Episode 1: oina, the ancestor of baseball
What do Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu who died in 1889 and the current governor of Romania’s national bank have in common? They both played oina. It’s uncertain how the game of oina came to be, but the terms used in oina give us clues to who invented the game. The team that catches the ball is called the “pascare”, an old word used by sheepherders and the captain of the team is called “herder”. vThe Romanian sheepherders made the ball from animal hair they would put in water. Then they would beat the hair till something round came out of it. The bat was the same stick they used to defend the sheep from predators. Oina was most popular in the 70s and 80s when the factories and farming associations had their own teams. The national championship was played between dozens of teams. Keeping national traditions alive is a challenge for every country and the sport of oina is no exception. After the communist revolution in 1989, the popularity of oina declined when the majority of sports clubs closed down because factories declared bankruptcy. But in the early 2000’s oina made a comeback with the help of passionate people who invested all their resources in reviving the game to keep the tradition alive. You will see how hard people are willing to work for something they love. We will introduce you to significant people in the oina community who work to preserve the tradition of oina. They do it for the love they have for the sport and the spiritual benefits it brings them, not the fame or fortune. In this series of 11 episodes you will discover stories about the people who wrote history and learn about their efforts to convince the Romanians to get back in the game.
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