Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Europe trivia - Romania

We don't have a Romanian member in our guild (yet?), but it would be boring to repeat trivia from the same countries again and again. When I was looking for inspiration, two of my colleagues who come from Romania gave it to me - so here you go.

Did you know?

- The name Romania actually comes from the word "Romans". The largest ethnic group in the country are the Romanians, but there are also lots of minorities like for example the Hungarians, the Roma, Germans, Ucrainians and others.

- In Romania animals that you can hardly find in other European regions anymore still exist in the wild, like brown bear, wolf, lynx and the bearded vulture.

- Marie of Edinburgh became a Romanian patriot after being declared queen in 1914 (due to WW I the coronation was delayed) and it is said that she ruled the country much more than her husband, Ferdinand I., did. "Romania needs a face, and I will be that face." Obviously she did a not so bad job at that, either.

- Nadia Comaneci was the first gymnast to score a 10,0 at the Olympics 1976 in Montréal, being only 14 at that time. The board showed only a 1,0 because it hadn't been set for two digits, the judges had thought it impossible someone would score that high.

- Admit it, you have already waited for this one. I guess most people connect Romania with him in the first place (I am not saying they should, but I can't leave him out, either). Meet Vlad the Impaler, called like that for his favorite torturing and executing method which was obviously not so uncommon in the 15th century. Many people saw him not so much as cruel emperor, but as saviour of the country. He is even more famous for inspiring Bram Stoker in his creating of Dracula. I still think I would not have liked to meet him in person!

- Romania also has a long crafting and art history. Best known are woodcarving, embroidering (on clothes, tablecloths and other fabrics) and creating Easter eggs that are as colorful, rich and artistic as the local costumes. Constantin Brancusi, an international renowned sculptor, created a monument in memory of Romanian civilians who in 1916 fought off German invasion. The ensemble consists of "Table of Silence", "Gate of the Kiss", and "Endless Column".

This post doesn't even scratch the surface of what there is to know about Romania, but maybe it has inspired you to have a closer look at some of its traditions and fascinating history. I know I got curious now!

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Audrey said...

That's very interesting! Usually all people know about Romania is that they have good gymnists. The bear is too cute!

Eddy G. said...

I learnt alot from your post. I really look forwards to reading these fasinating insights into other cultures.

Fru Babsan said...

Very interesting. Lots of stuff I didn't know before.