This study is devoted to the commemorative practices and the sites of memory of the 1989 Romanian revolution. It has resulted from a multi-sited fieldwork experience through Timișoara, Bucharest, and Cluj occasioned by the fifteenth public celebration of the founding event of the Romanian post communist democracy. We hereby propose an oral history and cultural anthropology analysis which is methodologically based on participant observation and semi-structured interviews with participants at the commemoration. We have closely followed the itinerary and the pace of this public celebration attempting to a thick description, in order to scrutinize the world of meanings the commemorative gestures and the memory sites of Timișoara spread out.

The historical events of the December 1989 are seen through the lenses of the current stakes at the end of the 2004; a year marked by the particular political context of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections held in November in Romania, by the judicial context of prescription which was going to be applied to some crimes of the revolution, and by the perennial religious context of the Christmas Eve.

The theoretical hypothesis we subscribe to, is that spaces of remembering ? which are often traumatic, in the case of the Romanian revolution ? are converted into sites of memories only if there is a political will of memory to erect them, as well as recurrent cultural practices to ritually reactivate their meanings.

The paper outlines the manner in which a tensional proximity of these different contexts, political, cultural, social, interfere with the commemorative practices, and the socially (re)organizing the collective memories of the revolution.

By being there, in the good tradition of cultural anthropology, we envisage an intimate knowledge, from inside of a social reality, to challenge the master narratives on the revolution- as oversimplified and politically charged dominant versions of the past- and, in the oral history vocation we aim to give voice to those narratives which would be otherwise, rather unspoken stories or less visible discourses on the public stage.