I have just realized that out of the people that I’ve met, only those who haven’t visited Romania have bad things to say about it. Those who have seen it can’t find words to praise its beauties and the wonderful people they’ve met there.
This year I met a man and his wife who have been to Romania 34 times and they can’t wait to go again! And this weekend I met a lovely lady who had been there 4 times if I’m not wrong, and says she absolutely loves it!
I love being Romanian. I was born in the heart of Transylvania, I grew up there, and I carry it in my heart wherever I go.
I love being Romanian, because I know the smell and taste of fresh bread, baked in a log oven, and I know the beautiful aroma and color of plum jam made by an old, kind lady, who is my grandmother. I also know how nice it is to pick these plums from your own trees, amongst which you play every day, and which you see evolve from the fist blossom untill fall. I also know that these plums can be fierce if you let them ferment and you distill them, to make the burning traditional tuica.
I love being Romanian because growing up there has taught me how hard life can be but how easy it is to live and enjoy existing. My parents taught me what responsibility means, but also not to over-worry, as God will always provide me with the strength and means to follow my way.
I love being Romanian because when I am there I look at every flower, and leaf, and listen to every bird, I look at the sky and the clouds, and I know that they are all there for us to enjoy.
I love being Romanian because of the folk music that only us Romanians can understand and feel, because of our traditions that belong to us only, because of the food that touches all our senses and our wines that embody our sun, our desire, our happiness, our moments of pure enjoyment, our music, and our national tragedies.
I love being Romanian because I know what „dor” means and because although I can translate it into other languages , no other language will be able to personify the word like Romanian does.
I love being Romanian because I used to have so little. I now have more and know how to appreciate and respect every bit of it. I also know that if I lose it, it’s not all lost. I’ll still have the plums, and the orchards, and the wine, and my walks with my parents in the woods, the flowers, the birds, God, the poems, the songs, Christmas, Easter,and everything that has made me be who I am.
Whether you like Hollywood or not, you’ve got to admit that it’s a big thing, and it’s quite hard to get there. Yes, most of the films they make are toxic for the brain or just useless. But let’s not forget that some of them are true masterpieces. But anyway this is completely irrelevant to what this article is about. How many of you know that there are quite a few Romanian actors who played their part on the Hollywood scene, and they did it pretty well.
I’m not a movie person, but I will probably try to watch some of these films just to see how my compatriots did. 🙂
To make it easier to follow I’ll try to write it as a list:
Dracula, the most famous symbol of Romania in the Western conscience, is not Romanian. May I say that some people will only now find out that Transylvania is a part of Romania, and not a mythical place or a country of its own. And why am I saying that Dracula is not Romanian? Easy answer. Because it came to life in the mind of an Irish writer called Bram Stoker, after reading quite a lot on European folklore and stories of vampires.
It is known that the character of Dracula was to a certain extent based on the Wallachian ruler Vlad III, also known as the Impaler. But what intrigues me the most are the incosistencies that exist in the story, the differences between what is real and what is fiction, as these have created a big mess in the mind of the Westerners.
First of all, Vlad the Impaler was not known to drink people’s blood. He became infamous for his cruel methods of punishment, of which his favorite one was impaling the enemies of the country. Wallachia was being persistently attacked by the Ottomans (Turks), and Vlad made his best to defend his country, which gained him a high place in the Romanian history, and in European history as well, because if it hadn’t been for his efforts, the Turkish would have occupied a large part of Europe, and its culture and layout nowadays would probably be different.
Secondly, Bran castle, which everybody calls Dracula’s castle, is not in fact Dracula’s castle. It is not even Vlad’s castle. The first documented mentioning of Bran Castle is the act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Braşov) the privilege to build the stone citadel on their own expense and labor force. It is not even likely for Vlad to have used the castle as a residence since it belonged to a different country, Transylvania, which was under the control of Hungary. The only connection between Bran and Vlad was the fact that he used the Bran Pass for his incursions in Transylvania, as it was relatively easy to cross the mountains through this point. Also, he was held captive in the castle for a couple of months when the Hungarian king thought Vlad had betrayed him.
What’s more, the castle is not even mentioned in Stoker’s book, so there is no reason to relate Bran castle to the character of Dracula.
Whereas Bran castle is situated on the border between Transylvania and Valachia, the castle that Stoker envisioned in his book was situated on the border between Transylvania and Moldova, in Tihuta Pass, near Bistrita. There is no castle there nowadays, but the legend is based on some mysterious ruins that still can be seen on the Rachitaua Peak.
There is a local legend that is passed from generation to generation, which says that Vlad Draculea saw the ruins during his travels and tried to uncover the treasure that was said to lay underneath. But the place was cursed, and Draculea made a pact with the Devil in order to finf the treasure. The Devil betrayed him and took all his powers away with the help of a beautiful maiden, so Draculea had to write with his own blood that he will give up on the treasure if he wants his powers back. He cursed the place, and ever since all kinds of strange things happen there to people who are looking for the treasure.
Vlad’s residence, that could be called Dracula’s castle by people who identify the two characters, is Cetatea Poienari, in Arges County. Unfortunately, not many people know about it, this being the reason why tourists are drawn towards other places such as Bran and Tihuta Pass.
These are only a couple of the false ideas that revolve around the myth of Dracula, but if you want to find out more, read Stoker’s novel and then read the history of Romania.
You will be amazed how much you don’t know about this amazing country! Google „Pasul Tihuta” to see images of the area that inspired Bram Stoker when he chose the location of Dracula’s castle. Also click here to access the official website of the Bran Castle.
For a guide to Sighisoara, the place where Vlad was born, click here.
A murit poetul nostru.. o mare pierdere pentru Romania, mai trista si mai dureroasa decat criza financiara, decat rusinoasa batalie dintre orbii astia ce ne conduc tara, si probabil la fel de trista ca si prostia si ignoranta in care traiesc mutli din romanii nostri, ec isi blestema tara in fiecare zi, si uita ca ei sunt parte din ea, si uita ca si ei ar putea face ca ea sa fie mai buna.
Si sper ca memoria lui, mereu vie, sa nu fie patata de sporovaieli mediatice. Si sper ca poezia lui, daca nu suficient de apreciata pana azi, sa fie citita cu luare aminte de acum, si inteleasa, si cei ce o citesc sa se simta umiliti si rusinati, in fata unei tari pe care acest om a iubit-o atat de mult, si de care cu totii ne batem joc.
Purtaţi-vă de grijă, fraţii mei, Păziţi-vă şi inima, şi gândul, De nu doriţi să vină anii grei, Spitalul de urgenţă implorându-l. … Vă văd pe toţi mai buni şi mai umani, Eu însumi sunt mai omenos în toate, Dă-mi, Doamne, viaţă, încă nişte ani Şi ţării mele minima dreptate.
Adrian Păunescu, 31 octombrie 2010, Bucureşti, Spitalul de Urgenţă
Why am I using the word invest instead of donate? Because there are over 300 Romanians who work for Microsoft in various positions from programmers to group program manager, and Bill Gates probably felt the need to give something back to a community that gave him so much. And also, he’s investing in the potential of this community to give him valuable human assets in the future.
I’m not denying the greater good behind his investment. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does a great deal of philantropic work all over the world, which is to be admired and respected.
I wonder how many of these Romanians who work in the USA for one of the best employers are ashamed to say they are Romanians..