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Kerry Kubilius

Horse and Buggies in Romania

By November 25, 2007

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Horse-drawn carriages are frequent sights at Christmas markets and Christmas festivals throughout Eastern Europe. The Russian troika is an entertaining nod to the transportation of the past. However, in poor or rural parts of Eastern Europe, horse drawn carts are essential for daily life - especially in mountainous regions, where winters are long and rough and roads are steep and ill-maintained.

Recently enacted laws have banned horse-drawn carts from main roads because of traffic accidents, and buggy drivers are threatened with confiscation of their carts and horses if caught. However, this ban unfairly favors motor vehicle drivers in Eastern Europe, the majority of whom do not observe safety or speed regulations. For drivers of horse-drawn carts in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, livelihoods and mobility could be greatly hindered by an enforced ban on horse and buggies.

Horse-drawn carts in Eastern Europe may be charmingly rustic sites for travelers, but their owners maintain a lifestyle that has changed little over hundreds of years. These individuals work hard to make ends meet, and having their only means of transporation banned or confiscated can only serve to make everyday existence even more difficult.

Horse Cart in Romania Photo Credit: Falk Kienas © 2005

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