Quite frankly, what I saw happen all across Romania on December 1, 2018, made my heart hurt.
The Romania I fell in love with was never that militaristic, so hateful and angry all the time.
But there was one city in Romania that had a much different experience on December 1 last year.
The city and the surrounding area (also conveniently called Suceava) has a long and interesting history. It lies in the southern part of Bucovina, and its counterpart is Cernauti in northern Bucovina, also a very lovely place with an interesting history.
Steady at the Helm
Since 2004, the same man has been mayor of Suceava, Ion Lungu of the PNL party. During his time in office, he’s remained remarkably free of criminal taint or accusations of corruption.
Furthermore, the whole political system over there seems remarkably “clean” and well-organized. I mean, look at this article about a big “scandal” at the city council meeting last year.
What happened? Well, three citizens showed up at the meeting and thought they were going to get to address the council. When the meeting ended without the three being called upon to speak, the three guys started shouting.
That’s it. That’s the whole scandal. Three guys were shouting at a city council meeting.
And how did it all end?
The uproar was defused when the head of the local police, Ovidiu Doroftei, arrived and calmly spoke to the protesters. Doroftei explained to them that anyone who protested noisily would be removed from the building.
The men did not say what they wanted to tell the council, but they will probably come to a future meeting in order to air their grievances.
I mean, does that sound like anywhere else in Romania to you??
I love it.
Marching to a Different Drummer
And now let’s look at how Suceava celebrated December 1, 2018:
A little marching band to warm up the crowd on a winter’s day. My favorite is the person playing the cymbals!
Cops not wearing masks or dressed up like Nazi stormtroopers.
And I really love how the guy leading them is wearing glasses. Sweet.
Some kind of off-road golf cart thing?
A fire truck pulling a boat?
And that’s it. No tanks, no missile launchers, no goose-stepping masked riot cops, no snipers, no warplanes or helicopters flying overhead, no nothing.
Just a friendly, low-key parade that everyone got to enjoy :)