Every afternoon, an old train leaves the Romanian plains and begins its slow crawl up into the Eastern Carpathian Mountains. Deep into the hills, it pulls to a halt outside a huge, dilapidated Hapsburg station that contrasts sharply with the wooden houses and mosaic of fields that fold into the mountains around it. This is Gyimes, once the final frontier of the Hungarian Empire and now the westernmost base of the Csango people, Romania’s most remote ethnic minority.

The Csangos have been living here for over 400 years, ever since they fled to the hills to avoid the army draft imposed on Hungarian ...


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