hidden europe 12

Found in translation: Romania

by Nicky Gardner


Marin Sorescu died ten years ago. He was a poet who laughed in the face of adversity. It is something that Romanians do rather well.

From the hill villages of the Maramures to the remote fishing communities of the Danube delta, there is a buzz about Romania just now. Suddenly, on the eve of the country's entry into the European Union, Romania is in the news. Ramona Mitrica from the Romanian Cultural Centre in London hopes that her country's sudden visibility in the European media is more than just a flash in the pan. "I cannot help noticing that we Romanians have emerged as minor celebrities on the European scene," says Ramona. "I think we would prefer making some long-term friends in Europe, rather than just having our fifteen minutes of fame."

Ramona has a delicate understanding of the Romanian psyche. What EU membership might offer her country is still a matter for debate, but Ramona knows that Romanians will take whatever comes their way - and with a smile too.

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