Monday, October 13, 2008

Images of Romania

Romania is seen abroad as a paradox country.
There are no gray shades but black and white (with larger black stripes).

We are known for our appetite for theft and sometime murder (see the cases in Italy and other countries in EU), for all the corruption on the country, for being dirty and lazy, for the high number of gypsies, bad roads, fierce maladies (Depardieu case), prostitutes.

Still there are some Places and people that might wash away partially the bad image we have.
As Anthony Bourdain noticed in his show "No Reservation" there are some unpolluted areas where people still live by the ancient traditions.

Why this big difference? One explanation was given by Dan Puric - a very gifted actor and lately one of the voices that are alerting us about our decline as a people - he explained that the communism in Romania produced an artificial selection in the fifties. The communists have eradicated most of the intellectuals of the epoch either by imprisoning them or sending them directly to death. They killed priests, officers, doctors, teachers... and replaced them with mediocrities that were governed only by fear, treason and servility. This new "elite" generated the actual monstrous society, the remains of this would be carried on for at list a half of century.

The simple men - the uncorrupted ones that somehow survived - are hardly visible. For them living in Romania is still a continuous struggle. After the losses they had during the communist era when they were expropriated and humiliated for their dignity, in those days they have been again transformed in victims as there is no clear action plan from the government to propose a long term development plan - therefore they have no certitude that their work would ever matter.
Having no certitudes they started to loose their motivation, sell the land and then leave or die... An along with them die the traditions and the rest of our individuality as a people.

Another one who pointed out the slow death of the Romanian culture is Grigore Lese. He has recently gave an interview for Radio Romania Cultural in that he described the alienation of our cultural heritage, the death of traditional music and the contamination of Romanian folklore.
He pointed out that the avalanche of "manele" music that were replacing the traditional songs is due also to the fact that the Romanians were alienated during the last 50 years.

Those two men - Grigore Lese and Dan Puric - although different in their speech are fighting for a common cause - the national cause of Romania. They are trying to create a dissociated image of what real Romanians are and how they live from the amorphous crowd of burglars and crooks that are making the nation ashamed.

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