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December 15, 2004

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Dragos

I think that besides your top my most important reason is that every day Romania simply keeps amazing me. In a good or a bad way. A day never passes by without me learning something that leaves me speechless, outraged, happy, annoyed -- you know, all the feelings spectrum. And I think that's one of the reasons that made me come back, basically I never get bored here. :)

claudia

Heh, yeah. That's a good summary of my feelings as well.

Also, I want to add zakuska to the list. :-)

David

That's Bulgarian, if I'm not wrong.

Bogdan

There are lots of things common between the Romanians and Bulgarians more than both want to admit. :-)

A thousand years ago we even had a common Romanian-Bulgarian state, but of course, this is not emphasised in the Romanian history books (and I assume the same thing happens in Bulgaria).

Mihai

First of all, thanks Claudia for a _wonderful_ post. It really made me very happy.

Like Dragos, what amazed me with Romania it that it just leaves you with this feeling that you belong here somehow. There is so much going on always, so many feelings, be they bad or good, that you just feel that you are part of this huge family going through everything together. It is good that Romania is not the "sanitized" society that other countries of the world are. This is truly a place that lives. Despite all of its quirks and differences, it is still a united nation and a place that leaves you feeling so inspired. For me, it has been and I think always will be the best place in the world, all patriotic feelings aside. I don't think there's any other place in the world where you can get that cornucopia of feelings and people.

Concerning some other points that were mentioned:

- Zacusc - it's Romanian but that doesn't mean it isn't Bulgarian too. Indeed, Romania and Bulgaria have shared a lot of common culture. Zacusca is great, especially when I go to visit relatives in Transylvania and it's made fresh!

- Christmas carollers - a great tradition that you don't find in many other places. Christmas really is magical in Romania.

- The tomatoes - never heard anyone praising the tomatoes before ;-) But I have lived in a lot of countries (well, visited) and the food isn't as great anywhere as here. I actually lived in the US for a while (and didn't like it at all, to be honest), and I bought with me this Romanian cookbook and tried to make all these foods - sarmale, mititei, etc. Although I used the same ingredients, they never tasted as good as they do back home. So, in this case, I think the food here, especially the fresh produce, is really great.

- Good economic growth. Great to see someone commenting about Romania's economy in a good way! I think it deserves it. Although Romania is poorer than, say, France, it don't think I would ever switch economies. Simply because in Romania there is this sense of hope and advancement that you don't get in Western Europe. All their economies are stagnating, and that really makes me feel sorry for them sometimes :)

- Child friendly - also never heard that before! But I suppose Romania is child friendly in its own way.

- Governments can lose elections - great point, because it seems Romania is a country where governments do change quite a lot. I don't know where all this hype about ex-communist PSD came from, but all the newspapers are saying that ex-communists dominated the government in the "poor Balkan country" for the majority of the 15 years since 1989. That's so skewed, since Romania has never had two consecutive governments, unless you count 1990-1992 and 1992-1996. But from then on, 1996-2000 was CD, 2000-2004 was PSD, 2004-2008 will be DA.

- Self-criticism - it's fairly ironic that the people most praising of Romania are actually the non-Romanians! But that's how it is! It is really wonderful having all of these ex-pats in Bucharest from other countries, as it certainly makes the country's culture a lot richer and adds a different perspective on Romania.

Again, thanks Claudia, you really made my day with this post :)

claudia

The tomatoes - never heard anyone praising the tomatoes before

You haven't? But, but... they are remarkable! Truly wonderful! Fantastic! I'm sure we blogged about them at one point. (Too lazy to look myself, though.)

Trust me, Romania and my Mom's garden are the only two places where I love tomatoes.

Child friendly - also never heard that before! But I suppose Romania is child friendly in its own way.

Yes, exactly. I meant "child-friendly" as in "they really like children". To the point where everybody remarks on your son's unhatted head.

It does not, alas, mean that restaurants have changing tables or high chairs. That's why I always have the boy's booster seats in the car.

And thanks, Mihai. Glad you like the post.

Gabriel Radic

Great emigration opportunities :-)

Frank O'Connor

Tomatoes get my vote too. I didn't even like tomatoes before I came here.

The people are full of life. They're also smart, funny and incredibly resourceful.

Some other random things:

Walking in the cobbled streets at night
Chifteluta
Discovering old Sibiu
Bucharest canine street theatre
Most other theatre: street or otherwise
'Push the Tray'
Cismigu park
Tea at 'Carturesti'
Warm summer days

brandon

Sibiu. I've been to most regions of Romania, and Sibiu is a national treasure. Although I'm surprised no one mentioned the monasteries or the delta. Or tzuica from Maramures, Mihai Eminescu or Constantin Brancusi.

Bo

I mostly agree with the above and disagree with a few of them, but since the topic is reasons to LOVE Romania, here goes. Some of them might not make sense but keep in mind i am from way up north and have only lived here for four months.

- Negreni, during a long bus ride, taking a break and eating "mic" there, which was my introduction to Romania after a 40 hour bus ride from Copenhagen over Munich and being stuck in Arad with noone speaking any language i understand. The view of the west Carpathians from there was the first time i said "wow!" about Romania, and it has happened frequently ever since. Staring up at them mountains when your homelands' heighest point is 175 meters is a culture shock but one of the better for sure. And "mic" is a totally valid reason to go to Negreni, i *think* they are made from pork chopped into smalled pieces and rolled and flame grilled with spices, but if anybody know better than i do, please inform!

- The train ride from Brasov to Predeal, that stretch is simply beautiful as well, although i have only seen it during autumn and winter. Every time i ride that stretch i just want to jump off and have a look around but haven't had the chance yet. It will happen, for sure!

- Ursus and Timisoreana (no beer dispute intended!). Unlike most beer from the surrounding countries, those are drinkable.

- Palinca AKA t(z)uica, but let's not go there.

- Cluj (yes, i am biased, i live here). Not only do i feel comfortable here as a foreigner, it is a university town meaning more people speaking languages i can speak, and communication is a very essential thing when you suddenly move away from your own country.

- The friendliness and the feeling of being welcome. I do not know how to explain this, it might be because i am a foreigner, but when i first came here, people from all over the country that i had talked to over the net for years just invited me to come stay with them. I just jumped on a bus to meet people i had never met before and everybody took so good care of me and went to extents to do so.

As an example, i got in touch with a friend in Timisoara and told him to find me a local hostel so i could crash near him and we could hang out during the daytime. He was so offended i didn't ask to stay with him. He and his mom took so good care of me that even though so far away from home i felt so comfortable there.

Another example, we drove from Cluj to Caransebes through the south Carpathians, we stopped in Alba Iulia for a coffee at this bar and these two guys say "oh you are driving through, let us treat you to some wine". When we finally got to Caransebes i nearly had to fight our host over who bought the first beer because he was as much trying to be a good host as i was trying to be a thankful guest.

And THAT is why i love Romania. Even if you have lived here all your life, there is always something new to see and most of all new people to meet. The people here is the best thing of the country, at least those who as a friend coined it, "carry their heart on the outside but still keep it safe inside".

If only the language wasn't so hard to learn ..

Lawrence Krubner

Regarding good economic growth and the potential for the EU, I think one advantage Romania has now is simply that it is in Europe, it is open to the West, and it is likely to become more integrated into the West. The American journalist Alex Marshall was recently arguing that European economic policy is superior to American economic policy, and over the long term, I tend to agree with him.

claus

Well, I am a Romanian and reading this page I must say I am positively impressed of how many feelings my country can generate in the heart of a foreign tourist.
Many seem to love this country more than a Romanian would.. maybe just because we tend to criticize it a lot and discuss its problems over and over ...hey, we are latins after all [yup, kinda strange in this part of europe :)], talk maybe too much sometimes :). But in the end I think this maybe helps us, forcing us to deal with problems and try to solve it. It would be bad to ingore them, or to consider some of them tabu. The latest example: a recent hungarian movie "Trianon", regarding the Trianon Pact, when the Transylvania province rejoined Romania after austro-hungarian domination, and Hungary lost other territories too. Many considered it to be, nostalgic, nationalist, irredentist, others not... by God, the Hungarian Television refused to air it, other Hun private TV stations did the same. I don't know, they did the opposite as many romanians would expect. Maybe they were afraid of it, who knows...although it touches a very delicate problem of the hungarian pride.
BUT, here, Romanians wanted it to see it, regardless of it's nature. So Antena 1 aired it, everybody saw it and it caused quite a big debate. I don't comment on the movie, but on the obvious "hunger" for information here. Maybe 40 years of harsh communism, living like on a isolated island has made us so eager TO KNOW, TO TALK ... maybe this is why the mobile phone bussines has skyrocketed here in Romania. :) And that's why press here is highly regarded,people like to be informed.
Yes, people need to enjoy their life, to talk, to feel... I spent my childhood under communism, and I am so happy that today's kids don't have to go through that as we did ..

Maybe, that bloody communism, shaped us in such a way, after being isolated like hell, now we are simply happy to see foreign people visit us, we are happy to talk with them, help them, aware also that this contributes to the tourism bussines.

Here is one aspect a heard from a foreigner who stayed quite long in Bucharest(7 months or so): well, he could go to the cinema, watch movies on TV without a problem :) . You see, this is something special, unlike other countries, here movies are subtitled not voice-translated. We simply don't like it. So yes, you can go to the cinema and watch Ocean's Twelve, Alexander, Shrek 2, or others (I don't know the latest movies here, work too much :)), as long as bottom-placed subtitles don't bother you, you can enjoy the movie in it's original language! ;)
At TV it's the same thing. I remember, at the end of the MASH series (liked it a lot :)) they showed MASH voice-translated in other languages. Believe me, we laughed our asses out, hearing Hawkeye,Mrs. Houlihan,Mr.Burns,Radar,Klinger and others argue in Turkish, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and other languages :D .
So this is one funny and interresting reason that expat worker gave me.(Never in my life would I have thought of it :D).

Btw, regaring vegetables, you are right, 1991-1994 we had a german teacher at our school, and when he was driving back to germany for holidays, he always took in his trunk about 2 or 3 cases of red onions! He said they had a fantastic taste, wanted to show this to his friends too ;).

viorica

ciorba, another good reason to love Romania

Dannyboy

Si daca ati invata romaneste ati mai avea inca un motiv in plus sa mergeti in Romania

Eu sint in Londra UK
dar nu dau doi bani nici pe US nici pe UK
dar nici pe guvernul roman din anii trecuti
desi ador oamenii saraci din Romania

10 motive:

UK/US vs Romania
1 Food is rubbish...vs gorgeous sarmale,rosii
2 girls are ugly....vs naturally beautiful girls
3 men are wimps...vs..men are men... in your face
4 hipocrisy rules...vs.they accept their condition
5 money is always an issue.vs..poor but generous
6 education is biased..vs..don't believe evrythg
7 beer is shit....vs....Pils Timisoreana rules
8 romanians disunited..vs.unde maninca unul...
9 romanian embassy unhelpful..vs..rominii te ajuta
10 is f***ing FAAAAAR from home. vs.US/UK 2nd home

poate Basescu mai face curat...dar nu va reusi
ptr ca lack of alternation of power in Bucharest for 7 years meant a re-strenghtening of Nomenklatura roots in the political, economic and intelligence spheres. It will take generations to see a sea of change...cos' that's what we need... a sea of change.


Iliescu este un criminal mai mare decit Ceausescu
Romania este condusa de vechea Securitate

Cititi: Ion Iliescu-Biografia Secreta-Candidatul Manciurian de Vladimir Alexe si Tom Gallagher's Theft of a nation (Romania)sau Ion Pitulescu The Third World War- Organized Crime (ooops..title is in Romanian actually

Gotta go...kids...I do
I love you for loving what I love too...
this may be that You love me too
But I daren't ask Do you?

Respekt

P.S. Whereabout are you guys?

Steve

There are quite a few positive things about Romania, but I think far too many foreigners come here after never having lived in another country in eastern Europe and assume that certain things are specifically Romanian which AREN'T. For example:

Sarmale - AKA Golabki, Holoubki, Tortolt kaposzta... (also generally bigger in other countries and not served with mamaliga)

Beer - well, Czech Beer beats any Romanian beer hands down, as does Slovak beer. Poland and Hungary have a couple of good beers too. Infact WINE is the great thing about Romanian drinks.

Tuica - err, Palinka.

Growing economy - yeah, thats why Romania didn't manage to join the EU in 2004 with all those other ex-communist countries. Including ex-Soviet Union Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Good point about the subtitles though - together with the great similarities in vocabulary thats why the (younger) Romanians tend to speak better English than their counterparts.

Nobody knows how to make tea here in Romania - they seem to consider it a medicine!

For me the best part of Romania is the countryside - really eye-opening and great to visit, with hits horse and ox drawn wagons etc. The towns aren't anything special though, just crapper versions of towns all across Central and Eastern Europe.

Sorry to be a bit negative - I know foreigners aren't allowed to criticise - that is the Romanians' job! Oh and since the Roman Empire occupied ENGLAND for longer than it did the region which is now Romania I think that English people should by right claim to be Latins too. They also got most of their vocabulary from French.

DORIN

This country is SHIT. romanians love to blab on and on about how fucking great this country is, but it really is just SHIT. gypsies, pickpockets, stupid "manele" bullshit you HAVE to listen to, the so-called "baieti de cartier" stupid retards with no fucking jobs just sitting around all day long waiting to swear spit curse someone steal something rob someone in the middle of the street etc, thieving politicians that have been practically LOOTING the romanian people for 16 years so poverty is at it's highest, the different types of stenches and odours on a bus (yes, romania ranks among the countries in europe that use the LEAST amount of basic hygiene products, like soap or EVEN TOILET PAPER !!! romanian surveys show this! people in some romanian villages still use various types of wild plants to wipe their friggin asses!) ... PLUS, most of their history is a FORGERY, fairy tales, bullshit,lies, and because nobody in the civilised world gives a shit about romanian history practically no one has bothered to check up this fake history and so these lies are continuosly being taugh in romanian schools. AND "almost" (yes "almost") their entire litarature is CRAP. PURE CRAP. most people don't even know (they don't even bother to find out for themselves) that up until about 150 years ago romania HAD NO literature whatsoever, whereas in civilised Europe there are literary works dated BEFORE CHRIST! Most of Western Europe has a literature at least a few hundred years old. most people don't even know that up until about 140 years ago the romanian language was written in the chirilic alphabet (this happen throughout the middle ages, when people hardly spoke romanian at all, state afair and church sermons being held in a slavic language) which was changed to the latin alphabet to better suit their false stupid nationalist ideals. THIS IS A COUNTRY OF LIES, STUPIDITY, IGNORANCE, POVERTY, BUREAUCRACY, CORRUPTION, HATE, INTOLLERANCE and this is true for about 80% of all the people living here! (true there are a few exceptions of good hard-working people, but too few). Anyone who thinks differently should really WATCH THE 5 o'clock NEWS for a whole week and see for themselves!!! or come and actually SETTLE here for good, and watch themselves sink into poverty because the wages ARE SHIT, bureaucracy and corruption rule and taxes are SKY HIGH! u're bound to hate this country the first time sombody here robbs you (remember what happened to the Discovery crew?) anybody who loves this shithole of a country has surely never lived in a truly civilised country.

Cristiano

Man what are u talking about Dorin...its really fun in romania....Ive been to Constanta and had a blast 2 years ago..im going again this summer in August...My uncle moved there with his wife from italy (Milano) for some business he was offered and he was only suposed to stay for 6 months...but he fell in love with Constanta(a city on the sea side) and moved there forever..after i stayed there for a summer I fell in love with the place to:))sexy girls sexy beaches nice music and there where lots of international people there to.people from Spain Greece France England Portugal even Americans..


So i really dont know what ur talking about because i never expierenced anything u said........and the guys form the block or whatever u called them...where really nice when i told them i was from italy and invited me to go places with them that where really cool..

so my friend if ur romanian staop lieing about your country

ruxi

Claudia

thank you so much for taking the time to do this blog. I'm romanian born and coming back to visit in a couple of weeks, dreaming of returning one day for a longer period of time. I will send this to my husband to hopefully inspire him about romania.
cheers from downunder

Katia

Hello everyone.

I had a couple of passages in romanian which I want in english, as i cannot understand it. I dont need a professional job, so if anyone here can help me out, I would be grateful. Thanks

Bogdan

I can help you Katia if you're still looking for help on that.

Ana

Hi! This page was a nice surprise. I'm a Romanian living thousands of miles away from home, who gets nostalgia every now and then about the good ol' HOME (still call it that). I think that we have a complete package for our country: amazing landscapes, warm people, delicious traditional dishes, fascinating legends and fairy tales, controversial history, and despite what others are saying, we also have a robust cultural heritage. The part with the corruption and low salaries, and thieves, and rudeness, is also a part of the package, and that can make people feel overwhelmed and miserable some of the times. I felt like that for a while; but now that i'm living away i tend to see more than the the 'pitoresque' aspects of it, i see its value, and what it has given me. Don't hesitate in visiting if you're in the area, yet give it a serious thought if you plan moving there for good.

John

Was born there.... thanks God i was able to leave the place. The shitiest place in the whole Europe. Corupt, dirty, uneducated, still trowing rubish out of the windows, rude, wash once a week if that....
Amazing roads full of holes, stinky toilets.... A nation of complete imbecils. Why would someone go there is beyoond me...
By the way the idiots are building huge churches in every city (style and architecture are terible) and around everything is like a rubish dump with stry dogs....

Roxana

To John (maybe you forgot your real name, that is Ion if you say you were born in Romania)

I agree there are a lot of bad things in Romania, but if you are a realistic guy, you will be able to see those things are everywhere in this world. Even arround you where you are living now. I've lived in the US since 2005 and I was able to see exactly the same things here, that you talk about Romania. What do you think about chewing tobacco, one of the first disgusting things that I saw when I came here. All the big cities I've seen so far have been dirtier than my hometown back in Romania. I don't know when you left Romania but you should go back there and see the differnce now, as they have been renovating everything.

Building a lot of banks, not so many churches, maybe you don't see the differnce... Also did you not learn in school the Byzantine architecture and the decorative elements of Gothic inspiration combine in a novel conception as in the case of the Putna, Patrauti, Voronet, Moldovita, Sucevita, Hrlau, Dorohoi, Neamt and other monasteries. Please take a look at those, it's not so difficult.

Eight out of ten people in Romania go on to higher education, speak two or three languages, have a lot of potential, and are being recruited for jobs in other countries in Europe and in the US. Romanians are known arround the world as hard workers and very inteligent.

Did you check recently your IQ? From your comment about Romania being full of imbecils (and you were born there), I can only assume you are reffering to yourself.

Here's a few websites with a more accurate look at the current state of Romania.
http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Rapids/7356/
http://www.deltadunarii.ro/frameset.asp
http://www.infotravelromania.ro/sinaia.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transylvania#Tourist_attractions
http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marea_Neagr%C4%83#Alte_caracteristici
Enjoy your education about your home, you should be proud of your culture.
Have a nice day.
la revedere.......

Alexandru

Super tare :D

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