You know, I’ve already posted this picture, but it’s worth taking another look:
This is from a book officially produced by the Romanian government for its millions of citizens in the diaspora.
The book is entitled Traditions and Folk Sayings of the Romanian People and it is beautiful.
Here’s my translation of the screenshot above:
Famous for their love of dancing and singing, Romanians have for centuries practiced the “Sit Around” during the long winter nights of the Christmas season.
The “Sit Around” was, in reality, a way for the whole village to come together and for young bachelors to look for a bride.
Likewise, for the older members of the community, the “Sit Around” was a period to have fun and teach the youth traditional skills and learn how to transform work into something that’s a pleasure.
It’s really hard to translate the true feeling of the “Sit Around” in English because it references a time when there was no TV or internet, and the only way to pass the long, cold, winter nights was to talk and interact with your neighbors.
There was singing. There was dancing. There was drinking and making merry. And it brought everyone together in a way that was happy and light-hearted and fun.
That spirit, that’s what I miss and love most about Romanians, not all that ridiculous jackboot fascist crap or pigging out on food and binge shopping for Christmas.
That spirit of community and interpersonal love is still there in Romania’s spirit… but it’s in danger of being extinguished.
Here’s hoping that it never does…
You may have forgotten the true spirit of being Romanian, but I sure haven’t!