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The population

Delta is a complex area due to the variety of natural heritage, biodiversity, and also because of the 32 villages, including 25 inside the reservation, hosting a population of approximately 27,000 inhabitants.
Amon those Sulina is the only one which is a city, encompassing over 20% of the population in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation.
Other localities are merged into 7 communes located entirely within the reserve (Ceatalchioi, Pardina, Chilia Veche, CA Rosetti, Crisan, Maliuc and St. George), 3 villages that are on BRDD teritory but belong to neighboring communes (Bestepe with Baltenii Lower and Lower Ilganii Nufaru with Murghiol with Uzlina) and 7 villages located in Constanta.
These villages are mostly concentrated along the Danube branches and occupy small areas of land due to small areas of land that can not be flooded.
Population density is about 3.5 inhabitants / km ².

List of ethnic groups, according to the 2002 census :
Romanians: 12 666 persoane (87%)
Russians, Lipoveni: 1 438 persoane (10%)
Ukrainians: 299 persoane (2%)
Other ethnicities: (1%)

  • Rromi: 69 persons
  • Greeks: 63 persons
  • Turks: 17 persons
  • Hungarians: 12 persons
  • Bulgarians: 3 persons
  • Germans : 2 persons
  • Armenians: 2 persons
  • Ather ethnic: 12 .

Ocupations
For residents of the Delta, the main and oldest occupation is fishing. Fish represent an important source of food and income that helps them to survive. Although this activity has lately experienced a setback , fishing is still the main concern, especially in places such as Crisan, Mile 23, Gorgova and Saint George.

The second major occupation of the inhabitants of the Delta is the livestocking, which evolved from an initial temporal activity (transhumance) to a full time occupation These are some of the villages that are traditional places for this kind of activity: Letea, Periprava, C.A.Rosetti, Sfistofca si Caraorman.

Processing reed and cattail, remains one of the main activities in the Delta. Reed is traditionally used as an energy source for building houses, weaving the rush to produce mats, baskets of different sizes, blinds, walls, fences, etc.

Traditions
The gathering and blending of different ethnicities and cultures, Romans, Lipovani Bessarabian Germans, Moldavians, Bulgarians, etc., in different stages of history, even before the eighteenth century, definined a distinct personality of the area in relation to the rest of Dobrogea.

  • Lazarelul - currently practiced on Palm Sunday in towns with predominantly Greek population. The legend involes a man named Lazarus, who dies in an accident while he was in the forest to bring food for the animals. His mother and maidens of the village are mourning him, while from his tomb a tree with many branches appears.

  • Olaria - Also called Hurhumbalu. The custom is to ignite fires in the hills of plant debris, symbolizing the purification of old vegetation in order to make way for a new and thriving vegetation. Rolling hills of wagon wheels wrapped in burning straws, symbolizing the sun in the sky, and purification of all that was bad for the community.

  • Caloianul - practiced after Easter, is the production of a clay doll, which was buried in the field, and then after a period of time to be exhumed, broken into pieces and scattered on the field, symbolizes fertility, abundance of crops and the regeneration of vegetation.

  • Paparuda - consists of a water splashing a group of young or older women, adorned with flowers and green branches that enter a court yard. Young or older ladies, they dance and sing for rain, and are watered by the host or between them.

  • Ursul, Brezaia, Capra - practiced on Christmas Eve - habits of singing carols with masks, still practiced in the villages of Niculitel, Valea Teilor Greci Enisala.

  • Oleleu - takes place on Christmas Eve and it is practiced by groups of boys that hit the ground with their bells, standing in a circle or semicircle in front of the house or household gate seeking protection from evil spirits. The custom is still practiced in the Macin area.

  • Plugusorul si Colindatul - are general habits practiced by the Romanians during the winter holidays. Agricultural tradition with deep roots in the Romanian spirituality, plow is a coarol, a agrarian rant, with theatrical elements on the subject of hard work to get bread. The plow, decorated with colored paper, ribbons, napkins, flowers, arises, even a tree, is the main atraction this carol.

  • Sorcova - is usually practiced by children, the first day of New Year (St. Basil). They wear a sprig of a tree or a sorcova made from a stick around which colored paper flowers are woven. Sorcova plays the role of a magic wand, endowed with the ability to transmit strench and energy to the targeted person. The same custom was practiced in anciet times with is a apple ram. It was placed in water the night Saint Andrew until the day of St. Basil, when it would bloom. This explains why the lyrics of Romanian carols make refrences to white flowers, apple blossom, or about Maruti.

  • drills - practiced on New Year's Eve by children who move from house to house and throw grains of wheat, saying words of praise in hope of prosperity.

  • Boboteaza - A custom that serves as rite for youg men who have to recover a cross thrown in the water.

  • Dragobetele - Dragobetele - is a celebration with slavic origins
    Celebrated in some places and our country on 24 (Glovo-Obretania) or 28 February, 1 March and 25 March, the number given in the area caused by the use of two calendars (Julian and Gregorian). This holiday marks the rebirth of nature, and the man who, on this occasion is to renew. It is a celebration of the revival of vegetation, of life, hapiness.

  • Martisor - Martisor is a little piece of ornament tied with a red and wihte string, which appears in the Roman tradition and some neighboring populations. Women and girls receive them, on the first of March, and wear them during March, as a sign of spring arrival. Together with Martisor, early spring flowers are offered, the most rep resentative being snowdrop. In Dobrogea martisorul was not taken off until the arrival of cranes, then was thrown to the sky in a symbolic gesutre.
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