Romania, a Latin island in a Slavic sea

Military Parade in front of Romanian Parliament Palace

Romania’s Map, Geography, and Infrastructure

LOCATION

Romania is vibrant latin country located in South Eastern part of Europe, down by the Black Sea.

Romania's location in Europe

5 NEIGHBORS, 3 MAIN PROVINCES (UNOFFICIAL), 41 COUNTIES (OFFICIAL)

Romania is split in three unofficial provinces: Transilvania (the green one), Moldova (the red one), and Valachia (the blue one).

Officialy Romania is split into 41 counties, each with its own municipality (usually the largest city in the county will be its municipality, akin to a county capital).

Also our neighbor on the East side, Moldova, and Bukovina in the North (now part of Ukraine) used to be part of Romania and people living there still speak Romanian.

Neighbors, regions, counties

REGIONS ARE SPLIT INTO SUBREGIONS (OLD STYLE)

If you are a stickler about historical accuracy, Romania is divided into more than three regions.

Also what is considered now Republic Of Moldova, it was called Basarabia when it used to be part of Romania.

Each region has its own cultural specific when it comes to folk music and traditional costume, linguistic accent, and so on.

From a larger perspective, the differences are minute and noticeable only to a Romanian person. Someone from Moldova would be as much different from someone from Oltenia, as is someone from Burgundy different from someone from Bordeaux. Either way, just like in any country, people love to point out their differences.

Subregions

REGIONS ARE SPLIT INTO SUBREGIONS (NEW STYLE)

If you are not a stickler about historical accuracy, you can get away with a simpler way of delimiting the provinces. This is the most common and contemporary delimitation of Romanian provinces and cultural regions.

Regions

STATS

POPULATION 21,666,000 people living currently on Romania’s territory

AREA 92.043 square miles or 238,400 square kilometers

CURRENCY New Romanian Leu (RON). As of September 2016, this is the latest conversion rate.

  • 4.45 RON per 1 Euro
  • 3.96 RON per 1 US Dollar
  • 5.15 RON per 1 British Pound
The Tricolor

The Tricolor

NATIONAL DAY December 1st 1918 (Bucharest, the current capital, Alba Iulia, the city where all the Romanian provinces were united for the first time in 1601, Timisoara, the city where the 1989 Revolution started, are hosting impressive military parades)

NATIONAL FLAG The Tricolor (More Info)

FRENEMIES the Hungarians (a frenemy is a friend you love to hate and in this context it means Romanians have a lot of jokes about Hungarians, just like Swedes joke about Norwegians)

ROMANIAN VOCABULARY ORIGINS AND INFLUENCES

As you can see Romanian language is a romantic language with words borrowed from Slavic languages (mainly Russian), German, Greek, remnants from Dacian/Thracian language (before Roman Empire decided to conquer Dacia), Hungarian, Turkish, etc.

The origin and influences of Romanian vocabulary

  • Romanic (latin, French, Italian)
  • Slavic
  • German
  • Greek
  • Dacian/Thracian
  • Hungarian, Turkish, English, Unknown origins

LANGUAGE EXAMPLES

 Romanian pantaloni inger
 French pantalon ange
 Spanish pantalones ángel
 Portuguese calças anjo
 Italian pantaloni angelo
 English pants angel

POLITICS

ROYALTY UNTIL 1947

Romanian Royal Family

King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania, exiled in 1947

COMMUNISM UNTIL 1989

Nicolae Ceausescu

Nicolae Ceausescu

DEMOCRACY AFTER 1989

Typical Romanian politician after 1989

Typical Romanian politician after 1989

ECONOMY

MINIMUM WAGE PER MONTH (gross): 233 euro/263 USD
AVERAGE WAGE PER MONTH (gross): 463 euros/522 USD

RELIGION

Romania is the second most religious country in Europe after Macedonia according to Huffington Post.

  • 92% Christian (the most religious country in Europe)
    • 81% Eastern Orthodox
    • 4.3% Roman Catholic
    • 3.3 Greek Catholic
  • 64,000 Muslism (small community down by Black Sea)
  • 2,500 Jewish
  • 21,000 Atheist
  • 19,000 not identifying with any religion

NOTABLE HOLIDAYS

Mucenici

Mucenici (it means little saints and it’s served on March 9th)

March 1st: first day of spring
March 8th: womens/mothers day
March 9th: 40 saints (pastries in the shape of number eight and dipped in honey and shredded walnuts are served on this day)

Labor Day: May 1st
National Day: December 1st
All religious holidays (Easter, Christmas, St Maria, St Constantine & Elena, and so on)
Sundays (it is sacrilege to do laundry on Sunday or any other important religious holidays)
Name day is a big thing and friends and family are expected to call you on your name day to catch up and wish you the best. For instance if you name is Elena, your name day is St Constantine & Elena on May 21st.

WORST ABOUT ROMANIA

  • Bad infrastructure (thanks to streets filled of pot holes, reduced speed limits and cops eager to fine you if you go 1 kilometer over the speed limit)
  • No unity among Romanians (they are not very good at that thing called “community”; this is quite evident when you are an expat and want to connect with “your people”)
  • Corrupt politicians (no words can describe how corrupt and vile they are)
  • Expected to bribe everywhere and everyone (this is a remnant from the communist times when people were bribing in order to gain access to quality goods and services; smaller salaries don’t help either)
  • How they view and treat stray animals

Daniela Popescu

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