According to the legend, the villages of Kissolymos (from the hungarian ‘kicsi sólyom’, little hawk) and Nagysolymos (from the hungarian ‘nagy sólyom’, big hawk) were founded by two brothers. Unable to reach an agreement on how to divide the lands among them, they left the decision to their hawks: the older brother’s birds flew towards Nagysolymos, while the younger brother’s flew towards Kissolymos.
The two villages are about 7 km away from Cristuru Secuiesc, in the Harghita county.
The Unitarian Church in the village of Kissolymos was built in 1799, a few meters from the school. At this time the church decided to donate a land to the students, with the idea that they would be the ones to take care of the apple trees and eat their fruits.
The current minister, Levente Lőrinczi, resumed this tradition: he invited gardening students from Cristuru and from the neighboring villages to spend a weekend in Kissolymos, practicing on the church’s trees.
We had the chance to join the kids of “Zeyk Domokos” school for two days and be spectator to their activities. We arrived in the village in the mid-afternoon and the students went straight to the church garden. The teacher began to explain how exactly to prune trees, making a little demonstration.
After this first part of introduction to the job we ended the afternoon trying to entertain the kids with some activities: our big problem was communication. They speak Hungarian, which is the language of Cristuru area.
The kids anyways showed interest in including us and they tried to teach us some words or sentences in their language. We ate all together thanks to some ladies from the village who offered to prepare food and were very nice in trying to make us feel comfortable. We had then the chance to taste some “typical” dishes.
First of all pickles: it’s a basic of Transylvanian and Romanian kitchen, mostly in autumn and winter. The main dishes were based on meat and potatoes; we tasted a potatoes and smoked sausage stew (“burgonya pürével füstölt kolbászt” in Hungarian). A typical dessert is the “gogosi”, similar to the italian “bombolone” or the german “krapfen”.
The morning after we went to the gardens to actually cut the apple trees. Students worked in groups supervised by the teacher and they tried to pay back the church for the hospitality.
Thanks to the collaboration with Kyssolymos church the students found a proper place to practice what they learn in school, which is fundamental according to the teacher.
Authors: Francesca Silvestri, Cristina Vasile, Eleonora Chelazzi