Due to an openly admitted work by another person hereby linked officially on this blog article that I found this morning, I also was informed that the selfsame article had been
concisely rendered into Romanian by Adevarul newspaper.
Quite frankly, I’ll say on the outset I am a little jealous. The one truly Romanian experience I’ll never get have is growing up here as a child and attending indoctrination classes down at the local school. So there’s not a thing I can add to that.
But quite frankly I almost have to laugh as I can hear some ministerial flunky sighing in relief down in Bucharest because they only have to print one version of all the textbooks. I promise you that’s it. Yes, there’s some racism involved but that’s barely tipping the scales. By far the heavyweight gorilla in the room is colossal inertia.
You can call it Communism or ex-Communism or maybe socialism or maybe some hybrid mix of that with some so-called capitalism but down at the heart of literally everything in Romanian culture is the juggernaut of inertia.
It’s really quite simple – people in Romania from west to east get the same textbook because that’s the easiest way to do it. There’s little chance that someone is going to volunteer to increase the budget and make everything as twice as complicated – and for what? So some fucking Szeklers can curse at you in better Romanian?
But here’s the real secret that nobody wants to admit. Everyone asks well why the fuck don’t the Hungarian politicians ever try to do anything about it if it’s such a big deal? The real answer is cold, hard cash. It’s not coming from the Romanian government but the Hungarian one. If you can speak Hungarian and can answer five questions the government of Hungary will be throwing money at you hand over fist.
They love it because of some complicated bullshit politics back at home in Magyaroszag that are way too lengthy to get into here. Suffice it to say, the people running the joint back there profit from having some Poor Widdle Magyars suffering away in some godforsaken country (Romania, in this case) so let’s pay them all kinds of money and bonuses so they stay loyal. So it’s great for the Magyar scumbag politicians when Romanian Hungarians get alienated from their Romanian neighbors. What’s the point of paying for them if they aren’t loyal to you?
There are nutbags in Hungary who drive for hours to come to Cluj-Napoca, put up some political ethnic propaganda shit and then get their asses arrested. For them it’s like being a rap star. See what I gave up for the Great Paprika Homeland?
Likewise there’s red-nosed old Romanian men who practically have a stroke when they see a Magyar. How dare that uppity Hungarian cross the street in front of me? They shiver and literally sometimes froth at the mouth. Pull up some speeches of Corneliu Vadim Tudor on Youtube and you’ll see examples which are perfectly understandable even if you don’t speak Romanian.
But I’m telling you all that’s a drop in the bucket. Nobody really has a motive to expend a tremendous amount of effort to change the textbooks, neither for the Hungarians nor for the Romanians. Some of those books are tremendously old and even when the paper is of more modern vintage the educational material inside of it is not. In other words, Romanian grammar and literature sucks for Romanians too, real deal “all the way” 100% Romanians.
Christ if I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to correct a Romanian’s grammar when they’re speaking Romanian, I’d be a hell of a lot richer than you’d guess, that’s for sure.
If you live in the city then you can probably find a way to jam in all of that insanely archaic way of teaching into your brain, incredibly mindblowingly out of date in some respects, just Xeroxing the same old pages and some of the same old thoughts. You might ask damn, Sam how can you be so harsh on the Romanian educational system when you just admitted that you’ve never gone through it yourself?
Good question. And the answer is just as Sherlock Holmes said, it was the dog that didn’t bark in the night that was curious. Open any newspaper. Search their archives. Look for stories and articles about grammar (elementary) schools. There’s a few negative stories but focus on the positive ones. What do you see? A few being built. Some getting funds from the EU or whatever. Some are renovated. Some win some award or competition. And some received equipment or things like computers. So what’s the dog that didn’t bark?
There’s never a word about updating curriculum. The teachers get the book and they teach it exactly the same as they did last year. Neither the parents nor the teachers have a damn thing to say about it. There’s a committee somewhere in Bucharest and they’re appointed by God knows who and nobody knows where to find them exactly and that’s who updates the curriculum. There’s no outrage and there’s no fuss.
Inertia, I’m telling you is the real culprit here. And that’s Romania. You can shout woulda, coulda, shoulda all day at them and they’ll just smile at you nicely for a minute and nod and then pull out their brand-new iPhone and pay more attention to it than you. It’s like those old racist cartoons where the darkie goes, “Yes, me understand.” It’s phonetical. It’s memorized. It’s handed down year after year barely ever changing at all to each and everyone. It’s inertia, I’m telling you.
And it sucks for everyone. It just might suck in a different way for different people, that’s all. It’s complicated and it’s hard and it’s sometimes excruciatingly boring but you memorize it once and then forget it and then you go back to watching Vocea Romaniei.