Among our community’s several blessings is George Moran, who — aside from being one of the nicest persons I know — is arguably the most knowledgeable person in the world on the subject of the Vlach villages of Greece. For years, I have been trying to persuade George to sit down and share some of that knowledge with the rest of us through an article in our Newsletter.
And much to our good fortune, here in this issue you will find that article — in fact, you will find almost nothing else besides that article, because George’s knowledge on the subject is so vast and his experience so rich that he could easily have written a book on it (and I hope that one day he does). His article is entertaining, well-written, and enormously informative. I believe, in fact, that it is the best and most useful article we have published in the entire five years of our existence.
Why most useful? Because you can read all you want — you can have a Ph.D. in Vlach Studies, if there were such a thing — and you still won’t really have a clue about the true situation of our people unless you visit them on their home turf, spend time with them, listen to them, and learn from them.
The fact that you are a member of the Society Farsarotul and read this newsletter indicates that you have an interest in our people. We recommend that you satisfy that interest also by traveling to the Balkan Peninsula and visiting our villages.
Many people would go but are hesitant to do so because they don’t know which villages are ours, which ones have accomodations, and so on. You now have the best guide possible, and for that reason, we fully expect this issue of the Newsletter to become a collector’s item.
So read George’s article — but do more than read it: keep it, and get yourself to Europe one day soon. There is no better way to become informed about our people.
As a testament to the truth of that statement, Beverlee Dacey and I will be visiting the Balkans this summer, on behalf of the Society Farsarotul, in order to establish contact with fellow Vlach communities and organizations there and to lay a groundwork for future interaction, if possible. Conditions permitting, Beverlee will travel to Romania, and I to Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. Things are happening fairly quickly in that part of the world these days; in fact, in Albania, our people recently organized their own society for the first time, the Aromâni din Albania, and will be holding their first conference April 5th. I may attend this, too, along with Mr. Dina Vanghele, who last saw his native Albania 49 years ago.
In other words, expect lots of news in the next issue. In the meantime, enjoy George’s article — and don’t forget to join us on June 13th as we pay richly deserved tribute to Dr. Nicholas Sholler, a pillar of the Society Farsarotul and of our community, at our annual dance!<