The Forest Gypsies - Foragers of the Forest
The Forest Gypsies (Khashtalo) are found living between the stream (their water source) and forest (their gardens). While Europeans cultivated the valleys, the marginalized Roma harvested the forests where they scavenged their daily source of incomeThe sad - lonely Forest Gypsies - known in Roma society as "Khashtalo" - linger at the very bottom of Roma hierarchy.
They are the outsiders - the outcastes. They stand alone, rejected by their Romanian neighbors because they are "gypsies" while at the same time by their Roma brethren for having lost the Roma langauge and culture - as the Roma proverb attests: “who is ashamed of his language – is ashamed of his mother”
These are the Khashtalo - the untouchables of Roma society.
Visiting the Forest Gypsies of Hetea is a virtual journey back in time... It’s a horse and wagon community, where automobiles do not come. Water is hauled out of a single well while their daily meal comes from the blessings of Mother Nature. Europeans cultivate the valleys while the Gypsies freely gather their needs from the backyard forests. The forboding forest act as their gardens where they gather mushrooms, berries and wild greens that they hawk through local villages and city market.
Tzigania Project and the Forest Gypsies of Hetea invite YOU into the community of outcaste to break bread (the Gypsy bread" Koka" ). Learn about the life directly from the source (the people) and experience this rare view inside the community where outsiders do not go .
The severely marginalized Khashtalo have been harvesting the forest for centuries. They know the dangerously unpredictable forest like the back of their hands... Learn mushroom collecting from the experts - the people surviving by scavanging the forest for a 1000 years
KHASHTALO – Forest Gypsy Experience
A journey back in time
|Our Location and Directions|
Village Valcele county Covasna. |
25 km east of Brasov
(Brasov – villages SanPetru – Bod - Araci – Valcele – Sf Gheorghe (11 km west of city Sf Gheorghe)
Arriving By CAR
Various routes to our location (less than 20 minutes frm Brasov and 15 minutes from Sfantu Gheorghe). The following link will take you to our location at Google Maps: Valcele, Covasna, Romania. Choose the direction option: write in where departung from and the program will offer option. Choose your prefered route.
Arriving From Brasov: Entering Valcele. Follow winding road past the park on right - and then follow slope into village center passing Catholic church on the hill on the left - communal well and abandon school on left. About 20 meters after the well come upon small bridge. Take the left hand turn onto gravel road just before the bridge. That corner house on opposite side of the stream is us. Iron bridge crosses the stream into our front gate. WELCOME!
Arriving From Sfantu Gheorghe:
Road leading into Valcele is boardered by series of homes. You come upon small narrow bridge. Take immediate right hand turn after bridge onto gravel road. We are that corner house on the opposite side of the stream. Iron bridge crosses the stream into our front gate. WELCOME!
departing from BRASOV|
Bus to Valcele departs at bus station at Brasov “gara de north” (main train station). Bus departs Mon-Fri: 7:30 AM / 4 PM / 7:30 PM. Sat and Sun: 7:30 / 4 PM (40 minutes – 6 lei). Step down at Valcele (last stop).
Continue along the main road in the direction of the bus, pass the village center, then up the hill, pass a church on your left, followed by communal well (on left). About 20 meters after the well is a small bridge. Take the left hand turn just before the bridge and follow the stream… We are the 1st house on the right. Cross at the iron bridge
BUS from BRASOV via SF. GHEORGHE
At Brasov “gara de north” (main train station): On left hand side facing the train station is a single bus stop to Sf. Gheorghe. Bus departs every half hour.. (30 minutes: 10 lei)Bus from Sf, Gheorghe to Valcele departs 1 PM and 4 PM. Bus can be met at the main bus terminal (near train station) and city center bus stop (in front of park. In front of row of flower shops)
Contact us with ANY questions
Phone: (+40) 758 55 66 70