Ana-Maria Stan

Academic Sociability in the interwar period – the example of “Andrei Șaguna” maial festivity of Brașov settlers in Cluj

Article information:
Volume V 2021, No 2, Pages: 43-60
Ana-Maria Stan, Doctor of History, Scientific Researcher at the History Museum of Babeș-Bolyai University, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, E-mail:

Abstract: The following article is a dual-purpose research. On the one hand, it illustrates one of the ways in which the Romanian academic and intellectual elites became involved in the public life of the city of Cluj, and even of Transylvania, in the first half of the twentieth century: On the other hand, the present study highlights the way in which the networks of alumni and teachers contributed to the geographical and social transfer of a cultural holiday with multiple and long-lasting meanings. The ‘Maial’ of the Braşov settlers in Cluj, which we will further analyze in detail, is a public event directly related to the educational world: Originally, the maial designates a country festivity or celebration in honor of spring, organized by students in middle school or high school. Of Austrian origin, the Maial ceremony spread in Transylvania during the 19th century, becoming very popular in the Romanian educational environment. The foundation of the Romanian University of Cluj in 1919, as well as the entry into the local academic body of a large number of graduates of the prestigious Andrei Saguna High School in Brasov, led to the embrace and adoption of the Maial festivity at the university level as well, since 1927. With the help of prosopography and other methods of historical investigation, we are therefore documenting the place and role of different generations of alumni, educated at the schools in Brasov, in creating/ shaping the scientific and social identity of the Cluj Alma Mater.

Keywords: academics in public life; feast of the Maial; cultural transfers; alumni networks; Romanian University of Cluj after 1927

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