Swabian village Altringen, depopulated after emigration of locals, brought back to life

Altringen, the Swabian village in western Timis County with 50 inhabitants, depopulated in the years after the Revolution with the departure of ethnic Germans from the country, is being brought back to life by the Acasa in Banat/At Home in Banat Association, which started on Thursday, in locality, the 6th edition of the “Color the Village”/ “Coloreaza satul” event, through which 16 houses will regain their beauty and freshness.

The beautiful Swabian homes, many of them in ruins, but retaining in some places the charm of the past, will be repaired by masons and builders, painters will color them, and plastic artists will paint their identity ornaments, while the locals will prepare lunch and dinner for the almost 500 volunteers.

Between June 6 and 8, the volunteers of the Acasa in Banat Association and their partners involved in the “Color the village” project want to create a future for the village, without evading traditions.

Stefan Lazar, the president of the Johann Scharnel Association from Altringen, partner in the volunteering of this project, told AGERPRES that a few years ago he moved to this village and now, together with the Acasa in Banat Association, is making every effort to create a future for this place.

“We haven’t revived the kirchweih yet, but we have forests full of wild garlic from which we make gourmet products and we created a wild garlic festival at the end of March every year. Since last year we also have a celebration in the neighboring village of Charlottenburg [the only round town of Romania, ed. n.] that we want to maintain. Through these holidays we want the people in the area to have the opportunity to sell their home or handicraft products. We no longer have folk costume, but we encourage the folk costume from all areas. This will be the new folk costume; we are from many areas and just as we are colorful in terms of religion, beliefs, belonging to various ways, so will be the new folk costume in Altringen that will represent us,” explains Stefan Lazar.

The village of Altringen still has 50 inhabitants, some moved from the city, and the five children no longer have school, but commute to the neighboring commune, where grades I – IV are combined in the same room. At the beginning of the 20th century, Altringen had a school with a classroom, chancellery and teacher’s house, because the village priest and teacher received housing from the town hall, according to the president of the Association, Johann Scharnel.

“Each team has a coordinator who knows how, is a tradesman or a craftsman. Others have learned with us or learn on the spot. In addition to residential houses, we also repair buildings with public utilities. In Altringen, for example, we also repair the former town hall, the former school transformed into a cultural center. At the end of the three days, everyone feels what the Romanian village means, its problems, the people of the village, who deserve another chance,” points out Radu Trifan, president of the Acasa in Banat Association.