Thursday, February 7, 2013

Romania: A peek at the Culture and People

You might be thinking, "Well that's all great that they want to go to Romania, but what is this country like? What is its heritage like? What about the culture?"

Of course (not having gone yet) I can't say exactly, but I've done a little research and have come up with some neat facts I thought I'd post here. :)

Flying High

First off, because every country needs their flag explained, I give you the official Flag of Romania:

The Romanian flag is blue, yellow, and red. Red for the blood of the people, yellow for the grain that feeds the people, and blue for the sky. A rather cheerful, nice sort of flag, isn't it?

Wedding Bliss

Hope-chests are a Romanian tradition, and in the traditional communities, young girls start gathering things for their hope-chests as young as six years old. :) In the mountains of Romania there is an annual festival on June 29th where families gather to display their daughters' trosseau. 

Folk Costume

The traditional folk-costumes while no longer worn for everyday use can still be seen on special occasions in the rural areas, and at cultural festivals. I love how rich and intricate the weaving patterns are!

Game on!

A favorite game in Romania is a sport called "Oina" which is, in all its essentials, an early form of Baseball and the Oina Teams in Romania far outweigh baseball teams. Just think, we might be talking about Pro Oina Tournaments if an American hadn't gone ahead and changed a few rules! According to many Romanian oina officials, the game was brought to America by two Transylvanian immigrants in the early half of the 1800's who then joined the army and taught their companions Oina. One Abner Doubleday then changed the rules and made baseball popular in America. Of course that all might be legend, but it certainly is true that there are accounts of "Hoina" being played in 1310 in Southern Romania! There's a really really neat article about this subject here!

Bon Appetite!

The Romanian culture has been heavily influenced by the Turkish culture as well as German, Hungarian, Serbian, and Bulgarian cuisine. Thus their food is diverse and includes dishes from all these cultures. Popular dishes includes many types of soups, cheese, and a deal of Pork. I really hope to be able to try some traditional Romanian food while there, because lots of it sounds really really good. :D (including their desserts. :P)

The People

As the food is diverse, so are the many cultures of people involved. :) Romanians make up the majority of the population (88.6%) while Hungarians are the largest minority. (6.5%) The second largest minority are the Romani (gypsies) who come in at 3.2% of the population. The remaining 1.4% of the population is a glorious mixture of Ukrainians, Germans, Lipovans, Turks, Tartars, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Greeks, Russians, Jews, Czechs, Poles, Italians, Armenians, and a few other peoples.

I absolutely cannot wait to get to this magnificent country and work with these people in this culture!!

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