Between Two Fires: Cremation in the 20th-21st Centuries, Romania
This paper brings into the light aspects of cremation in Romania. At the beginning it is presented a short history of cremation in 19th-21st centuries Romania, pointing out the main moments of this practice. As regard of the problem of cremation after 1989 there are emphasized six possible key-term moments: the echoes in Romanian society of Vama (Customs en.) Operation, during the Romanian anti-communist revolution from December 1989, when, at Cenuşa Crematoria in Bucharest, 43 dead bodies of the some people from Timişoara, killed during the riots in this town were burnt; the opening of the second crematoria in Bucharest in 1994 Vitan Bârzeşti; the strike of the employers of Vitan-Bârzeşti crematoria between 3-10 of February 1997; the closing of Cenuşa Crematoria in Bucharest in 2003; the issues of lack of places for burial in Romanian urban area and the alternative of this represented by the cremation; the “Panteonul României” project made by Romanian Academy which being realized in 2010 would mean the demolition of the Cenuşa Crematoria’s building. Also, the paper emphasized the legal status of cremation in Romania, the strong rejection of the cremation by Romania Orthodox Church, and the reverberations of this practice in Romanian mass-media after 1989. Finally, in the author’s opinion there are few chances for the cremation development in Romania, in the future, especially due to the Romanian Orthodox Church opposition and the lack of a real debate upon the topic and its public utility in Romanian society of nowadays.