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Showing posts from March, 2013

The Diaspora - An Interview With Andreea F.

Andrea is a very common name for girls in Romania, so it's not surprising that out of a handful of interviews we now have another Andrea sharing her story of emigration and life away from Romania. What is particularly interesting here is that Andrea emigrated as a toddler, so while she didn't grow up in Romania like most of those who emigrated to the West, she still feels the pull of her native homeland and is seriously considering moving back someday. Andrea is currently attending university in Ontario and studying for a degree in  Business Administration. 1. When did your family leave Romania? Where did you move? My parents left in 1997 (when I was three), and I followed seven months later in 1998. We first lived in Toronto, where we stayed for about five years. 2. Are you in touch with Romanian culture (language, traditions, holidays, etc.)? I would say "Hell yes" if I thought it was true; unfortunately I have to settle for a boring "I believe so...&q

The Diaspora - An Interview With Paul

Looks like these keep rolling in, and I'm grateful not only because it keeps the blog 'fed' with new material, but mostly because I get a lot of personal enjoyment out of reading the thoughts that my overseas compatriots have about the place I now call home. The strangest part of all this, believe it or not, is to play the part of interviewer. Five years ago, if you told me that I'd end up moving back to Romania, even temporarily, I would've said you're crazy. I had no such plans and if anybody asked me these questions I'd have said things that are very similar to what Eduard, Andrea, and now, Paul, are saying. Paul and I were teammates on the greatest Romanian indoor soccer team of all time, F.C Carpatini , but the after game Chilli bowls and Romanian banter was just as fun. Soccer unites all of us Romanians, even when we're so far from home, but -as Paul describes below - there's always more to it. 1. What year did you leave Romania and under

The Illusion of Corruption

Why is Romania the way it is? Why does Eastern Europe, in general, suffer from the same negative stereotypes for the last twenty years? This part of the world emits a strange sort of war-torn vibe to North Americans. A world of crumbling commie blocks where danger lurks around every corner in the form of gypsy pickpockets, mafiosos in black leather jackets, cold blooded femme fatales, disenfranchised youth itching to pick fights, and, of course, cops that are more criminal than the criminals. All of these shady characters lack any humour, chain smoke, and seemingly exist only to rip-off innocent tourists and burden their fellow citizens -who, by the way,  if they aren't of the former variety, are seen as some sort of victimized paupers incapable of rising above their circumstances. Only the truly adventurous dare to travel here. The mavericks. Call me a maverick. Call every Romanian, Bulgarian, Serb, and fellow Balkanite a maverick. We don't just travel here, we live here!