Romania today. An open ending to this tale.
It’s been a while now since I started telling you the tale of my dear and beloved Romania and we are approaching the end of it. We reached the year of 1989. I was sleeping, eating and pooping on repeat. The usual stuff babies do when they are one year old. But outside, a revolution was taking place.
Disclaimer! This post is the author’s approach of storytelling Romania’s history. The analogies, metaphors and sarcasm are personal touches. All of the historical facts are based on thorough research and valid sources of information.
An event that would shape Romania’s future. An event that would bring change. And, well, not everyone was ready for change. When for forty years a group of people decides everything for you it’s rather difficult to think for yourself, as we concluded in the previous post.
Capitalism replaced Communism. This happened not slow and steady but with a loud chaotic bang. The massive factories collapsed. With that the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. First wave of massive migration. We joined NATO and the European Union. Hopes for stability and development crushed by the 2008 economic crisis. Second massive migration. Ongoing corruption and the loss of people’s trust in the government. But most unfortunately the loss of Romanians trust in themselves. In a nutshell that is what pretty much happened in the last thirty years.
Where do we stand today?
I believe we stand in a good place. Stripping away all the noise that the media and the politicians make, we are doing alright. Better than alright. It’s just that most people are stuck in that tunnel vision and cannot see the big picture.
I was one of them. And could not see anything good happening with my future in Romania. Because of the noise all I could focus on was the negative. I decided to leave, like so many other Romanians. And I did. Got an amazing job that provided me with a considerable higher income. And with the chance to travel the world. To see places I would never imagine I would get to see. I am one of the lucky ones who left, I am aware.
You see, travelling does something interesting to you. It takes you out of your comfort zone and removes your certainties about life. After five years of traveling around the world I took off my tunnel vision glasses.
I now know for sure, from my own experience, that my beloved Romania is a great place. I now know that the poverty we complain about is nothing compared to what I’ve seen in other places around the world. That corruption is “available” in the developed countries as well as it is at home. I know that living in a cosmopolitan city and having a big pay won’t make you happier. That having a life with nothing to worry about won’t bring you the peace and satisfaction you would expect.
Now more than ever I am ready to go back home.
Because now I can truly appreciate my Romania.
And for all my Romanians that think I talk crap, I challenge you to do the same. Go. Leave. Don’t listen to me or any others. Have your own opinion. But only after you’ve experienced it yourselves. Only then you can own it. Only then you would know.
The Tale of Romania
Let’s get back to the whole point of this posts series. The tale of Romania. It goes like this…
“Once upon a time the people of Dacia lived happy in their corner of paradise. Times got harsh only when the Romans came. They fought a bit but then decided to befriend because making love is sweeter than making war. And so the Romanians were born.
Over time three principalities emerged. Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia. Ruled by princes and princesses who made friends or not, pending on the case, with their neighbours. The Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire.
The people living in those three provinces had a dream that one day they will be united. And they would live in one country. But to make that dream reality they had to work hard. And sacrifice a lot.
It took them more than three centuries and two world wars to make that union happen. Along the way they made other friends or so called friends, that left a big mark on how Romania is today. Friends like the French or so called friends like the Russians.
We went from the rule of the Dacian kings to the rule of Prince Michael The Brave and Voivode Stephen the Great. We developed as a nation while being a kingdom with a line of kings born in Germany. Kings that loved their adoptive country more than their own. We had our spirits broken by forty years of oppression under the Communists.
But, against all the odds, here we are. Learning about democracy and what to do with freedom. Struggling with the ones who are in a way or another deeply marked by those forty years of communism; and who oppose, willingly or not, the changes that the twenty-first century brings.
But we are good. We are more than good. All we need to do is take a step back. Reassess. Value all the riches that we have. And get back to work.
And with that my dear readers, the tale ends. But only for a while. I hope one day I’ll have the pleasure to walk you down the cobbled streets of Transylvania’s cities. Hike together the Carpathians. Go back in time and slow down life in one of the much alive villages. Drink together some homemade moonshine and share stories till the crack of dawn.
And after that will happen, you will be part of this tale.”
Some personal thoughts and a big THANK YOU.
And this brings me to the end of this chapter. I have no idea if I’m a good storyteller or not? You tell me.
I want to assure you that I spent months reading and doing research, my main sources we’re Wikipedia, hence the multitude of links to their website. And the books of Lucian Boia, an esteemed Romanian historian.
I’ve chosen these two sources because I found them the most objective. It is hard to navigate through the multitude of information available now without siding with one part or another. Both Wikipedia and Mr. Boia’s books reflect information, a display of what happened.
The layer of emotions was added by me. As I have stated before the way I chose to storytell this tale was unconventional. The end goal was to make it more accessible.
For all you who did not manage to follow me to the end, no hard feelings. And for those who did, I thank you deeply. I am honored to have teached you a thing or two about my country. Hope you had a laugh along the way as well.
If you have any suggestions or comments about the Tale of Romania series please feel free to share them with me.