz museum of history and ethnography from Beşalma village, the Museum of of history of Avdarma village, as well as the Creation Centre for children from the same village. The participants were eager to learn more during the visits and we can easily recommend these museums to anyone interested in learning more about Gagauzia.

The Charity Centre for Refugees would like to thank all the volunteers for their help and the approximately 50 participants for spending this nice day with us.

Dieter Eggen – EVS volunteer from Netherlands