A bird’s eye view on the Niraj Valley, from the Gurghiu Mountains to the Mures River. In front of our eyes the panorama of higher hills, gentle slopes and finally meadows and plains. As far as the eye can see, human settlements, like a necklace,hiding at the edge offorests, at the feet of the hills or on the banks of creeks and the Niraj River. In fact, the Niraj is too small to be called a river; on the other hand it is too large for a creek. Here and there it disappears under the rich vegetation thriving on its banks, but there were times, when it flooded entire villages. Sometimes oak forests alternate with orchards, in some of the woodsvine branches climb on the old trees, wild nature and cultural landscape fade into one another, depending on the existence or absence of human will to act and create.
This how it happens in every corner of Transylvania: it is nothing but human knowledge, talent and genius that can dike the wilderness, which intrudes and conquers every available piece of land, cracks the stones andwalls, putrefies the wood and caves in the roads. People who have been living on these lands for centuries have always subsisted relying on the extant natural surroundings;these were the resources that nourisheda whole region: sometimes abundantly,at other timesscarcely, but continuously. There have always been those who survived and have been able to recreate all that was necessary for living, those who understood the landscape, the nature and transmitted this essential knowledge.
Even though tiny, this micro-universe is very complex and has always been rooted in a knowledge community: one single humanknows not enough and is not enough strong to ensure the survival of a community. All that science considersfolk culture is nothing else but the knowledge required for those who live on such lands in order to survive on long term, to have a vision of the future and to deem it worthy remaining on their homeland. One must be familiar with the soil, the woods, the creeks, the river and the climate of this land and one must also be aware that all these elements have one common sense, meaning, something that transcends human dimensions and the human perception of space and time.