Ritual journeys and identity geographies in Romania during the Hohenzollern dynasty
Keywords: symbolical geographies, heritage idea, royal ceremony, imaginary, travelling.
Author: ANDI MIHALACHE
The present paper evokes an epoch when to travel meant to confirm, symbolically, a map, and to commemorate meant to claim, indirectly, some territories. This kind of map creates a personified territory, a metaphor in the patrimonial (“inheritance”) or organic (“the country’s body”, “mother country”) terms and introduces it in the national pantheon, as a character, next to the personalities who had fought for the “reunification” – a word that suggests, anyway, an archetype, a pre-existent idea or entity, virtual, concretised, more exactly recovered, only in 1918. If for the Romanians of the Old Kingdom such a definitive map recapitulated only some already familiar notions and portraits, for the new inhabitants this was playing the role of the primer, expected, for the moment, to help them identify the ancestors or complete a gallery roughed beforehand. The maps of this kind characterize the best the spirit of that period of resettlements, when the historical discourse, too, moved the accent from the claiming of the independence or unity to the refreshing of the identity. They were supporting them too the pedagogy of the feeling of affiliation, making everything for the enlarged borders to look as if they had always been that way, as natural accommodations of the national history to the coordinates of physical geography.