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International Volunteers as Strangers in Szeklerland

   | 16 ott 2018


This paper focuses on volunteer tourism, which is approached as a new phenomenon in a Romanian minority region, i.e. Szeklerland. Volunteer tourism has developed very fast in last decades at international level and mostly in the developed societies. As an alternative tourism form, it is very popular among the youth and gap-year students. Volunteer tourism is a kind of international volunteering which offers opportunity for someone to volunteer and travel at the same time in a foreign country. Volunteer tourism makes possible the meeting and collaboration between local community and international volunteers. As a new phenomenon in the case of Szeklerland, volunteer tourism was started here by a foreign person, originated from England, who has established himself in Miercurea Ciuc, Harghita County, Romania. In this region, this event was regarded as a strange action; here, local volunteering is also a new phenomenon. The communist rule had a negative effect on the developing of volunteer culture in Eastern Europe. Therefore, in the 21st century in Romania, volunteering is still a rare phenomenon. On the other hand, the presence of foreign volunteers in Szeklerland is an unusual phenomenon. Volunteer tourists are those who meet with locals and thereby are more close to the local people to whom these people speak in foreign languages, have foreign looks and cultures. Due to their lack of English language skills, local people and organizations do not know how to connect with them. So, international volunteering or volunteer tourism is that phenomenon which allows to meet different foreign cultures, where the common ground could be a commonly spoken language, i.e. the English.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
Volume Open
Argomenti della rivista:
Cultural Studies, Cultural Theory, General Cultural Theory, Social Sciences, Sociology, other, Anthropology, Social Anthropology