Romania By NicolaePaduraru April 25, 2012
Romania is about 237, 500 sq. Km. with a population of 21.50 million people. Romania is located in Eastern Central Europe. It borders the countries of Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The weather in Romania consists of 4 seasons. There is often long and harsh winters, hot summers, long autumns and short springs. . The capital city is Bucharest with a population of 1.94 million people.
Landscape Romania consists mainly of rolling, fertile land. It’s hilly in the Eastern regions of the middle Danube Basin. Most mountains run north to west in the center of the country, which are known as The Carpathians.The Danube is the longest river flowing through the country.In The southern part of the country is the Black Sea. The Romanian Black Sea Coast stretches a little over 150 miles.
The population is a mix of Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Ukrainians, Serbs, Croats, Russians, Turks and Romas (Gypsies). About 89% of the people are ethnic Romanians which traces itself to Latin speaking Romans, who in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD conquered and settled among the ancient Dacian people. As a result, the Romanian language is a Romance language related to French and Italian with some Slavic and Turkish elements. The official language is Romanian with a smaller population speaking Hungarian and German. The majority of the people in Romania are Christian Orthodox. Romanian people are kind, generous, traditional, and strong. People
The Romanian land was inhabited in 200 BC by Dacia’s inhabitants, a Thracian tribe. During Burebista’s rule (82 – 44 BC) the first centralized state was founded. This state faced many conflicts with the Roman Empire, and it was conquered in 106 AD, by the Roman emperor Trajan. The land was ravaged by migratory people, and then up to 1541 Romanians were controlled by Turkey. Between the 10th and 12th centuries Romania was ruled by Hungarians. In 1600 there were three counties in Romania: Moldavia, Transylvania and Walachia. They were united under the rule of Michael the Brave but for a short time. Next the Austrians ruled Romania until 1775 and in 1812 they were occupied by the Russians. In 1848 there was a great revolution in order to win independence. Then in 1859 Alexander John Cuza succeeded to unite Moldavia and Walachia. In 1877 Romanians won their independence. Then Romania took part in the First World War and after that, in 1918, Alba Iulia Transylvania was officially added to the rest of Romania. In 1916 Romania joined World War I, and at the end of the war, the Austrian Hungarian and Russian empires disappeared and two other lands were added to Romania: Bessarabia and Bucovina. From 1938 to 1944 Romania was involved in World War II. During this time Romania was ruled by a king who was forced to leave his throne in 1940 out of political reasons. At the end of World War II, Transylvania belonged to Romania, but they lost part of Bucovina, Bessarabia and Dobrogea. The dark years started in Romania in 1967 and lasted until 1989 when the country was ruled by Nicolai Ceausescu. During that period Romania was a socialist republic and communism was the dominant force in the area. People suffered from hunger, cold and a lot of restrictions from multiple points of view. They didn’t have enough food or money and many people starved. Churches, homes and farms were demolished and they had to obey very strict rules.. In December 1989, on Christmas day, Nicolai Ceausescu and his wife were executed after a short trial. Now Romania has a democratic constitution and since 1989 it has been ruled by four different presidents. In 2002 Romania adhered to NATO and since 2007 Romania has been a member of the European Union. History
Culture People in the small towns and villages outside the cities have changed their lifestyle very little over the years. It is not uncommon that the villagers will use horse-drawn carriages as their main means of transport. Romanians are naturally hospitable people and always eager to share stories of their village with travellers or people passing by. You might even be invited into their home for a home-cooked traditional Romanian meal.The Romanian culture is very rich in tradition and folklore. The culture stems from the Dacians, who once occupied the area in the past, and among the Romans. Festivals feature brightly ornamented costumes with traditional dancing. Wood carvings, skillfully woven carpets, and pottery are some of the elements of traditional Romanian culture. Special folk arts of Romania are the decorated Easter eggs and painted glass. These items can be found in many markets and vendors near tourist attractions throughout the country.
Food The rich and tasty food in Romania is an influence of foreign settlers that have occupied the land in the past, such as Germans and Turks. These past influences have allowed Romania to create its own unique cuisine. Pork is the favorite main dish among most Romanians but you will also find great beef, lamb and chicken dishes. Seafood and fish dishes are typical of the Danube Delta. Most meals include soup which is a national specialty in Romania. Also a variety of delicious cakes can be found on special events and holidays. A few national dishes which you must try if you are in Romania are:COIRBA - A sour soup made from fermented bran, bacon, potatoes and beef or chicken.MITITEI (Pronounced Meech) - Minced Meat Rolls with aromatic herbs.TOCHITURA - A hearty meat stew seasoned with onions and/or spices.MAMALIGA - Made from cornmeal, a staple food that can be prepared in a variety of ways. A meal in Romania is not complete without a drink of the local spirit, Tuica, which is a plum brandy usually enjoyed before a meal along with some appetizers. It varies in strength, dryness and smell according to the region. But if you drink this, be careful because it is very strong. Romania also has some excellent wine and beer. Ursus, which means Bear, is one of the best beers.
Holidays Christmas In Romania, the Christmas holidays last three days, celebrated from December 25 to 27. Christmas celebrations are a combination of ancient rituals and Christian observances. Until the 19th century, Romanians celebrated Christmas and the New Year on December 25. Separate celebrations of Christmas and the New Year have evolved in modern times; however, New Year for Romanians is Little Christmas. Santa, according to Romanian legend, is the shepherd leader from Bethlehem who appears as a rich old man with a beard of snow. Easter Orthodox Romanians fast for six weeks before Easter. On Easter they traditionally eat feta, eggs, cheesecake and lamb along with other dishes. Coloring of eggs, symbolic of creation, includes special colors. The first egg colored is red for the children; it protects them from the evil one. The second egg colored is blue, symbolic of a young woman's love. The family members wash their faces with the third egg, boiled with fresh basil and a silver coin, on the first day of Easter, a ritual believed to bring health and beauty. Saints' Feast Days In the Romanian Orthodox religion, the feasts of various saints are celebrated For example, St. Nicholas' day, observed on December 6 is a holiday to which children look forward each year. St. Nicholas brings the children presents after they polish their shoes, which they leave in front of the door before going to bed. Romanians celebrate the feast day of the saint whose name they bear. For people without saint names, March 9 is the designated day of celebration. Holidays of the Seasons Orthodox Romanians also observe the ancient feast of the seasons. Martisor, celebrated on March 1, is the welcoming of spring. Women and girls wear red and white ribbons, symbolizing life and purity, with small charms or coins attached. Summer begins with Sinzienele; this Midsummer's Eve celebration involves young girls dancing like fairies, and a ritual, in which villagers ask for a good harvest. During Dragaica, the harvest holiday, the most beautiful girl in the village dresses in the fruit of the harvest and runs through the streets greeting people with the other village girls following her.
Attractions Castles and Palaces Romania is home to some of the most preserved medieval castles in the world. Such as Bran, Palace of Peles, Corvinti, Fagaras. Frescos The frescos of the painted monasteries in the north are among the most beautiful treasures of Romania. Set in the scenery of the surrounding mountains in villages known for their traditional way of life. Each fresco tells a different biblical story on its painted walls on the outside and inside of the monasteries, as well on the ceilings inside Fortified Saxon Churches of Transylvania German Saxons arrived in Transylvania playing a major role in the development of powerful strongholds and fortresses throughout the region.
Wooden Churches of Maramures Maramures is an amazing place full of history and tradition. This area is famous for its skillful wood carvers. As a result you will find unique structures such as houses and churches made out of wood. 8 of these monuments were listed in the UNESCO world heritage in 1999. Danube Delta The Danube River flows 1,788 miles from its springs in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea. Just before reaching the sea it forms the second largest and best preserved European deltas: 2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. The Danube Delta is a wildlife lover’s (especially a bird watcher’s) paradise.