South-Eastern Europe is the state of Romania. More than 20 million people live here. Unlike Bulgaria, its ancient kingdom was not there. The ancestors of the Romanians in the Middle Ages lived on the territory of three principalities: Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania. For centuries they fought among themselves, eventually falling under the Ottoman yoke.
An independent Romanian state appeared only in 1878, shortly before this principality of Moldavia and Wallachia united. In 1881, a kingdom appeared here. During the wars in the late XIX-early XX centuries, Romania constantly changed its borders. From 1948 to 1989 the country developed along the socialist path, but after the revolution it switched to democratic “western” rails.
In 2004, the state became a member of NATO, and since 2007 – a member of the EU. Romania is a multinational country with a rich history. They say that there used to live the Count of Dracula, and now there are some gypsies. I must say that we still perceive Romania through a series of myths. We will try to debunk them.
The name of Romania is closely related to the Roma.
It is said that the name of the country has a gypsy background, because it echoes the word “roma” (“man” in the Gypsy). However, the etymology of the word Romania is quite different. The name of the country comes from the Latin “romanus”, which means “Roman”.
The Romanian language has Romani roots.
Unlike most other Slavic languages in this region, Romanian has Romanic roots. He is close in origin to Spanish, French and Italian. The soil for this was born even during the occupation of this area by the Roman Empire. Tourists from Western Europe in the Romanian language meet a lot of familiar words and expressions.
Romania is a country of Gypsies.
This country has the largest ethnic group of Roma in Europe. But they are only 2.5% in Romania. Gypsies do not have their own state, they are scattered throughout the world. Until the middle of the 19th century, this people was enslaved by Hungarian and Romanian landlords. But even after the liberation of the Gypsies, they were still considered outcasts. And now there is some kind of discrimination. Successful Gypsies in Romania are few. Here, this people are treated particularly harshly. And because Romanians are often associated with Roma, citizens themselves prefer to distance themselves from Roma. Those engaged in rough work, live mainly in towns and urban ghettos. At the same time, it is impossible to meet Roma at resorts of the country, the probability of suffering from them is higher in large European cities than in Bucharest.
Romanian schools do not accept Roma children.
There is a national problem in that Roma children have a lower level of education than their peers. But the reasons lie in the marginal position of the people and in its poverty, and not in public policy. Access to education can be limited due to the fact that parents with children simply do not have any official documents. Without them, children can not take to school. Some gypsies were born abroad, not having birth certificates. The precarious situation of families leads to the fact that Roma children often drop out of school. The patriarchal ideas of the people belittle the role of women, believing that it does not need education. There are problems with prejudices, discrimination among teachers, parents, pupils. That is why the Ministry of Education of Romania issued a special resolution, which fights negative phenomena. But the problems are mainly caused by the way of life of the Roma themselves.
In Romania, once lived Count Dracula.
This character has become part of popular culture. And he appeared for the first time in the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker in 1897. It is believed that his writer created a vampire based on the image of a real historical person, Vlad Tepes (1431-1476), nicknamed Dracula (“dragon”). This man was once the ruler of Wallachia. He had a turbulent life, with exiles, internecine wars, executions and even charity.In time, historians discovered an anonymous document dating back to 1463, exposing the ruler’s extraordinary vampirism. Someone told how Vlad Tsepash executed hundreds of boyars, personally ripped open his belly to his mistress, ate the place of execution or battle, cut out the sexual organs of harlots. Historians doubt the veracity of these stories, but Vlad Tepesh became part of folk folklore, as a great monster. Bram Stoker himself heard legends about how the Lord of Wallachia became a vampire after death, or that his body was not found in the grave. So myths became the basis for the book.
Count Dracula lived in the Romanian castle Bran.
It is generally believed that in the ancient castle of Bran and lived Count Dracula. After the publication of the novel of the same name by Bram Stoker, Romanians were attracted to vampire trail seekers. On the border of Wallachia and Transylvania was found a Gothic high fortress of high cliff. She perfectly suited the pattern of the castle of Count Dracula. In the castle of Bran there were intricate labyrinths, galleries, secret rooms, high walls and narrow passages. In fact, this place with vampires has never been connected. The fortress was in the 14th-17th centuries a strictly defensive structure, and then it became the property of the royal family. She opened a museum of medieval interior. Folk legends say that Vlad Tepesh once stayed in Bran during the campaigns, he hunted in the neighborhood. But in the novel “Dracula” the count lived on the pass of Tihuta, between Moldova and Transylvania. But in that place there were no traces of the castle. For tourists, a stylized hotel was built there. The myth of the vampire castle Bran was confirmed by Coppola’s film, which allegedly was filmed in Bran. In fact, the situation was recreated in the pavilions of Hollywood. It is believed that when describing the interiors of Dracula Stoker based on the dark forms of the Bran Castle.
In Romania in cities, Soviet architecture.
The socialist era really did have a pretty strong impact on the appearance of cities. Nevertheless, many medieval structures can still be found here, especially in Transylvania. For example, Brasov will appear before the tourist city with stone walls and seven bastions. In the central part of the city there are many cathedrals and churches. Tourists are taken to the cities of Sighisoara, Fagaras, which preserved their medieval appearance.
Romania remained a pro-Russian country.
Socialism and craving for Russia quickly left Romania in the 1990s. Decades of friendship with the Soviet Union are in the past. At present, the country is closely integrated with the main European institutions. She is a member of the EU and NATO. Here it became comfortable to travel, in large cities in places there is also free Wi-Fi.
To enter Romania, you will need a national visa.
For a long time this stopped tourists from visiting Romania. And although this country can not fully enter the Schengen zone, she decided to follow a positive example. Since 2014, Romania has been allowed to enter the holders of double or multiple Schengen visas, where you can stay here for up to 90 days every six months.
Romania is an uneducated country.
In Romania, 97.6% of adults can read. The country takes part in at least 15 international student competitions. From there, 90% of the local representatives return home with medals. The bad news is that more and more Romanians go to study abroad, never coming back. And local employers themselves rely on practical experience, rather than on solid theoretical training of young specialists.
In Romania, ugly women.
The Romanians themselves do not think so, perhaps, at the expense of patriotism. But the desire to look good to local women prevents unwillingness to take care of themselves. Among the 13 south-eastern European countries, Romania took the penultimate place on personal spending on cosmetics and personal care products. Local women allocate for such needs only 32 euros per year.Can I look beautiful in the eyes of visitors, spending on cosmetics less than 3 euros per month?
Romania was once the breadbasket of Europe.
This myth appeared, thanks to the situation that arose in 1938. Then, due to bad weather, a global food crisis arose, there was not enough wheat in Europe. Romania exported three million tons of grain at a very high cost. That’s only the country gave up almost all of its wheat, itself in a crisis. In Romania, 700 kg of grain was collected per hectare, whereas in neighboring Bulgaria – 1440. Just there, the authorities proved rational and preferred not to earn their own people’s hunger.
In Romania, everyone knows Russian.
Russian local people do not understand, in English it will be possible to communicate in hotels. In local restaurants, foreigners can communicate with gestures.