Leader of Romania’s far-right party AUR gets married, thousands attend the open-air party
George Simion, the leader of Romania’s far-right Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), married Ilinca Munteanu this past weekend. The wedding was promoted as an event for “all Romanians,” becoming one of the largest social events of the year in Romania: thousands of people in traditional blouses attended the open-air party that featured concerts, traditional foods and even a hot air balloon.
Equally criticized and praised, the wedding was rather seen as a political PR event. It was also compared to the 1925 wedding of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, a leader of the Romanian legionnaires.
The wedding took place at a luxury resort in Măciuca commune in Vâlcea county. Ten thousand people were expected to attend the open-air party, which was organized like a traditional rural event, but media reports said the figure was much lower (some talked about 4,000 people). Most wore traditional blouses, as required in the public invitation, and had fun eating traditional food and dancing to the live music. Some even tried the hot air balloon brought at the event.
George Simion and his bride Ilinca also chose traditional outfits for their major event. The religious ceremony started at noon on Saturday, August 27, and took place at the small wooden church built on site especially for this event. Archbishop Teodosie of Tomis and several other priests married the young couple.
The program included live concerts of folk music groups and artists and traditional dance performances. The famous rock band Phoenix also performed at the event, despite some voices criticizing their decision to attend this rather political event and linking their name to that of George Simion. However, band leader Nicu Covaci said they sing for the people, for their public, regardless of the type of the event or the organizer.
The wedding was also dotted with several incidents, and probably the most important one was a bomb alert that later proved to be fake. Fortunately, the alert caused no panic, and the event continued calmly.
Throughout the day, George Simion and Ilinca Munteanu split their time between the smaller, private party and the open-air party where they talked to the people and took pictures with them.
According to G4media.ro, the AUR leader spent about EUR 12,000 on the special event. Part of the food and other expenses were reportedly covered through donations from local farmers and producers and other kinds of donations.
Those who attended the wedding also responded positively to Simion’s call to replace the traditional wedding gifts with donations for the construction of a hospital. Romania TV, the local news channel that covered Simion’s wedding throughout the entire day, said they made total donations of almost EUR 0.5 million. But George Simion also received other gifts, such as paintings, a gold penny, books, icons, and tableware.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)