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Ancient writings mention of Volovat since the leading to the conquest of Bogdan village with about 5,000 inhabitants, located in northern Suceava County, Volovat is limitrophe with Radauti as if it were a district of the city What stands out strongly at the villagers after getting to know them better is a kind of pride, which they bear as a natural desire to always look as different from others From how different they are, to the 'chicusuri' phenomenon, a fever that included the entire village for decades, it is only one step. Ether. is the usual name of the compound diethyl ether Is a compound with a unique history because it was used in medicine as an anesthetic. In industry is a good solvent. It is a volatile liquid, stored in airtight tinted bottles. It is not recommended a direct smell. It has a strong flavor; if you smell it you will find that is aromatic... What can I say about the ether? I was not a good student in chemistry, people in the Volovat village gave ether the name of 'chicusuri' The villagers used it as an alcoholic drink at all events: at weddings, baptisms and even when people gathered Sundays at the pub they drank 'chicusuri' I don't think there is a man in the village, who has not drank in one form or another this drink ... even I ... The writer Dragos Vicol, mentions in his book 'The Lonely Deer', in 1979 the village Volovat and 'chicusuri', a mixture of ether and grain-acohol. Drank pure or mixed with various spirits, 'Chicusurile' are customary at weddings, christenings and other celebrations of the village Everybody drinks : young, elderly and even women In the beginig Ether had a veterinary use to anoint the wounds of horses If a horse hurt it's leg, would recover faster with ether. People have heard: if you cut your hand, put ether and will heal in the same day. Why call it 'chicusuri'? The people could not drink much. only a few drops. Each village has its slang. [In romanian the word 'chicusuri' is a derived word from the word 'drops'].In some regions they could not say "drops" and a derived word was formed People wanted to say 'drop' but pronounced incorrectly They said droplets (ether). From one another the pronunciation varied and the word was distorted. So remained until today - 'chicusuri'. Ether was a kind of anesthetic used for surgery ... When we went somewhere, first we got together to drink 'chicusuri'. We would leave other drinks. A party was not right until some 'chicusuri' were drank. That was an unwritten law. Boys would gathered from nearby villages. There are over 100 years since then. Ever since I was born ... they started drinking 'chicusuri' Up on the hill was an old lady called Panasoaia. The place young men called 'In station at Panasoaia' When they dressed-up in national popular costume to go to a party, first would stop for a drink The old woman had a small glass with a thick bottom and seemed full of 'chicusuri' but there was less liquid as the glass was misleading They would pay 5 lei, 10 lei for a glass and leave. And in the evening they would return ... in station at Panasoaia 3 lei a small glass; all of us gathered around it. We would drink with water, and after I grew up we drank directly from the bottle Sundays we went through all the other villages smelling of 'chicusuri' Everybody was asking if we have to share and if we had we gave only to friends. At the pub, on a get-together, on holidays, we would take one small bottle, cast in spirit, or drink it dry That was then. Times have changed and people changed too. Young people are different... Now I am older and weaker but still I would like a glass One year, for Christmas, there was no brandy and we drank only dry ether. All throughout the village there was only ether. Yes. The holidays passed without brandy, only with 'chicusuri'. Officially they were not allowed to sell in the pub, but secretly ... Everyone drank, although it was not officially for sale. If we didn't have a bottle, the bartender would sell us one together with white spirit. He brought from Bucharest to sell. The old people used it as a treatment for stomach pain. but mainly mixed with spirit. Some would also add lovage but 'chicusurile' were common around here. The guests who came in the village on holidays were first served with the famous 'chicusuri' from Volovat Those who didn't know how to drink would choke. They inhaled the vapour and the breathing stopped. They all recovered. No one died. Many knew how to drink without inhaling. They drank it just like water. The secret is not to inhale the fumes. The hospitals were the main source. People brought it from Bucharest, from everywhere... It was not found on the market. They got it from the black market. Then they got used to drinking it. First was use in surgery as a narcotic. ... was used to put people to sleep. Now other substances appeared. No one died from drinking. Those who were not accustomed choked after half a glass. Something out of the ordinary ... Mostly was mixed with white spirit Went well with vodka also or white grain spirit. So we drank 'chicusuri'. At parties or dances, merchants brought a bottle and very small glasses and sold 'chicusuri' for 3 lei a glass Boys sought chicusuri as geese looking for water. Even clothes smell for one or two days. Now I keep them as remedies. I don't drink anymore because I'm an old man. Once we went to Orsova about 40-50 people from the village ... workers ... when they made the site, when they moved Orsova Veche and 13 other villages with cemeteries and all In a Sunday, a citizen from up the hill, having served there, nurses from the clinic knew him. He did 2 years of army service there They were now cooks at site Knowing him, the nurses gave us ether and we went to a high class restaurant on the Danube bank to have fun with drinks, beer and food. Among these we brought ether - 'chicusuri' There were people on the beach. They have never seen anything like this in their life. We drank ether. And when we gave out the gas from stomach, someone would just lit a match and flames went up in the neck. Slowly people started leaving. They said we were possessed Honestly. People fled because we were breathing fire The faint-hearted took chicusuri on sugar cubes. They would put suger in a spoon and a few drops of ether on top On October 16th 1846, at 10:15 Morton exclaimed : - Doctor, your patient is ready He was in a hospital operating room in Boston Massachusetts, where the surgeon Waren performed a procedure in front of an audience, students and doctors, removed a congenital tumor from a 20 year old man - pressman and editor When the patient awoke confirmed that he felt no pain There was no internet in that time, yet the information spread out with amazing speed. After only 112 days on February the 5th 1847, in Timisoara, Dr. Matius Musil performed surgery using ether as anesthetic for patient Nicolae Munteanu. This was the start for the golden age of anesthesia with ether which will last until 1965 - 1970 There have been other attempts to use the ether in medicine . In 1724 Dr. Pirson, administered ether oraly, for patients with influenza, curethervy, biliary lithiasis The results were totally unsatisfactory because the patients did not tolerate ether, and had nausea and vomiting In 1800 pharmacist Hofman combined alcohol with ether and got the drops that carried his name inhaled or drank in small amounts ether induces a state of excitation euphoria or delirium with auditory or visual hallucinations and sexual hyperexcitability such a state is called ether exhilaration less similar to the alcoholic drunkenness and more similar to cocaine effects In fact ether is used to obtain base cocaine Consumed in small quantities regularly, ether is addictive like alcohol or cocaine. Such addiction is called ether-mania In the salons of the 19th century combined with alcohol, ether was used as a euphoric drug called entertainment It was used especially by women because at that time it was not fashionable to consume alcoholic beverages However it was fashionable to faint when hearing bad news, especially love news To wake them up, a vial of ether was always within reach and fluttered under their nose for the low class women a good slap had the same effect, certainly less elegant. later the use of ether in medicine was abandoned because more powerfu and less harmful anesthetics appeared The use of ether as a drug was also abandoned as more refined drugs appeared Women remain the last users of the ether. Being a good solvent, ether is used to remove nail polish . Today, the old pub in the center of the village is a ruin. And just when you think the 'chicusuri' phenomenon disappeared some old men open a bottle of ether for old time's sake as the saying goes: - "I was left without flour in the house but without chicusuri - never!" - For a while you got drunk as hell .But soon after it would pass - If you were drunk, you drank 'chicusuri' after which you burped and your were back on your feet. ... but for a short period of time you were confused. It was like a drug In our village it was accustomed to drink 'chicusuri' ever since I was little Later in 1947 -1950 when the young men went to dance if they did not smelled like 'chicusuri' they were not real men. At a wedding if there was no ether, the spirit remained on the table but if it was ether, only the wine remained on the tables. Peoples drank alcohol with ether with ether people drank all night and the wedding lasted until the next day ... without ether people went home early from the wedding Ether dissolves fat. It helps with blood pressure. I have 12.7 I have a heart condition. High blood pressure added to that would have killed me 'chicusurile' cleanse the veins and determine the blood pressure to drop Once I was sick, and Dr. Stanciulescu told me that if I don't get surgery I die I came to the village and I drank almost a whole bottle of 'chicusuri' without knowing the effect Over several days I no longer had chest pains, and for 20 years I had no problems It hurt inside, and I told the doctor that I drank 'chicusuri' and the pain stoped the doctor laughed... Where 'chicusurile' passes, makes way like warm water through snow I was carrying vegetables and fruits in the city. I went to a doctor to give him some In return, to thank me, he gave me two bottles of 'chicusuri' like this one I went to the market smelling like chicusuri (ether), because I drank at the hospital. Seeing me drink ether, the doctor sent the hospital guard to see if I fall down, and call the ambulance. At the market, the smell was so strong, so we gave everybody to drink. They were so surprised ... they've never seen anything like this before. Here it is accustom I was left without flour in the house but without chicusuri - never! weddings receptions were held here.In those days you didn't have to look very hard for a bottle of 'chicusuri' there were bottles lying around everywhere. They came also from other villages and said we all smelled nice It helps you put your stomach in motion. An old woman lived here for 97 years from the age of 50, she survived only thanks to ether; because her stomach was rotten She ate well and drank ether daily and got to live 97 years. She said she had a wound on her stomach and the only thing helping her eat was to drink ether before every meal. For 50 years she drank continuously and Ether is very strong (300%.) The community center smelled like ether for weeks. The smell gets into the walls and it is kept for weeks You could find in pharmacies. I used to go on Fridays or Sundays in the city and drink a small glass by 3 lei It was not forbidden. From the hospital we used to take a small bottle and drink with the boys on Sundays You can not be a pharmacist in Volovat and not know what 'chicusuri' are. If before the revolution the villagers purchased ether from other localities With the establishment of local pharmacies in Volovat they started asking for ether The pharmacy law prohibits the sale of those 'chicusuri' so the phenomenon of drinking ether is about to be extinct. As mayor I can say that, today, nobody drinks ether anymore in the village because they can no longer find it. I can not forget this fountain years ago people gathered here, to drink ether and quench their thirst with water from the well. a cousin of mine used to say when we meet as the holidays that he ate polenta with chicusuri perhaps, joking, the people that drank ether, spilled a few drops in the well all the neighbors who consumed water from the well said it smelled like ether for several days. The taste and odor of ether was lost in a few days joking, neighbors around here said they ate polenta with chicusuri As a child I read a story in the Zori Noi newspaper I don't know who wrote it but I remember reading, Volovat was the only place in Romania where people drank ether Now I am not sure, I didn't look into it but I don't think anyone is drinking ether anymore.

Video Details

Duration: 22 minutes and 43 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: Romania
Language: Romanian
Producer: Corneliu Cirdeiu
Director: Gabriel Cirdeiu
Views: 2,220
Posted by: corneliucirdeiu on Feb 5, 2010

The villagers use ether (300° ) as an alcoholic drink.

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