The World Haiku Festival 2005 in Romania (WHF2005), the seventh of its kind that the World Haiku Club organised since the year 2000, was a resounding success.
It was a long, seven-day event from 14 to 20 June 2005, roughly divided into two parts. Part One was a three-day world haiku conference, which took place in a beautiful resort, Mamaia Spa, located by the Black Sea in the city of Constantza.
Part Two was a series of gigantic ginko in the shape of a boat journey to the Danube Delta, a vast nature reserve at the mouth of this celebrated river, and a coach journey to the Carpathian Mountain range with the destination of Bran which is famous for legendary residence of Count Dracula, Bran Castle.
The main theme of the WHF2005 was 'Haiku and Education'. In addition, there were many other topics covered such as renku, translation of haiku and urban haiku; as many as 30 papers were presented. More than 20 overseas participants and over 70 Romanian participants enjoyed workshops, demonstration of renku, haiku readings, haiga exhibitions, Romanian dancing and Japanese calligraphy.
Romania has been blessed with excellent international haiku poets and haiku magazines, and because of the great efforts of the organisers, press coverage and national TV broadcasting of the event, WHF2005 put haiku on the map of Romania, establishing Romania on the world haiku map.
The four-day ginko journeys were an audacious but exhilarating event. Completely unspoilt for tourism, the Danube Delta still is a haven, not only for protected birds, animals and plants, but for the participants who could leave the hurly-burly of their worldly lives behind to probably become, as the haiku dream goes, 'one with nature'.
Pelicans, dragonflies, wild flowers, donkeys, butterflies, white lilies, summer clouds, willow trees, herons, thunderstorm, torrential rain and flooding water were their only companions. The journey into the mountains was of a totally different nature, especially the visit to Bran Castle. To and from the mountains, the escapade was thrilling with its changing scenery of agricultural Romania.
According to the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Naotoshi Sugiuchi, who graced and celebrated the WHF2005 with his presence at the grand finale reception on the final day, nothing substantial happened during the first decade after the fall of Communist dictatorship, but from the year 2000 the changes and progress in Romania have really been remarkable.
Perhaps, the first ten years may have been a period of shock, dismay and loss of direction. Now, Romania is building a new nation. People are hopeful. Internationalisation is a national goal.
Romania aspires to be part of European Union.[And the application was successful and she joined EU on 1 January 2007] Anglo-Romanian relationship is becoming closer, as is seen in the container harbour in Constantza, which was built with the Japanese help. Haiku is not only a worthy literary pursuit, but is also a symbol of international friendship for Romania.