Back home I didn’t give much thought about my nationality. I was celebrating 1stof December and I used to be kind of proud of my nation. In the rest of the year I was only complaining about the system and each time I was hearing something that Romanians are doing and all the international press was writing about I was angry. Angry that our nation is pointed with the view of a single person, that our nation was day by day criticized. When the movie “Romanians are coming” was online I was simply disturb by it. But let me begin with the start.
I was proud with the city I came from, even if a lot of Romanians think badly about my city. I left my hometown at 18 and moved in the big city, Bucharest – the capital. I am born in the north of Romania, in a region called Moldova. We have a different accent and people make fun of it. Beside this, the population is more rural than urban: this means that a lot of people are living in villages and those villages resume to agriculture work. The people from that region are known as alcohol drinkers – most of them do their booze at home, even my parents do wine and “rachiu” (an alcohol drink maybe from plums). There’s also a joke about my city: “If the world end comes we should move in Botosani, because it is behind with 100 years!”. In my first day at university we gathered like 10 in the metro. And one guy says: “The Moldavians are so stupid!” A colleague says “She is from Moldova”. He looks at me and says “Not all the Moldavians, especially the ones from Botosani!” I looked at him and I say “I am from Botosani” and, after this, all my student years he annoyed me with a lot of questions regarding my hometown “How many cars are registered in your city? But how many caravans?” and so on. And he was from a village!! I didn’t mind. That’s his way of showing how smart he is. I had to “fight” for my hometown, to show that they are wrong, that even if it’s a poor city it produces good people. I was proud because from my hometown a lot of Romanian important person were: our national poet, two great composers, mathematicians, painters, historians and so on. I had to live in a world in which everybody was telling the worst things about it and I was full of all the jokes that were made based on my city.
At another level the same is happening now. The picture changed: back then I was defending my hometown in the front of other Romanians who were feeling smarter only because of their birthplace. Now I need to defend my country. Not for others, for me. I am so tired in hiding my roots. I am so tired to be ashamed when somebody is asking me from where I am. And above all, I am so tired to feel guilty because of others from my country. We have a wise saying “In the forest you will find green and dryness” and with it we try to feel a little bit better. But it’s not working when in the international press you read only of the bad Romanians: I read about the Romanians that stolen or killed, I read about the Romanians that live on the streets. And when I read about my country I read only about the worst villages in it, never about the good stuffs, never about the nice places to visit, only about the cheap, dirty and full of uneducated Romania. This is the image. This is what they know, but I know something else. Myself and other Romanians, we know how our country is. We have an old tradition and it is not modern: this is why it’s old – it can’t be old and modern in the same time. We still kill pigs in our backyards before Christmas, we still have the WC in the back of our garden, we still have caravans and we go to land work with them. We still have a cow which is milked each evening. Yes, when you wander in the world, you think that your country is not the same, but isn’t this normal? In our quick evolution we think that things are solved over the night. That if in one country a lot of people afford a trip in Caribbean islands this should be normal for all the countries. But guess what? We are different in culture and education, we have different value scales and we tend for different things. Because some of us had to work really hard to have a good life: in some countries you are simply born with it. This doesn’t work for many of us. Many Romanians are poor, they are trying hard to go to school and change their life.
I am so tired thinking about all of this, that I don’t have logic in what I am saying. I am so tired to be judged because one of my conational did something wrong. How can you fight this? How can you change a world perception? When something good is happening nobody wants to know about it. And all the good deeds are erased by a pickpocket in London.