Romania is a vivacious young girl

If Romania were my field of study at a university, my second doctoral thesis would definitely be entitled The historical trend of the nation of Romania’s depiction in visual space as a virginal maiden (my first thesis is a little less conventional lol).

Time and again, from all historical periods, there seems to be a universal consensus that Romania, as a country, is a “young, beautiful woman”.

Some countries (notably Germany) regularly get depicted as a stern, patriarchal figure while other countries (Russia comes to mind) are depicted as a beloved old grandmother but Romania somehow always come across as a sensual but virginal young woman even though literally every ruler of this country ever (save one) has been a man.

Again, no time for that today but here’s a tiny example, an old French propaganda poster from WW1 concerning the Treaty of Bucharest. The young woman is meant to be Romania.


Another example of this can be found in this absolutely delightful video now available on Youtube, where you’ll hear the announcer describe Romania as a “vivacious young girl”.

It’s from 1964 and part of British Pathe’s amazing and wonderful recent decision to put millions of hours of their historic footage online where everyone can more readily access them. The originals, in better quality and without the watermark, are still available for purchase on their website but the above video is simply priceless.

Romania went through a rather “open” period in the 60s when the controls and censorship over everyday life were quite relaxed. The fashions and technology you see in the video were almost identical to anything found in the USA or Britain at the time, which is quite remarkable considering what we (here in 2014) know about what happened afterwards.

It’s also worth it just to hear a British person actually pronounce Romanian place names correctly, or almost perfectly (for a foreigner), something that just doesn’t seem to exist any more. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve listened to someone tell me about how awesome “Brass-off” is, I’d be riding around in my gold-plated limousine by now.

All in all, worth it to see an unfettered slice of daily life of Romania half a century ago (jeez, where has the time flown to?).

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