November 14, 2013

Churchgoers, Romania

Photograph by Kathleen McLaughlin, Your Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: Your Shots

In Maramureş, Orthodox churches are divided in half. The front half is for men, while the back and outside are for women.

What Makes This a Photo of the Day? This glimpse of a young girl’s direct gaze as she is being ushered protectively into the church by her elders is the gift of a moment perfectly captured. —Alexa Keefe, Photo of the Day editor

This photo and caption were submitted to Your Shot. Check out the new and improved website, where you can share photos, take part in assignments, lend your voice to stories, and connect with fellow photographers from around the globe.


Check out Kathleen McLaughlin in the Your Shot member spotlight »
Read about a serendipitous encounter in Maramures »

46 comments
Danilo Lima
Danilo Lima

I am sorry but I extremely disagree with you Mr.Sean McMonnell.

The photo represent a child. They will be always children in any part of the World, boy or girl... As we were one day ago. To be honest, we all are just to afraid to look behind. Don't you agreed?

Sean McConnell
Sean McConnell

nothing special about this photo, strange picture of the day choice.

Niladri Das
Niladri Das

I can see she wants to come out of the religious holding...come out sweet, the green field where you play is more beautiful than any church in the world !

Debra P.
Debra P.

Beautifully done!  Congratulations on the Photo of the Day!

Jack G.
Jack G.

A child's glance.....suspended in time, where religion and war have no place, innocence pure and true !!!

Amin Houshmand
Amin Houshmand

This shot is enormously wonderful. Thanks for chosen ...

Zola Haddadi-f
Zola Haddadi-f

According to my opinion                                                                                                                                                               this picture shows the Roman Church whose value varies according to religions

M Haire
M Haire

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RAJKUMAR NATARAJAN COIMBATORE
RAJKUMAR NATARAJAN COIMBATORE

Well, my first comments on NatGeo. I downloaded some lovely wallpapers. I am not a photographer. But I am enthusiast. I read my first Nat Geo mag when I was 18 years old. I subscribed the mag in 1984. I still preserve those editions. My greetings to the NatGeo Team, the fantastic photographers, authors and all the other fans like me. 

Now this pic is splendid. That young face say all. A bright future.

Laura Constantinescu
Laura Constantinescu

Personally, i think that the message of this picture is how Romania indoctrinates the youngs in believing in what the elders believe. From a early age we are directed towards this religion and its absurd and narrow minded way of thinking. Some of you may think that this is call tradition or preservation, but i believe that this is indoctrination and the cute little girl is just a victim of the church ( the romanian church is one of the most judgemental and sexist ones)

Sumit Das
Sumit Das

i would call this master piece "a slice"..

Christine Goodman
Christine Goodman

Tradition and religion seem to go hand and hand and depending on the surrounding populous and other integrated traditions in each area ,things might vary.  I can see why some of the comments bellow are argumentative.   It's  a beautiful picture,love the colors and the adorable curious little girl.  Nice shot!   

Cosmin Dorobantu
Cosmin Dorobantu

Actually, there is a division between women and men in the orthodox church, but it's not as described. The women stand to the left side with the children, while the men occupy the right hand side. There is no strict rule however, it's mainly tradition and it's not in any way offensive to our ladies.

This may be because traditionally, the choir, which is mainly composed by men, is placed in front, near the priest, on the right hand side.

Nicolae CRISTEA
Nicolae CRISTEA

This is not true!
Romania (Orthodox Church) everyone is treated the same way!
Women do not stay behind the men!

Nicolae CRISTEA
Nicolae CRISTEA

This is not true !
In Romania (Orthodox Church) EVERYONE is treated in the same way !
Women DO NOT stay behind the homes !

Shane Hughes
Shane Hughes

The framing of the little girl between the two women in the foreground of the image is well executed.

Amy Adams
Amy Adams

I love the colors of the dresses, and the "slice" of the little girl in the middle of the women entering the church.

Mat Millies
Mat Millies

the look of the girl seems to say: "Let me go!"

Bellz Webster
Bellz Webster

Women are treated as 'seconds' in Romania too?  Colourful head scarf and nice little girl but it really doesn't do a lot.  Sorry, no offense.

Sergejs Babikovs
Sergejs Babikovs

Far from a better example of "direct gaze" shots. Don't like it

Marius Hagianu
Marius Hagianu

@Laura Constantinescu I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you. Try to judge the photo without description or title. Is just a moment in time. Stop bringing politics, religion, etc into art.

Adriana Ancuta
Adriana Ancuta

@Laura Constantinescu nu prea ai dreptate :) .. intr-adevar te indreapta parintii spre biserica, fie de vrei, fie de nu vrei. dar cand cresti si ajungi sa intelegi ca efortul lor a meritat, incepi sa apreciezi.

Dar citindu-ti comentariul, sunt mai mult ca sigura ca fie faci parte dintr-o biserica din-asta aparuta dupa ploaie, unde rugaciunea nu mai e suficienta si e inlocuita( partial) cu chitari electrice si alte magarii, fie nu ai descoperit un preot ortodox care sa fie preot din toate punctele de vedere :) 

Iar ultima parte, te-as sfatui sa nu mai spui asa ceva, fiindca nu ai dreptate!  :) 

Diane H.
Diane H.

@Laura Constantinescu this is your opinion and you are intitled to it, but if the Church indocrinates what about schools? They have an agenda also to indocrinate our children. And if you put out the statement of saying that the romanian church is judgemental and sexists then please give an example? Also you say from an early age we are directed towards this religion, do you mean Christianity? What about every other religion on earth? Then you also say it is also absurd and narrow-minded. Laura what right do you have to be narrow-minded and judgemental?

Razvan Radu
Razvan Radu

@Laura Constantinescu E si nu e adevarat ceea ce spui tu..traditiile trebuie sa se pastreze, poate ca acei copilasi sunt intr-adevar indocrinati, insa cu timpul isi vor da seama ca biserica e doar o simpla institutie plina de coruptie si de oameni care n-au absolut nici cea mai mica legatura. Adica cum sa cred eu in biserica cand oamenii de acolo isi fac de cap, cand ei ar trebui sa fie un exemplu pentru societate, nici gand. Cred in Dumnezeu si atat.  

Kathleen McLaughlin
Kathleen McLaughlin

@Cosmin Dorobantu in the smaller wooden churches of Maramures, the men are the front and women in back. The churches, as you probably know, date from the 15 adn 1600s.

Andrei Andi
Andrei Andi

@Nicolae CRISTEA you should go to village churches. Many of them have this habbit and some also have different doorways for women, which are smaller than the ones for men. This has traditional religious background and that's why it is still practiced.

Cristian Stroe
Cristian Stroe

@Bellz Webster   Only the elder women wear that in the country side. When coming to church women have to look decent (not too much make up and stuff) and is kind of nice to have their head covered, just like a dress code. No one cares about the others, though. We are as free country as any other on this planet. Next time use you friend google and don't make childish assumptions. Cheers!

Andrei Andi
Andrei Andi

@Bellz Webster they are treated this way only in village churches. It's actually about tradition more than anything else.

Laura Constantinescu
Laura Constantinescu

@Adriana Ancuta @Laura Constantinescu  Adriana...tin sa te anunt ca nu fac parte din asemenea biserici si nu am nici un interes..insa gasesc toata situatia din romania penibila oarecum. Aia a fost ideea mea despre poza..nu inteleg cu ce te deranjeaza faptul ca imi exprim opinia in public. Nu esti indreptatita sa imi spui ce e bine si ce e rau.

p.S. Cred in dumnezeu, insa nu faptele bisericii uneori vorbesc de la sine..si inainte de a ma contraargumenta te rog frumos sa iti faci temele cu privire la situatia actuala si cea din trecut a bisericii.

A da..si nu gasesc atacul la persoana o strategie buna de a ma convinge pe mine sau pe oricinne altcineva

Laura Constantinescu
Laura Constantinescu

@Diane Hebert @Laura Constantinescu  yes. but we have to admit that what school does is in the benefit for the kids..because the school broadens our horizon it doesn't redece it to a minimal. And i am talkin just about romania and ortodoxism. 

Btw i think that you don't really know what a judgemental institution implies...i am a person...i can influence few people...but here we are talkin about the ortodox church this is like a major institution and so one of the most influential ones. May i inform you that in order to keep the 200 article from the penal code, the ortodox church sent a lettler in wich it reminded the senators how important they are and how they can influence their future in politics.This letter was sent to every single senator! 

And btw...google that article ...you'd be shoked

Laura Constantinescu
Laura Constantinescu

@Razvan Radu @Laura Constantinescu Exact de aceeasi parere sunt si eu. Nu este oare de ajuns sa crezi in dumnezeu si atat?

Dar se pare ca biserica a uitat pe ce se axa in trecut si anume: iubire si intelegere. Acum critica homosexuali doar pentru ca nu se conformeaza...si cu regret spun ca am fost socata cand am aflat ca biserica a insistat sa se pastreze articolul 200 din codul penal care pedepsea afisarea persoanelor gay in public cu inchisoarea...asta sub pretextul ca ar fi o propaganda.

Se pare ca biserica uita ca avem vointa proprie si ca noi alegem singuri ce vrem sa fim.

Ps. i'm not homo, but i find it  shocking

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