Romania is a country steeped in the legend but not everything about it that you’ve heard is true and many things people just don’t know about it all to bring light to the darkness of this land we present you with the 10 things you didn’t know about Romania.
There are many legends about the so-called Gypsies or more properly known as Romani. And many people falsely believe they are European people by origin. And they would be wrong. Gypsies or Romani actually originate from northern India. Their language although Indo-European in origin and that’s part of the greater family of languages that belong to this group is more closely related to the languages of the Indian subcontinent. Such as Hindi than modern European languages. The Romani wandered out of India over a millennium ago making their way to Europe. And subsequently, have had many difficulties integrating into local populations. Nowhere is this truer than in Romania where they live in segregated communities. Isolated from mainstream Romanian society. Because of this isolation and self-imposed ethnic segregation.
Romani are often targeted as objects of persecution. Yet at the same time there’s substantial evidence that Romani do commit crimes at a higher rate than the local Romanian population ranging from theft to robbery and more. But what is perhaps most interesting is their own invitee as Romani do not necessarily regard others outside of their direct tribe as friends. And people to be trusted. Either way, the Romani have shown themselves to be persistent in maintaining their ethnic separatism while ignoring the host Rumanian culture which does not bode well for them in the future as it has not done so in the past.
2: Vlad The Impaler
No list about Romania would be complete without mention of the legendary and perhaps more appropriately infamous warrior Vlad Tepish. More commonly known as a Vlad the Impaler whose historicity cannot be doubted. Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula the fame of which continues to the present day however the question remains. Who was the real Vlad Tepish born the second son of Vlad Dracul? Or Vlad the Dragon Tepish was born in the 15th century to an environment surrounded by hostiles? And he was a prince of Wallachia 3 times during his lifetime.
Vlad was not the most successful political ruler having suffered exile and imprisonment with periodic breaks in his rule. What he was most famous for was his unparalleled cruelty? And how he meted out punishment and justice? However, few people seem to realize that it is entirely possible to be both a hero and a villain. This is likely the most accurate picture of Vlad Tepish. son of the dragon.
As one of the most recent major events to take place in Romania. Thousands of Romanian citizens have stood up to their government’s attempts to limit penalties to politicians. Engaging corrupt behavior such as bribery. The legislation has been claimed by those presenting it is meant to curtail the number of people who wind up in prison for so-called minor offences. But the courageous Romanian people who’ve had to deal with much corruption in the past vis a vis communism smell of fell win on the horizon. And have been standing up for their right to live in a just and lawful society.
4: Romanian Language
The Romanian language is truly unique among romance languages or so-called daughter languages of Latin. Which include Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. Because of the unique historical circumstances that surround. And led to specific developments found in Romanian but not in other romance languages. For one thing, it is a wonder that Romanian as a romance language even survive the centuries. After the Roman Empire, had fallen the region of Dacia was beset by numerous invasions of Slavic people as well as others. And this isolation along with frequent contact with Slavic languages created the unique linguistic state of affairs. Which we find in the Romanian language today.
Romanians are more archaic than other romance languages and are preserved at least partially the Latin case system. Where is this is entirely disappeared from other romance languages? Romanian retains 3 of the 6 original cases where the nominative and accusative are morphologically identical. As is the dative and genitive and the vocative being used infrequently. Romania, unlike other romance languages, also retains the gender category of Neuter in addition to masculine and feminine.
Romanian also shares grammatical features of languages that share the same geography such as Bulgarian. in that the definite article is put at the end of a word rather than in front of it. For example, “Codrul” literally means “Forest The” put more idiomatically means “The Forest”. Finally, having been surrounded by Slavic languages for centuries much of the vocabulary in Romanian has been borrowed from Slavic. Such as “Război” which means War Romanian and combat in Serbo-Croatian and robbery in Russian. The more western romance languages do not share this word or many others that have been borrowed. This is a testament for Romanians unique linguistic history.
5: Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceausescu was the last major Soviet puppet and communist leader in Romania. Who interestingly enough was overthrown on live television. While in the middle of giving a traditional communist speech in late 1989. He was later executed by order of a kangaroo court several days after. Born into a peasant family of Tan and office for over 20 years. It is hard to tell if you actually believe the communist propaganda he would frequently spout. But most people who lived through his regime sound as nothing more than a Soviet puppet and tyrant. Who got his just desserts when the Iron Curtain finally came crashing down.
6: Romanian Cuisine
Romanian food is a unique blend of different dishes from many countries it has come into contact with. At the same time maintains its own character. Which has been heavily influenced by Ottoman cuisine? While it also includes influences from the cuisines of other neighboring countries. Such as Bulgaria and Hungary. There many different types of dishes which are sometimes included under a generic term. For example, the category of Ceorba includes a wide range of soups with a characteristic sour taste. These maybe meat and vegetable soups tripe and calf soups are fish soups. All of which are soured by lemon juice, sauerkraut juice and vinegar. The category tucio or plum brandy is a generic name for a strong alcoholic beverage in Romania.
7: Carpathians – About Romania
Exotic and almost mystical the Carpathians are a mountain range that runs through eastern Romania. That includes a huge amount of biodiversity and remains an incredibly popular tourist destination. For both the beautiful landscape as well as a popular spot for a scheme. Large predators such as bulls, bears as well as all manner of smaller mammals. Such as measles and shrews and others populate this mountain range and are a popular reason for visiting for many wildlife aficionados. The relative isolation of the Carpathians has ensured the existence of these animals that have been wiped out in other places in Europe.
8: The Day of The Bear
Speaking of bears the love for this majestic animal manifests itself about Romania in many ways. Including a unique but familiar holiday enjoyed nowhere else but in Romania. Unlike most other European countries Romania has many bears. The celebration of the day of the bear is thought to be related to the bears’ hibernation cycles and the changing of the seasons. Regardless few people have the same degree of reverence for the bear as do Romanians.
9: Cigarette Smuggling
You might have never guessed that cigarette smuggling is an incredibly lucrative business in Romania. As a single hand-rolled cigarette coming in from neighboring Ukraine could retail for up to half a euro in Rumania. Officials have consistently crackdown on over thirty smuggling operations. And confiscated almost ten million packs 2012 alone. But where there is profit to be made such businesses continue to flourish. As no government can keep people away from a good deal. Even if that deal comes in the form of smuggling cigarettes.
10: Hungarian Minority
Hungarians make up the largest ethnic minority in Romania numbering well over 1 million. Their presence in Romania is largely a consequence of territory that had formerly been Hungarian. But was seated to Romania after World War I. Tensions since then have been high as most Romanian Hungarians do not consider themselves Romanian. And view the lines they live in is fundamentally Hungarian. However, as modernity has pressed on you were in fewer ethnic tensions have arisen in recent years. Most people whether officially Romanian or Hungarian-Romanian are content to let sleeping dogs lie.
That’s it for the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Romania. What do you think we have missed? React in the comments down below.