Bridge of Flowers (event)
|Native name||Podul de Flori|
|Date||May 6, 1990
June 16, 1991
|Location||Romania–Moldavian SSR border|
|Organized by||Cultural league for the unity of Romanians everywhere
Bucharest–Chișinău Cultural Society
Popular Front of Moldova
The Bridge of Flowers (Romanian: Podul de Flori, Russian: Мост цветов) was a massive demonstration that took place on Sunday, May 6, 1990 along the Prut River separating Romania and the Moldavian SSR.
May 6, 1990
The first event took place on May 6, 1990. During this action, inhabitants of Romania were allowed that day, between 1 and 7 p.m., to cross the Prut River in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic without passport and visa. Along the border of 700 km on the Prut, were created eight checkpoints: Miorcani–Pererita, Stânca-Costești, Iași–Sculeni, Ungheni–Ungheni Bridge, Albița–Leușeni, Fălciu–Țiganca, Oancea–Cahul and Galați–Giurgiulești.
Inhabitants from both sides of the border, which had been tightly enforced since World War II (for two decades prior to which much of Moldova had been part of the Kingdom of Romania), gathered on each bank, many crossing what had been described as a watery Berlin Wall to see family members long separated by the frontier.
The number of participants has been estimated at 1.2 million people. At Ungheni, approximately 250,000 crossed the border. The demonstration organized by the Cultural league for the unity of Romanians everywhere, in collaboration with the Bucharest–Chișinău Cultural Society and the Popular Front of Moldova, began early in the morning as thousands appeared on the Romanian side with armfuls of flowers. Participants began throwing flowers into the water that soon covered the surface of the river, symbolically creating a bridge between the two sides. At noon, a group of priests celebrated a Te Deum, after which church bells on both sides rang for a long time. Then, flowers were thrown into the river and meetings on the bridge began to take place. Speeches, slogans and appeals were absent. Popular music and games, festive meals and similar activities followed, with the event wrapping up around 6 p.m.
After this action, the procedures of crossing the Romanian–Soviet border have been simplified considerably.
June 16, 1991
The second Bridge of Flowers took place on June 16, 1991. This time, the inhabitants of Moldova have been able to cross the border without papers in Romania. According to a report released by Rompres, more than 150,000 people from Bessarabia crossed the border at Sculeni into the Iași County. Among them was a delegation of Members of Parliament of the Republic of Moldova led by Nicolae Costin, the Mayor of Chișinău.
In Galați, in front of the Precista Church, arose on this occasion a crucifix symbolizing the union. At the second Bridge of Flowers is estimated to have attended a number of people comparable to that of 1990.
This day could be a nice revenge for the fateful day of May 16, 1812, when the body of Moldova was mangled by Russia under Tsar Alexander I, as of June 28, 1940, when Stalin cut to pieces the map of Greater Romania. Our meeting with the Bessarabian brothers proves, once again, that we are one people, speaking the language of Eminescu, in the space between the Prut and the Dniester and that the Union today, which lasted only six hours, will be just a prologue of final reUnion.— Mircea Cosma, Chairman of the Prahova County Council, Ziarul Prahova
In terms of foreign policy, this event has been translated by establishing a priority for Romania to bring Moldova within the united Europe. Thus, flowers thrown 20 years ago in the Prut will find their meant shore.
It was an indescribable emotional tension. People shouted and called each other and rediscovered after years and years. At one time, on the other side of the river a man jumped into the water and began to come to the Bessarabians on the other side. My locals from Pererâta stayed speechless. They had great emotions and did not dare to make any move until a villager from Pererâta jumped into the water. After him started others. They met all in the middle of the Prut and made there, in the water, a horă, thing unseen and unheard elsewhere in the world. This is why I say that those who mock the Bridge of Flowers seem ridiculous. The tear of joy can not be bantered.
The tens of thousands of Romanians on both sides pealed like a river. Romanians (west of the Prut) were the first who entered the USSR without permission.— Ion Ungureanu, Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Moldova (1990–94), Ziare.com
- In August 1991, Mircea Snegur, then President of the Republic of Moldova, proposed Ion Iliescu the union of the two countries. Snegur would become the Vice President of Romania. However, his proposal was ignored.
- At the request of Mikhail Gorbachev, French President François Mitterrand asked by phone his Romanian counterpart not to commit any imprudence.
- Ion Petrescu (6 May 2013). "Moldova lor, Moldova noastră...". Adevărul (in Romanian).
- Nicolae Roibu (6 May 2010). "Podul de Flori". Timpul.md (in Romanian).
- "„Podul de flori” peste Prut împlinește 23 de ani". Glasul.md (in Romanian). 16 June 2014.
- "Mai 1990, «Podul de Flori»". Historia.ro (in Romanian).
- "Podul de flori (1990 - 1991)". Istoria.md (in Romanian).
- "Podul de flori, stropit cu lacrimi". Jurnal de Chișinău (in Romanian). 7 May 2010.
- "Teodor Baconschi despre “Podul de Flori” din 6 mai 1990". Moldova.org (in Romanian). 5 May 2010.
- Ioan Popescu (6 May 2010). "20 de ani de la "Podul de Flori"". Ziarul Prahova (in Romanian).
- "23 de ani de la primul Pod de Flori peste Prut: momentul în care românii au putut păși în Basarabia fără pașaport și viză". Adevărul (in Romanian). 6 May 2013.
- "Iași: Podul de flori". Agerpres (in Romanian). 16 June 1991.
- Sebastian Zachmann (10 August 2014). "Cum explică Ion Iliescu faptul că România și Republica Moldova nu s-au unit în august 1991". Adevărul (in Romanian).
- ""Există o mare ură față de români în Ucraina"". Adevărul (in Romanian). 11 April 2011.
- (Romanian) "Podul de flori - prima deschidere a frontierelor dintre România și Republica Moldova" ("The Bridge of Flowers - First Border Crossing Opened between Romania and the Republic of Moldova", in Jurnalul de Botoșani și Dorohoi, May 7, 2005
- (Romanian) Ştefan Plugaru, "Istoricul Asociației Culturale „Pro Basarabia și Bucovina”, Filiala „Mihail Kogălniceanu” Huși" ("History of the Pro Basarabia and Bucovina Cultural Association, Mihail Kogălniceanu Chapter, Huși")
- (Romanian) "Podul de flori", tvr.ro, with footage of the event