ROMANIA - TOURISM
Black Sea resort bans funeral processions
Tuesday 05 August 2008
By Mirel Bran
The mayor of Mangalia, a small town on Romania's Black Sea coast,
has decided to ban traditional funeral processions during the holiday
season stretching from early May to mid September.
According to Orthodox tradition - shared by 87% of Romanians - the
body of the deceased is to be carried around town by his family and
relatives before burial. The procession marks several stops at road
crossings, as well as a passage through church, before heading for
"The movement of funeral processions across town affects the comfort
of tourists while also generating an atmosphere of sadness and
unhappiness," explains the mayor of Mangalia, Mihai Tusac.
"Furthermore, these processions put peoples' lives at risk, as the
heavy summer traffic grapples with the town's congested streets."
Mangalia's town hall wants the local population to quietly carry the
deceased to the cemetery, without the traditional twists and turns.
Yet, in a country determined to preserve its distinct culture after
joining the European Union, not everyone aggress with Tusac and his
Still, the financial stakes tied to the development of tourism along
the Black Sea may yet produce a change of heart. "In modern society,
death is no longer an event shared among the community but an aspect
of private life," says local law. "The aim of this measure is to
encourage the development of tourism in accordance with EU rulings."