Located in the mountainous area of the Giurgiu Basin in Harghita county, Romania, Remetea is one of the largest villages in the region, with a population of 6 171 inhabitants. The total surface area of the village is 10 774 hectares.
Remetea is a settlement of several hundred years of history, with strong traditions and eloquent cultural characteristics. One of the biggest assets of the village is the natural mineral water springs and supplies. We hope to revive the ‘bath culture’ of the region by opening a wellness and bath centre, while using resources efficiently.
The traditional economy is based on agriculture, forestry and handicrafts. The community has entrepreneurial spirit, including service providers, a chocolate and sweets factory, and an office furniture enterprise. In this context, the priority is to identify and eliminate factors that limit the pursue of new business opportunities.
The leadership and management of Remetea is stable, makes use of cooperative management techniques and builds up local knowledge-base, besides the subordinated institutions (health centre, touristic centre, community centres, social centre, nursery) tries to respond to all the community needs.
Our village has been facing complex challenges and dynamic transformations that require the implementation of a new, integrated, digital management system that facilitates interaction with all the local actors of our community’s everyday life. Our motivation to participate in the project is to learn and adopt an integrative development approach, including economic development, health, innovation and education.
Village strategy :
Remetea – a European-level Smart Village
An article about Remetea, the Romanian Smart Rural 21 selected village, and its participation in the project’s final conference, 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot (Poland), together with other Romanian communities was published in the Képes Vagyok local newspaper.
Animal husbandry in Remetea
The start of the summer pastoral season in Remetea starts on 24 April (St. George's Day) and lasts until 29 September (St. Michael’s Day). After returning from the summer homesteads, the autumn grazing starts, which lasts until the first snow arrives or the temperature drops below 10°C. To this day, livestock farmers and shepherds follow these written and unwritten rules and, currently, 22 homesteads practise this ancient form of animal husbandry in Remetea.
In summer, shepherds make cheese which is distributed to farmers depending on how many animals they have with that shepherd. The cheese is made from sheep and cow milk. While sheep milk is only used for cheese production, cow milk is used for both cheese and milk collection units.
Celebrating confirmation in Remetea
Remetea celebrates confirmation – the Roman Catholic full acceptance of religion – once every five years. On 25 April 2021, Auxiliary Bishop László Kerekes gave confirmation to 256 young people in the village, 98% of whose population is Catholic. All the celebrants were dressed in local folk costumes for the occasion.
Big modernisation of Remetea school
Remetea’s local council is currently renovating and modernising the two buildings of the local school and their courtyards with EU funding. The project, whose total value exceeds 1 million euros, also includes equipping the school with didactic and IT tools which will bring direct benefit to the school’s 50 teachers and 700 students.
The next challenge will be for the teachers to adapt to using smart tools in their lessons and apply the related pedagogical methodology.
Early childhood education in Remetea
Remetea’s early childhood education and development programme has been running since 2011, bringing parents and toddlers together to share experiences, learn and play. The weekly sessions feature creative and engaging development techniques and are led by a mental hygiene specialist, Lujza Czirják, who also provides personalised advice and individual support on request.
The programme is attended by a small but steady number of parents and children in two separate groups intended for babies and toddlers. Discussions and activities reflect the changing needs of growing babies and their families, and, importantly, provide a strong feeling of belonging to a community.
Remetea’s support group for the elderly
Remetea runs a support group for elderly people on a bi-monthly basis since 2009 to maintain the physical health and keep up the spirits of the elderly. On top of the bi-monthly meetings and with the help of the responsible social worker, Róbert Péter, the group organises special events such as carnival parties, summer hiking trips, Elderly World Day events, and Christmas celebrations.
The 25 members of the group share hobbies, concerns, family issues, offer help in managing small everyday challenges, thus forming a strong, interlinked micro-community.
Meet the Mayor of Remetea!
Watch the video below to get acquainted with the Mayor of Remetea, Mr. Elemér Laczkó-Albert, and listen to him talk about his life, personal views and commitment towards the inhabitants and the sustainable development of the village.
Subtitles are enabled, but in case they do not appear automatically, you can activate them by pressing the ‘subtitles/closed captions (c)’ button in the YouTube menu of the video.
Remetea and sustainable online learning
The quick digitalisation of education due to Covid distancing measures introduced important changes in Remetea: the municipality had to quickly supply the equipment necessary for online learning; and find a way to manage the consequences of children’s and parents’ increased time in front of screens.
The former issue was dealt with by purchasing and distributing 400 tablets to families with schoolchildren and in need of a device to follow classes online. The latter issue was addressed in an innovative way by introducing workshops for parents, which intended to help with the physical and mental wellbeing within the family.
Three interactive workshops of two hours each took place on 10 April, providing advice and good practice tips and tools to parents on how to organise the ‘digital life’ of the family.
Easter in Remetea
This year’s Easter celebrations in Remetea were limited by the Covid restrictions, however, the local community managed to observe several religious customs. Those included the fire, water and food consecration ceremonies, as well as the traditional ‘watering’ which, according to local traditions, consists of boys and men sprinkling perfume or pouring water on girls and women on Easter Monday to make them flourish throughout the year. The girls and women then give hand-decorated Easter eggs to the boys and men, thus rewarding the ‘watering’.
Remetea celebrated Easter at the beginning of April, following the Catholic calendar, while in most parts of Romania, it is to be celebrated following the Orthodox calendar in early May.
Remetea: Smart Rural 21 ‘Village of the Month’ in April
Remetea is the Smart Rural 21 'Village of the Month' in April, during which we will feature updates from the village, as well as its unique culture and traditions.
Remetea is one of over 800 Romanian villages, located mainly in the counties of Covasna, Harghita and Mureş, in which the main language spoken is Hungarian. These Hungarian-speaking villages contribute to the rural diversity of the country which has approximately 13 000 villages in total, each with their own specific regional landscapes and traditional cultures.
Remetea hosts futuristic photo exhibition
The Remetea Town Hall is hosting an exceptional exhibition, featuring photos of the micro and macro worlds, invisible to the naked eye, including images of the Maros river basin – reconstructed from 250 photos – and the Horsehead Nebulon in Orion, located 1 300 light years away.
The ‘Father and Son’ exhibition by Remetea artists Szabolcs Mincsor and Tamás Mincsor was opened on 25 March 2021. The artists have used innovative drone technology to take the photos and special software in the post-production.
Interview with Remetea Mayor Elemér Laczkó-Albert
In this interview, Mayor Elemér Laczkó-Albert talks about his life, personal views and commitment towards the inhabitants and sustainable development in Remetea.