The National Council for Combating Discrimination was notified in a case of a man who said he hadn’t been served by a shop assistant in a Kaufland store in Odorheiu Secuiesc for not speaking Hungarian. Odorheiu Secuiesc is the second largest city in Harghita county, Transylvania. Odorheiu Secuiesc is the urban settlement with the third-highest proportion of Hungarians in Romania, with 95.8% of the population being ethnic Hungarians.
Brasov Regional authority for the consumer’s protection was also notified in this case. Several inspectors for consumers’ protection from Brasov went on the scene to the same store in Odorheiu Secuiesc and came to the same treatment, after they asked to buy products in Romanian language.
The supermarket was fined with RON 10,000, with information revealing the same store had been fined in 2015 as well, for similar offenses. More precisely, the supermarket has got a RON 5,000 fine back then for the promotion commercials and flyers were exclusively in the Magyar language.
“After the video was released online, the inspectors for the consumer’s protection went to check the situation and came to the same treatment. They have asked products in Romanian language and they haven’t been served,” said the chief inspector of the authority, Sorin Susanu. He added the inspectors sent on the site to the store in Odorheiu Secuiesc were ethnic Magyar, but have asked the products in Romanian precisely to test the store’s employees.
The man who claims he hasn’t been served for not speaking Hungarian has posted a film on social media, entitled “Foreigner in my country”, featuring him trying to buy grilled minced meat rolls in a Kaufland supermarket in Odorheiu Secuiesc. The man asked for a serving of the meat rolls, the shop assistant took the money, but said something in low voice, allegedly a curse word. The man asked her if she had just cursed him, and the shop assistant an answered “semmi”, meaning “nothing” in Hungarian.
“Why aren’t you serving me, because I am Romanian?”, the man asked. The other people queuing at the store told the man he must speak Hungarian, because he is in the Szekler Land.
When the man asked why he needed to know Hungarian in Romania, a young woman answered: “Because the sky is blue”.