Interview with Pulitzer Prize entry author Dr. Aura Imbarus: “I started with 400$ in my bank account!”
Aura, please introduce yourself.
I was born and raised in Transylvania, in Sibiu, Hermannstadt, a city that was named Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007, and was considered by Forbes the 8th most idyllic place to live in Europe. Surrounded by nature, legends and folktales, I grew up in a Romanian family of Greek roots, who mixed with Germans and Hungarians; the family’s name was mentioned by prime ministers and famous historian in the annals of history.
The Imbarus family was stripped of its properties, acres of arable land, green pastures and orchids, houses and money, their carriage transportation businesses, and order to join the Communist Party, like many other families. My Dad never yield while my uncles crossed the borders illegally, being caught and sent to Gherla, the most notorious prisons for political detainees. Our family was blacklisted for having ties with the west, Western Germany where my uncles, after a successful escape, settled down and talked against the regime on Free Europe Radio Station.
Even if life during the Communist regime was harsh with rationed food, electricity and gas being monitored while the quota per family was cut down to the bare minimum, with the vision of long lines of people waiting as early as 3am to buy a liter of milk and a loaf of bread for their whole family, I was given an early education and care by my amazing grandparents and my parents. They taught me to be myself, no matter what, to believe in a brighter tomorrow and to educate myself to become “somebody.” I had their wholeheartedly support in being a rebel in the way I dressed myself, using my own creations, I dyed my hair in pink and green, and I thought and acted accordingly.