You may or may not experience some of the things shown in this video while living in or visiting Romania. I’ve seen many beautiful, strange, amazing, wonderful and combination of these things during my many visits to Romania. The land, people and culture of Romania have a special place in my heart. This is a commercial from Cosmote, one of the leading mobile service providers in Romania.[video:http://www.youtube.com/v/HkSVAeihar0]
Did you watch it carefully? There’s something about this video that invokes my love for Romania. It’s something unexplainable! I can’t say why I love Romania, but I just DO! If I had to think of a few reasons, the words character and life come to mind.
Romania and it’s people have character! So much of it. Understand that Romanian people are not of one ethnicity or culture. They have a diverse cultural heritage, which has developed over the years to form the Romanian Way, which you can get an idea of in the above video. It is a way that I have grown to love from the first time I visited Romania. I feel the Romanian peoples’ rise from the dross of the previous “dictatorship” style government is very similar to the the way South Africans (the people I was born amongst) have risen above the social conditions caused by apartheid. They, like the South Africans, are steadily established in a new era of social equality and progress for all.
I remember speaking with Maria, an ex-lawyer who runs a plăcintă shop, while she carefully pan fried the potato pancakes (plăcintă cu cartofi) that her mother kneaded and rolled. I would go over early in the mornings to watch those pancakes be made and to listen to stories from Maria which I barely understood with my limited Romanian language. Besides the pure wonder of biting into a warm plăcintă, I was more awed by the whole experience and by the warmth and character of Maria and her mother.
Once good fortune shone on me and I had the chance of playing basketball with some of the girls from the university team! It was just myself and one of our clients from Cuba, surrounded by girls! A somewhat challenging situation for most guys to remain focussed on the game!
We played for about 3 hours. Winter was approaching, the evening was very cold and my body was wet with perspiration and exertion. While walking back to the hotel I was staying in, I knew this was not good for the body to be out in the cold for so long. As soon as I got to my room, I soaked in the tub, but alas it was too late. The effects of the cold weather on a hot body had already wielded it’s cruel blow and I could see a very nasty cold coming along. I stumbled down to the restaurant where I had made good friends with the waiters.
After explaining to them why I looked so wretched, they invited me into the kitchen, which is where I was introduced to pure home made Romanian Pălincă (also known as ţuică)! Adrian, promised it would cure my condition. He poured about 1/4 glass of the elixir while the other waiters laughed suspiciously. Well after the first sip, I felt that it would not only cure my present condition, but all future prospects of any condition! The stuff was potent.
They looked surprised at my lack of facial expressions as I expertly maintained a straight face, while…enthusiastically taking another swig. I had passed the test and they said that I drink pălincă better than their grandmothers did, which means a lot by the way! The next morning I had only sore muscles and no signs of a cold! Pălincă is in fact a type of alcohol based medicine. It’s made from pure plum juice.
I saw the friend from Cuba only two weeks after as he was not so fortunate to have received the Pălincă remedy and had to stay in bed nursing himself with pharmaceuticals.
The majority of the Romanian people I met had life! A certain kind of powerful life force that enlightened their character, personalities and way of life. For this and many other reasons we are confident about offering our company’s services in Romania. The international student going to study in this country will receive more that just an academic education. They will receive the more profound wisdom that comes from direct experience with these vibrant people, land and culture.
It’s important for international students to have a positive and adventurous perspective of life. An international student cannot go to another land and live amongst an entirely different culture, and expect the new environment to accommodate them. It works the other way around. One must learn to adapt to the new environment and seek the beauty it has to offer. Focus on the beautiful and positive things around you and you will attract more of these into your life. The same truth applies to the opposite. What are you going to focus on?