On Thusday, 10th of December at RCC, Paul Beza launched his book, Destination Avdela 2012, or back to the future, a travelogue as much as a potted history of the Aromanians.
The Aromanians are a nation native to the Balkans, steeped in its history, which never had its own nation state. A nation that speaks an endangered Romance language, closely related to Romanian. Inhabiting lands since time immemorial, Aromanians still live in great numbers in countries such as Greece, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Bulgaria, and to an extent, Serbia. Descendants of an ancient Aromanian family, Paul and Emilia Beza set out in August 2012 on a trip to the land of their ancestors, with the focal point centred on Avdhela (Avdela) for the feast of Saint Mary's. That is when Aromanians get together, preferably in their home villages, to join in traditional dances and songs, and make merry, thus giving thanks to the Virgin for preserving them, their families, and their nation. The result of that month-long trip is the book Destination Avdela 2012, or back to the future now in its second, revised, edition, taking us through the Balkan countries mentioned earlier, with stops at some of the most important locations, not least those linked to the Beza clan. Paul realised, when writing, that the outside world and even some locals know very little about the region as a whole, the people, their past, and aspirations, so the resulting work is as much a travelogue as a potted history.
Destination Avdela 2012, or back to the future is now available in English and, for obvious reasons in the Romanian and Aromanian versions.
Photos credits: James Rice
[gallery link="file" orderby="title"]