Once upon a time, in the streets of Cluj

In a city that is usually packed with students during the school year, the summer seems to be the season where they all vanish, taking with them their young and lively spirit. But somewhere in the streets of Cluj, among the rest of the old inhabitants that are spending their summer here, doing their dull daily activities, stood a young lady, singing in a corner with her guitar.

It almost seems like a pretty common thing. She is not the first person, nor will be the last, to sing or play a musical instrument outdoors. Pedestrians hardly ever stop normally, but not this time. This particular time, they will be hypnotized by the enchanting voice. It is not just the fact that it was amazingly beautiful, but you could also feel deep emotion emanating from it. Ioana, the singer, is a 22 student that finished her first degree in law and started a

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second one, in teaching pedagogy. She moved to Cluj a year ago, mainly for studying, but what she enjoys the most is singing in the beautiful streets of the city. We wanted to know more about her, but it was really hard for her to open up since, as she says, a young girl like her, living alone, can be the target of numerous evil people. However, she eventually felt comfortable enough to share how her life was like, and it was impossible for anyone not to sympathize with her.

Her family had a very tough life. Her father died when she was younger, and her mother had to support her and her other 10 brothers and sisters. “She was doing men’s work” Ioana said, “she had to take care of us while having multiple jobs, it was hard not only for her but for us too, and the only way out for me was music”.

She never had any classes in music and yet, she could perfectly play the guitar and her voice was angelic. “My most precious moment is when a pedestrian smiles when he listens to one of my songs, or when a person is having a bad day and feels better after hearing me sing.” She doesn’t really care if people put money or not when she is singing in the streets, she says. What she cares about the most is that she can touch people through her music and get them to connect with her, especially that the lyrics of her songs are written by herself.

When asked if she was planning to make a profession out of music, she said that she would love tot, but that it would take her a lot of work and sacrifices. She for instance would love to go to sing in Paris, but a young woman like her, going out there alone in this inexorable world, is not a smart thing to do, according to her. She almost had her lucky break last year when she was called to participate at Romania’s Got Talent, but she wasn’t feeling confident enough to share her story with the world and had to quit. Nevertheless, she is sure she would go back there one day, stronger than ever.

Ioana is one of the hundreds of hard working young people of Cluj that are trying to find their way in a world with no mercy. Once you meet a youngster like her, your faith in humanity is restored.

Ihssane Zaadoud

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