Le Monde Hearts Nicolae Guta

Do you speak French? I nearly laughed myself out of my seat on the plane last week to Bucharest when I read this:

Epoustouflant chanteur tsigane de Roumanie, Nicolae Gutsa épate par sa virtuosité vocale lorsqu’il se lance dans une course folle d’onomatopées rythmiques, telle celle ouvrant cette réédition d’un album.

In other words, Le Monde (one of France’s biggest newspapers) put out a list of their top 5 albums of the year and one of Nicolae Guta’s CDs – yes the Romanian manelist Nicolae Guta – came in as number four.

Clearly that was a shock to some Romanians. I’ll let Adevarul handle that:

Criticul il numeste pe Guta acest „uimitor cantaret tigan din România, care epateaza prin virtuozitatea sa vocala”.

„Ma bucur, dar am fost surprins”, a declarat pentru „Adevărul” Nicolae Guta, care a precizat ca sustine in Franta cinci-sase concerte pe an. Manelistul este bucuros ca muzica sa este apreciata in strainatate, dar, in primul rand, il entuziasmeaza lipsa prejudecatilor.

„In România, daca asculti manele, esti catalogat drept incult, tigan, fara scoala. Dar i-am vazut eu pe cei culti atunci cand se imbata: nu se distreaza decat pe manele. La noi e multa ipocrizie”, a spus Guta.

„Ar trebui sa ne mandrim cu manelele. Prostesti o mie de oameni, prostesti zece mii, dar nu prostesti milioane”, a adaugat el.


If you don’t speak Romanian (or French) I’m sorry. It would just take too long to translate the cultural contexts involved but I saw that article on the plane and I simply had to write about it here on the site.

Looks like I’m not the only one who likes Guta :P

In honor of his award and because I’m going to Spain here in a few days, plus I mean hello, Printesa Ardealului! I give you the following :D

Mai barbate, mai barbate
la ce m-am gandit azi noapte?
Sa vindem si noi un cal sa mergem pe litoral
si sa ne distram cu banii la Ibiza ca bastanii!

14 thoughts on “Le Monde Hearts Nicolae Guta

  1. I doubt those specimens can be called “real” Romanians. :P

    Anyway Sam, until Clau’s argument I did indeed feel you were more Romanian than me, at least. You saw more of this country than me, ate more of the specific cuisine, participated and attended in more customs and traditions than me, but these don’t necesarily make you more Romanian unless you understand them or feel them in the way we can. I’m not saying that most of us do feel that way or have been through your experiences, but there is always an innate and dormant potential of awakening….uhmm our Romanianness?…lets say patriotism. (not nationalism)
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that It’s not important if you were born here or not, you like manele or don’t like folkloric songs in general, but a real Romanian will always have at least one song that connects him to this land, “care il unge pe suflet” , makes him cry or shed a tear whether it’s because he understands the background of its writing, it refers to his birth place or an event, makes him happy, patriotic, etc.
    So do you have one Sam? :D Hope you do.

    Well I have a few, but here are the top 3:

    1. Asa-i romanul-Nicolae Furdui Iancu (it awakens that Romanianness i was talking about)

    2. Cantec despre Bucovina-GRIGORE LESE (reminds of my birth place and its history)

    3. Tu Ardeal-Veta Biris ( can’t really describe how this one makes me feel)

    I don’t know if this rant makes any sense but I do have to thank you for this blog and for making me realize how much I love my country.



    1. Check out “nu-i pamant ca ardealul” over there on the sidebar. There’s a particular line in there that moves me a lot “Daca el iti spune frate, frate-ti este pana la moarte”.

      The day after I got my very first hardcopy of the book, I went down to see a Romanian family I’ve known over 10 years, who have been unbelievably generous to me. And they told me directly I am a member of their family. It sounds cheesy to write it here in 2 little lines like this but they truly are my family here “pana la moarte”.

      I realize that it’s mostly a kind of happy song (and has a funny intro from Rabu) but that song moves me. I think if you look back over the history of this website you’ll see that the spark that started this all (my incident at the embassy) immediately kicked off that song into my head.

      Sorry to you and sorry to all if I mention manele too much but believe me, that’s just “party music”, something fun for crowds. When it comes to the songs that matter, the ones that touch my heart (in Romanian), they’re mentioned less often. I’ve put two Stefan Hrusca songs on here of late, and the one “Afara ninge linistit” is just breathtakingly gorgeous. I lived many years in countries with no snow and every year I find it a beautiful miracle when I see it fall here.


      1. Glad you do have a song that stirs your Romanianness, kind of foolish of me to doubt that you had one. :P
        Oh Yeah Rabă, funny guy. I miss that show he first appeared in, Stirile de Sambata Asta.

        You don’t need to apologise for mentioning manele once in while, for better or worse it’s part of our culture.

        About Hrusca, well it just depends on the ammount of “ler” you need. :))

        You passed all the tests, you just need too get your diploma.
        Any plans of geting Romanian citizenship? :P

        I’ll miss your posts this week, have fun in Spain! Happy New Year!


  2. What bothers me is that this guy Guta dresses himself in Romanian traditional costume as well as his co-singer,sings a traditional sounding tune from Banat and he has the nerve to call it “manea”.It is not the first time, and he is not the only one who does that.So no wonder foreigners get confused and can”t tell the difference presuming that what the Gypsies are singing is Romanian folklore.Now I understand Sam”s fascination with this Guta character.Poor Sam has yet to learn how to differentiate between genuine Romanian folklore and Gypsy style kitch re-make.I have the utmost respect for genuine Gypsy bands who respect their own culture,like the Taraf de haidouks and others like them.Merry Christmas Sam and hope that you will prove yourself more Romanian than us this year.As long as on your site,under the “Muzica populara” section names like Ioana Radu,Maria Tanase,Grigore Lese,Nicolae Furdui Iancu,Ioan Bocsa,Lucretia Ciobanu,to name just a few,will keep missing, yet the section is filled with “Jaga Jaga” and the likes I am not convinced that you really know what being Romanian really means.So until then you might be willing to change the title of your site to…”I am working on becoming more Romanian then you”.Sarbatori fericite mult noroc si sanatate,ca-i mai buna decat toate!


    1. Whoa, that scolding is ALMOST romanially righteous :D. But you’re not fooling anyone, real Romanians listen to GUTA and watch Taraf and Neptun.


  3. Speranţa Rădulescu mai spune că există şi posibilitatea în care „Le Monde” înfruntă, prin această nominalizare, poziţia controversată a preşedintelui francez Nicolas Sarkozy faţă de ţigani. „Cunoscându-i pe francezi, gestul lor poate fi interpretat şi ca o sfidare la adresa celui care a vorbit destul de rău despre ţiganii români”, crede Speranţa Rădulescu.

    Deci nu e chiar așa simplu ;)


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