interview | Journalist Steliana Bajdchi, author of The Time to Discover. Avdila’s Sons: “I am trying to rebuild a past that is important to all of us.”

The book signed by Steliana Bajdechi “Time to Recover. Sons of Avdel “continues to arouse interest in readers. It is a volume in which you can discover the story of the Aromanians, from a special perspective – a perspective full of emotions, memories and meanings.

Steliana Bajdechi has been in the microphone of Radio Constanţa for 30 years, being one of the most popular radio voices in Dobrogea. Recently, he was among the guests of the provincial library in Roman Constanta, in an extensive discussion of traditions, history and documentation.

What is the impact of broadcast journalism on your writing?

This book, published in 2018, continues to resonate strongly and it amazes me. This appellation “of the clerk”, this title, noble – I would say, it seems to me, does not yet belong to me. I haven’t written yet, but I’m especially honored when people say this about me. Maybe I’m a storyteller, trying to reconstruct a past that’s important to all of us, a past that scientific researchers can’t figure out, because they don’t have the time for these little bits. And then I also recover, as an amateur, a lover of history, a wonderful past for me. The fact that this book is still interesting is exciting and pushes me into the second volume, which I don’t know why, I promised to finish it faster, but I didn’t, the pandemic didn’t help me much because it required documentation, but which I promise I will at some point. An evening like this also reminds me of the radio and the joy of having a conversation, because people also need seated discussions, contradictory but calm. And I think that tonight, on sensitive topics, we were able to calm down and present a world from another point of view.

You are and will remain a voice for Radio Dobrogean, we need to rediscover you, you are totally ‘different’ Styliana when you write. Has your job as a journalist helped you a lot, in any way?

very much! Throughout the book, I learned a lot on this job and am still learning! Because this work, as it has been done since my beginnings, that is, since the beginnings of radio in 1991, has been the search for truth, to discover the truth, to the extent that it can be discovered. And if you can’t get to that root, you have to at least come close or introduce different sides. Yes, it was very important! And my masters were also important, because I had a master’s degree in “cultural studies” and everyone I met. All my guests at the show made me rich. Absolutely everyone. My colleagues influenced me, the first listeners were my colleagues, those who pointed me to certain things wrong or even said “Look, that’s fine”. Everyone around us helps us, if we know how to see things this way.

When was the journalist’s taste? When did you feel like you had a new topic?

When I was in Freiburg and when I found out in the books there is the sudden name of a ship captain named Ianol Dooley who is a character in the book. I also learned from family stories that my great-grandfather’s brother had died in a Revolutionary War battle. I don’t know his name anymore, of course Dolly was his last name. But strangely enough, because we made a genealogical tree for the family, the firstborn of the brother of the shipowner, we might have said that they were brothers … Therefore, the firstborn was called Ianola, and the Aromanians have a custom of giving. This firstborn is the name of a dead brother, or a sister who died in a tragic accident, or the name of an old man , and so on. I said to myself: Isn’t Ianoli Dooley the brother of this great-grandfather of mine? Now we don’t know, I don’t have the documents, but I liked to believe. I reconstruct the character who died in Rahova, after the Battle of Rahova in 1826, and he talks about this character in Iwan D. And who was from Avdila… I mean, things are interconnected. When I saw this information, I said: The press report has turned into a novel!

Well, then comes the Creator, who knows how to write stories …

The Aromanians have “walked” a lot throughout Europe, where they have already gone, imagining events and looking for families, because we usually look for our ancestors and roots …

This is where it unfolded, in fiction!

exactly! I thought I still had to show that they weren’t too closed in with their traditions and weren’t allowed to “go to the front” as they say, and I created Katina, a very modern character with broad European views, I don’t necessarily want to say to those who haven’t read it, but it has a path Interesting. Which, however, reverts back to tradition after a certain time. There is another very dangerous character. The world asks me, “Who are you?” Adventurous or serious? “Well, I don’t know, guess!

Editor: Liliana Moldovino/Photo: Bajdechi, Liliana Moldovino

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