Romania’s “Witch Tax”: Magic Meets Bureaucracy
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:14 pm
Read more here: http://bit.ly/hEfDcPOn January 1, Romania implemented new tax codes that, among other changes, added the occupation of “witch” to the nation’s labor codes. Those charging clients for tarot readings, curses, and blessings must now pay a 16 percent income tax and make contributions to health and pension programs. The ire of the witches, some of whom responded by performing rituals to hex the government, has become fodder for scores of offbeat news stories throughout the west. But there is a deeper story to the witches of Romania. With Romania’s entry into the EU, an indigenous folk practice that was once persecuted under communism has come face to face with a global economy. The Romanian “witch tax” is a fascinating study in how the forces of modernity and globalization are shaping an ancient tradition.