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Life in Romania

15 Apr

People in Serbia asked me many times "How is to live in Romania? How are the people there?" Almost the same questions asked me people here about Serbians. From my experience, I can say there are no differences in mentality between the two nations, just the individual differences. Although my neighbors think that Serbians are more happy in general :confused: I tend not to judge people on what nation they belong to.

MyO friend Darko gave me an idea to write about life in Romania after the revolution 1989 (visit here for some pictures), which led to the end of the communist regime in Romania.

In 1947, the communists forced King Michael I to abdicate and leave the country, and proclaimed Romania a people's republic. In 1948, the state began to nationalize private firms, and to collectivize agriculture the following year. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, the Communist government established a reign of terror, carried out mainly through the Securitate (the new secret police). During this time they launched several campaigns to eliminate "enemies of the state", in which numerous individuals were killed or imprisoned for arbitrary political or economic reasons.

In 1965, Nicolae Ceauşescu came to power and started to pursue independent policies such as being the only Warsaw Pact country to condemn the Soviet led 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. He eventually initiated a project of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing policies that impoverished Romanians and exhausted the Romanian economy, while also greatly extending the authority of the police state, and imposing a cult of personality. These led to a dramatic decrease in Ceauşescu's popularity and culminated in his overthrow and execution in 1989.

Some Romanians, mostly elderly people, think that life before the revolution was better. Some of their arguments are: young married couples receive an apartment from the state, graduates students got a job, education was free, health care was free.

But people didn't have a freedom of talk, people didn't have freedom to travel, only in some communist countries. There were restrictions on food, on electricity and on heating. Television was only a few hours per day. People couldn't own foreign currency. After the revolution Romanians won freedom, to speak freely, to travel, study or work abroad and to choose their president in democratic elections.

From 2000 onwards, the Romanian economy was transformed into one of relative macroeconomic stability, characterized by high growth, low unemployment and declining inflation. Romania's integration into the European Union in 2007 had a significant influence on domestic politics of the country. As part of this process, Romania has initiated reforms, including judicial reform, has increased judicial cooperation with other member states and has taken steps against corruption.

Well, I think corruption is still a problem. Agriculture employs about 29% of the population (one of the highest rates in Europe). Romania is a large producer of many agricultural products and is currently expanding its forestry and fishery industries.

I realized that this is pretty wide topic and I can't include the all aspects of it, all things that had changed. You can ask me things that I didn't mention and I will try to answer it. I tried to look on things objectively as I didn't live in Romania before the revolution.

Although not all the promises are fulfilled and many people are still not satisfied with the situation in the country I would say that in general the life in Romania had changed in better.

In conclusion, the main achievements of the revolution are:
– abolition of a one-party leadership
– freedom of press, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement, which means respecting "human rights and fundamental freedoms"
– right of access to informations
– right to a better life for all citizens of Romania
– free and democratic elections
– right to free enterprise

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12 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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12 responses to “Life in Romania

  1. thetomster

    April 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    🙂 Mira, that's a good ne … finally something about a country that is know so little about n the rest of Europe, especially in the Western part.I think this revolution is a great achievement, and I really hope that people in Romania will go for this as a part of Europe :up:

     
  2. gdare

    April 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I remember Romania that I visited before revolution. It was in 1982., I was 13 and we went to Semenik mountain to ski. People in Resica that we saw were poor, their clothes in bad condition, cheap; offered a lot of things for a chewing gum or pair of jeans; I was too young to understand, but I remember someone told me they were just hungry – for food, for better life… They looked exactly like the most of people in Serbia looked like during 90s…Thanks for this post. Romania today is probably the most powerful state in Balkan. I am glad Romanians live better life now. They deserved it 🙂

     
  3. AnitaMargita

    April 17, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Mira, thanks for sharing this information about Romania. Glad to hear people there live better nowdays. :up:

     
  4. WinterForLady

    April 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    @Dirk- Thank you :happy: I'm glad to present you some things you may not know about Romania.@Darko- That's sad how people were poor back then. And frustrated because on the TV they could see grocery stores full of food, but in reality people were waiting in lines for some basic ingredients.Originally posted by gdare:

    Thanks for this post.

    You are welcome 🙂 @Anchi- You are welcome :happy: Still much needs to be done, but it's better now.

     
  5. qlue

    April 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    An old saying in English is;"The more things change, the more they stay the same"meaning that many changes are superficial. Changing a law or a policy on paper doesn't alway make a difference in reality. But sometims we do win! :yes:.

     
  6. WinterForLady

    April 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    @Mad Scientist- Originally posted by qlue:

    Changing a law or a policy on paper doesn't alway make a difference in reality.

    I agree 🙂 And it depends on what people gain political power. Are they honest, moral and will they fight for a better life for everyone.

     
  7. thaodp

    April 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for your informative post, Mira. I enjoy reading a lot.

     
  8. WinterForLady

    April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    You are welcome, Mit. I'm glad you like it :happy:

     
  9. thaodp

    April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    :happy: it's like to visit to a new place, Mira. I hadn't heard much about Romani before – just know the name, I think.

     
  10. studio41

    April 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

    " realized that this is pretty wide topic and I can't include the all aspects of it" you did an excellent job explaining much of Romanian 'current' history- thank you, Mira.you articulate very well.

     
  11. WinterForLady

    April 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    @Mit- Now you have a MyO friend from Romania 🙂 @Jill- Thank you very much :happy:

     
  12. studio41

    April 24, 2010 at 8:04 am

    very welcome, my dear friend.

     

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