Romanian Survival Book

February 13, 2008

Branding Romania

Filed under: Uncategorized — darian @ 11:00 pm

I have seen and read many, many articles, essays and opinions about ‘what is Romania’s brand?’ Is it ‘tzuica’? Maramures? Popular costumes? Polenta? Ceausescu? Nadia? Dracula? What it could be? Do we actually have a brand? Do we need one?

Thinking over this, especially recently, when our ‘brand’ appears to be corruption, shady politics, unwillingness to keep our promises, bad reputation abroad, I was thinking what -really! – are the good and funny parts, what defines us, Romanians.

As I have started this blog over an year ago, then I have abandoned for personal reasons, with the idea of finding what defines Romanians with the good, the bad and the ugly, maybe I should ask these questions again and let the people say their view. So, spread the word, please!

3 Questions:

1. What Romania means to you? Why?

2. What characterizes Romanians – the good, the bad and the ugly? And why?

3. How do you see the future of Romania and why? Political, social, economic, global, artistic/cultural- any perspective you fancy.

Thank you. If you also have relevant photos, don’t hesitate to send it over, I will mention the source.


PS: I would like to thank anyone who posted on this blog and left valuable/interesting comments in a polite manner. Even though I don’t answer, I read all of them. Also, to all of the magazines/people who recommended this blog or linked to it because they find it intriguing, without me asking anything and to those who wrote me encouraging emails and valuable feedback. I guess this is how it survived over an year of total pause.



  1. I have never posted anything before, but, I enjoy reading your blog. =) It is always good to get the perspective of another, no matter how much you agree or disagree. So, thank you, for having the cajones to publicize your own opinion and experience.

    1. What Romania means to you? Why?

    Romania means contradiction to me. In the rural areas – my favorite places – you find a completely different sort of person and lifestyle than in the major cities. It is perhaps the most… dizzying differences of lifestyle from person to person you will find in one country outside of perhaps China or India. Personally, I like this, because I am torn for the love of pre-industrialized values and methodology, but also for the gifts that industrialization has offered the world. The internet, for example. =)

    2. What characterizes Romanians – the good, the bad and the ugly? And why?

    Struggle, I think. More than any European country, I think Romania struggles; with corruption, with poverty, with self-identity and a sense of purpose.

    3. How do you see the future of Romania and why? Political, social, economic, global, artistic/cultural- any perspective you fancy.

    I see the future of Romania as being very good, especially with the Crisis of the West- the devaluation of their markets, loss of many fortunes with the weak stocks, etc. …. My friends in America and U.K. mention that many of their own financiers describe coming years as a depression. If that is so, it would force the West to rely more on foreign markets, as their own cannot be supported.

    Comment by Sam — February 17, 2008 @ 3:05 am | Reply

    • I see the future of Romania as being very good, especially with the Crisis of the West- the devaluation of their markets, loss of many fortunes with the weak stocks, etc. …. My friends in America and U.K. mention that many of their own financiers describe coming years as a depression. If that is so, it would force the West to rely more on foreign markets, as their own cannot be supported.

      BOLLOCKS!!!! There is a recession but nobody is so hard up that they cannot support themselves and have to look to other countries to support them. The only ones suffering is people like your friend’s financiers the greedy bastards in the banking system who caused this mess in the first place.

      The ordinary man and woman are not affected at all, prices are slightly higher but nothing we can cope with, our lives have not been changed and are not going to changed that much in the future. I live in the UK and so know what is happening.

      Comment by louis — September 25, 2009 @ 10:05 am | Reply

  2. I lived in Romania (Bucharest) for almost 10 years, and I have learned to love all things Romanian! But I think Romania’s quality ‘brand’ is the love, concern, friendship and hospitality of her people. If I miss anything, it’s that. I made so many wonderful friends, and those friendships continue (as best they can via various forms of technology!). We don’t have that kind of wonderful ‘brand’ in North America — it’s a closeness, a genuineness of relationship, between friends and within families, that I have not known anywhere else in the world.

    In my mind, that is what characterizes Romanians. If there was anything ‘ugly’ I would say it is the lack of faith/patriotism that Romanians have in their country and their determination to leave the country behind, with most never looking back. I DO understand why — and I have no idea how I would react had I been born and raised in Romania and lived all my life under such difficult conditions. Perhaps I would react in the same way, so I am not judging. But it breaks my heart to see so many young, intelligent, highly gifted men and women come to North America and get ‘lost in the shuffle’ over here, when their giftedness could be used to help re-build Romania. So many of the Romanians I have met over here don’t want to even talk about their country, and are not really happy to know that I once lived there. (It DOES bless my heart when I hear that some who have immigrated are now making the decision to return to Romania since it is on the upswing, economically).

    Regarding the future of Romania, I don’t know a lot about politics or economics, but if her people continue to maintain their integrity (those who DON’T have integrity are in the minority – they are the ones who make a lot of noise and get a lot of publicity), and their faith in God and in the ultimate goodness of their country, I believe the future is very bright. I’ve only been away from the country for 2 years, so on my next visit I expect to see many great changes, but if not — I will be thrilled to meet up with all my good Romanian friends again!

    Thanks for this blog — I was enjoying reading it and had missed it!

    Comment by kaybee — March 1, 2008 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you for writing. Please, continue.

    Comment by darian — March 4, 2008 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  4. Looking for mocinic recipes and found Kevin… Re your experiences with Romanian girl – could it be a lesson for you both? You sound as if you have been vaccinated by a grammaphone needle. Are you aware that all nationalities produce a horrible % of undesirables? Let’s face it you must know by now who you are. The Romanian women (both young and old) that enveloped my life are nothing but kind, loving and faithfull, I have not had the misfortune yet to know of an ugly natured one as you have. Maybe your business is to remain on your side of the fence and settle with one of your beautiful culture? Now, for those moaning re: badly behaved Romanian men – stop knocking yourselves out. I’m Greek, born in Romania, 60+, was married for 40+ years to a Greek whose life-long hobbies are womanising, gambling and cheating. Yet, the Greek men I know are family devotees, hard working with eyes down. Stop whinging and get a life.

    Comment by olivia — March 7, 2008 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  5. We need people like you….very nice.
    Continue please, you make a sense, at least to me…I don’t know how much it counts….but it will have an impact on the nation…or should I say Politicicins?
    Good Job….

    Comment by Michael Egorow — April 3, 2008 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

  6. great blog. i have visiteed Romania three times, one week each time. It is unbeleievable the diversity one can see, from mountains to plateaus and beach area, Maramures opposed to Bucharest, Transylvania opposed to Northern Dobrogea. Awesome. I predict great future for this nation, famous by Vlad Tepes and wines, Mamaia and Andreea Banica 🙂

    The Prince of Portugal, as they say…

    Comment by edgar prates — August 1, 2008 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  7. Romania is recovering from the difficulties of the past. It will take its time to recover but what really is typical from us Romanians is that we have a great energy and assume ourselves as a mix of latins, roma, slavic and balkan peoples. It is so diverse as it geographies – maybe Portugal is more clean and fresh, and realistically speaking Romania will not be so great in a near future but… we have wine, wild bears and princesses here!!!!!

    Comment by Ioana Florea — September 14, 2009 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

  8. Hello,

    I have been learning about Romania, and I love Romania now. I am from the states, and I talk to a young man there over e-mail. He is the most kindest person I know. I love Romania, and the people seem so sweat. I am going to help. I could never turn my back on such interesting, and lovely people.I have found them to be humble, hard working, and despite it all, they have wonderful personalities, and seem like a whole lot of fun. We should be taking lessons. Of all countries, Romania is my most favorite.

    from USA

    Comment by Heidi — February 4, 2010 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  9. In regards to the central question: “The good, the bad and the ugly”

    The good: We are smarter than thou. Stop, I don’t care who you are or where you come from, we are STILL smarter than thou! 😛
    We are far better manipulators than thou –> yes we will steal your soul and yet remarkably you will still believe we really
    trully love you.
    We are infinitely fascinating, and we both know it.

    The bad: ALL the “decision-makers”. Basically anyone with any kind of power/influence/etc., however miniscule, is probaly an evil corrupt
    bastard. Although, we did go from communist regime to simple incompetetnce, so maybe there’s hope…

    The ugly: Too numerous to count. Walk around downtown in any major city. You CAN’T miss it! If you did, through some miracle miss it,
    then you are beyond help.

    Comment by Andra — April 6, 2010 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  10. The Romanian Brand is its untouched landscape. I still find places where Romanians in 4 by 4s can’t go, and it is really fabulous! When people come to visit me, it is the hay meadows they come for – and the warm friendly people.

    Comment by Peter Fogarty — October 6, 2010 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

  11. 10 years ago I was confident that I can achieve something here, locally, in a normal and decent way.
    After 10 years of struggling and stress I’m wondering what I was thinking. I was very young and everything was related only to me. There is no way to provide a decent living for a family. We need two jobs, tons of vitamins and a day should have more than 24 hours. Logically, it’s impossible.

    I believe that Romania and Romanians are good and bad in an unmanaged manner. There is no beginning, content and ending to achieve some clear and predefined key goals. The overall plan is more like: we will do something about this and that. Very promising! Thus, there is no perspective and because of that, we want everything fast, right now and sometimes at any costs.

    We don’t really understand the loss of the 25 years of communism. After another 20 years we are still crippled by not being allowed to learn to walk again doing baby steps such as building an educational system for the next generation, having a good medical system, respect for the intellectuals.

    The communism was injected by Russia, but it was maintained by some of us, by those with no education, no moral values, without fear, mindless, people without discernment, perfect criminals.
    They are still here, in different forms at different levels, along with their highly educated children damaging any attempt of building a system.

    Shall I sacrifice everything including myself by fighting with these people? Shall I stay in this country for nothing waiting to get old and helpless? Or shall I leave this country having a lonely life and no particular rights somewhere in this world being blamed as Romanian? Honestly, I can try all of these without even a wink.

    Often and common Romanian exclamations: “There is nothing we can do here!”, “Laws are not for normal people!” which sounds more like M.J.’s song “They don’t care about us”. They really tried and they tried hard, but, again, as individuals, not all-as-one. There is no team concept whatsoever.
    We are struggling as individuals competing between each other for nothing, instead of having a strong partnership, a system.
    We forgot the vital meaning of having a common-sense, a mentality, a constructive and unforgiving attitude against everything that is wrong or average. But first, having some basic needs is a must.

    Without having those basic needs, nobody gives a damn thing on brands, politicians, economy nor culture. It’s about the perception of helplessness.
    Watching TV, reading newspapers and debating on those subjects is something that can be called drama entertainment on daily basis for the rest of our lives, rather than doing something about it, by just doing our small part and nothing more, even if is in vain, it’s a damn duty.

    People are not aware enough that, in present time, during this crisis, the National Bank and its regulations, along with the fact that we still have some productions, have a key role in our economy. All these valuable pieces of a small engine are very thin, fragile, relaying on people. It’s more important than politics, scandals and football, basically, than TV itself.

    Occasionally, we proved that we have some talents and skills, evidenced and proved by the survival. There is no program, interest or investment for these, except foreign ones. Now, I should be slapped because I’m talking about luxury.

    The future looks better, but with too much sacrifice (corruption, money laundry, taxes to cover the losses, life and people are exposed). Not worth it. Everything should be simpler and enjoyable for everyone at any age.

    Overall, we should have reasons to smile more often.

    Comment by mg — October 8, 2010 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  12. Coming from France, I live since august in Romania. To answer your question, one of my first surprise was to see that Romanians eat some polenta (just an Italian speciality for us). Dracula, mountains, Ceausescu, economical situation and Roms, that’s almost all what people in germany, France, Spain or britain seem to know about this wonderfull country !

    Comment by Michèle — November 12, 2010 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  13. Hy! Romanians have good writers.

    Comment by romanian books — February 14, 2012 @ 11:27 pm | Reply

  14. Romania is beautiful. Take the train from Bucharest to Bistrita in Transylvania or go to Lake Colibita and that is the impression. It is beautiful but befouled with garbage. These people are given a great gift of a beautiful piece of Earth and they befoul it. But it is true that (unbefouled) Brasov is the second most beautiful city in the world.

    Romanians are like my daughter-in-law in general: arrogant, ungrateful, dishonest, compassionless, self-centered, money-grubbing, hard-working, gossiping, mean-spirited, generous with gifts but only to get something in return, xenophobic, self-despising, prejudiced (especially against Roma), jealous (especially of Americans), dishonest (did I say that already?), unimaginative, hospitable, untrustworthy, materialistic, argumentative, unpatriotic, demanding, misogynistic, unethical control freaks. They hit their children and their animals and their wives. They will never help a fellow Romanian in another country unless there is something in it for themselves. There are exceptions. For example, unlike most other Romanians, my daughter-in-law is not a drunk and doesn’t love to sing and dance and dress immodestly. They give and take bribes and are corrupt in general. They are contemptuous of others and think it’s okay to moon people. They think nothing of betraying those who have helped them and are unforgiving when they think they have been slighted or passed over. Having no sense of reality and little sense of irony, they imagine themselves as pitiful — while at the same time as superior to all others, and yet not doing anything to help the poorest among them. They hate their neighbors passionately and love to inflame old grudges.

    I wish Romania would take back my daughter-in-law, but they don’t want her back either.

    Comment by Jenny Smith — July 10, 2013 @ 9:43 pm | Reply

  15. Please help im getting ready to date a romainain and im 44 he is 44 hes been here in america since 2009 im twisted and confused all he wants to talk about is dirty sex idk what to do

    Comment by Brat — March 9, 2016 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

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