Romanian Tourist Attractions – Romanian Culture for kids

Romania is one of those countries that have it all: mountains, valleys, hills, shores, lowlands. You never get bored. Romanians themselves find their country a beauty of nature. And the tourists that visit Romania every year think so as well.

The Romanian mountains are known as the Carpathians. You’re probably thinking: what do these mountains have that’s so special? Well, besides the amazing view? Let’s see: lakes, waterfalls, natural reservations, mud volcanoes.These mud volcanoes basically spit out water with mud. Also, the Bucegi Mountains, part of the Carpathians, are well known for their ski slopes. But you can also have great adventures climbing these mountains in summer. There are even some interesting big shaped rocks called the Sphinx and “Babele” (which means old ladies in Romanian).

The Black Sea is also a tourist magnet. You’d definitely love to feel the sandy beaches under your feet. The water is great! You have 12 resorts where you can have all the fun in the world.

Just above the Black Sea, there is another wonder of nature: the Danube Delta. The Danube is a very important river. Before it flows in the Black Sea, the Danube forms a beautiful Delta. This place is full of beautiful fish, birds and water plants. It’s the perfect place to see together swans, pelicans, wild cats, raccoon dogs and many more.

If you’re a fan of monasteries and castles, Romania has them too. Monasteries can be found all over the country. And the castles are impressive. They give a glance at how kings used to live. There are now open to the public. But let’s not forget about the famous one: Count Dracula’s Castle. Apparently, Vlad Dracul never lived there. But that’s not that important. The castle is amazing and it’s considered one of the most beautiful castles in the world.

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Romanian Music – Romanian Culture for kids

Romanian

English

Ursuleţul Martinel

Martinel, the little bear,

A-nvăţat un cântecel

Learned a little song

şi îi place că-i uşor

And he sings it everywhere

Mor, mor, mor şi mor, mor, mor.

Roaring all day long.

Mămăruţă, ruţă,

Lady bug of my heart

Suie-mă-n căruţă,

Put me in the cart,

Şi mă du la vale,

Take me to the valley

Pe mâţă călare.

On the cat’s belly.

 


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Romanian Alphabet – Romanian Culture for kids

Romanian is the official language of Romania. To you, it may sound a bit strange. But come to think about it, all languages sound strange. Let’s check Romanian out!

Romanian has more letters than English. The English alphabet has 26 letters. The Romanian alphabet has 5 more. That means 31. Those are the letters that make Romanian sound strange.

Remember pizza? Yes, pizza! Won’t a slice be perfect right now? It would, but just say the word again. P-I-Z-Z-A. Notice the sound between the “pi” and the “a”? Those double z’s sound exactly like the Romanian letter “ţ”. Basically it’s a “t” with a little sign underneath it. It’s common in Romanian. And if you’re wondering, pizza in Romanian is spelled either pizza or piţa.

Moving on, we find another Romanian letter. It’s “ş”. Don’t worry, you know this letter, too. Trust me! Just say the name Sasha. Notice the sound of the “sh” letters. Say it again. That’s how the Romanian “ş” sounds. Like the first letter, “ş” is an “s” with the little sign underneath. See? It’s not that hard! Let’s see the other 3 left.

When you’re out of ideas and make a long “aaahhh” when you’re speaking? That’s the Romanian “ ă ”. Romanians also use it when they’re out of ideas. But not only then. It’s used in words, too. It would be too weird to have a letter just to make a sound.

Just two left! Actually, one. Yes, two is not one. But, in fact, those two letters are for the same sound. Those letters are “ î ” and “ â ”. The spaces are so you can see the “hat”, as the Romanians call it, that the letters have. It’s like a roof over the letters’ head. Like I said, they’re two letters for the same sound. The only difference is that, in writing, the “ î “ is used at the beginning or the end of the word. You’ll find the “ â ” only in the middle. It’s simple! Those extra 5 letters that the Romanian alphabet has are not that hard. You actually know 3 of them.

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Romanian Music – Romanian Culture for kids

Before finding out the wonders of traditional Romanian music, you have to know a thing. Romania has about 9 regions. Each region has its own music. Well, they’re not that different. But the instruments and the dances are specific.

First, traditional Romanian music doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard before. It’s not pop, rock, hip-hop or anything else that comes to your mind now. It’s intense and it talks about life’s ups and downs, about Romanian habits, about nature. There are traditional songs in which animals appear and talk. These are called ballads. You can hear traditional music at music festivals, weddings or in the countryside.Of course, traditional Romanian musicians use instruments like drums, guitars and violins. But you’ve heard of these. And you surely know the sound they make. Let’s get to the interesting ones.

Ever heard of wind instruments? If not, they’re instruments that you blow air into and sound comes out at the other end. This kind of instruments is often used in traditional Romanian Music. The taragot is one of them. Picture it like a long tube. Also, the “ţilinca” is a wind instrument used in traditional music. What’s that? Imagine a really long stick that has a hole in the middle, from the beginning until its end. This instrument is similar to the flute. The difference is that the flute has small round holes in it. Another wind instrument used in traditional Romanian music is the panpipe. A panpipe is made of several sticks with holes that look just like pipes glued together. Traditional Romanian musicians use them, but they also use instruments that are similar. No, I’m not talking about the bass guitar. I’m talking about the cobza and the zongora. These traditional Romanian instruments have strings, like a guitar. But the sounds they make are different from that of a guitar. The zongora is even held vertically. Add the accordion and the saxophone to all these, and you basically have an idea about traditional Romanian music.

Still, the best way is to listen to a song. You’ll know then what traditional music really means. Ask your mom or your dad to search some traditional Romanian songs on the Internet.

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Romanian Names – Romanian Culture for kids

Romanian kids usually have one or more names. But they only use one. For example, if a girl is called Maria Ioana (Maria Joan), her parents won’t ever call her MI (or MJ in English). Just Maria. You can usually tell if a name is for a girl because it ends in “a” in almost all of the cases.

Usually, kids are named after Romanian Orthodox saints. Names like Ioan (John) and Andrei (Andrew) are common among boys. As for girls, Maria and Elena are often given. Some girls have Dacian names like Andrada or Meda. Boys’ names like Traian or Octavian are Roman. Remember our history lesson about Romania. Yes, some names are that old.

If you were living in Romania, the boys’ names that you’d probably hear all around would be Ioan (John), Gheorghe (George), Constantin (Constantine), Vasile (Basil) or Alexandru (Alexander). Girls would probably respond to Maria, Elena, Ana or Ioana (Joan).

Learn Romanian for babies and children

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Romanian History – Romanian Culture for kids

Our journey begins a long time ago when Romania was known as Dacia. Tribes lived there, and their ruler was called Decebal. Still, they had a powerful enemy: the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire had plans for those tribes. It wanted to conquer them. After two big battles, the Roman Empire only managed to conquer a part of Dacia. And there the Romans found a home for many years. It was then when the Romanian language and people took birth.

After a period of time, barbarians wanted to conquer the land because of its treasures. The Romans left Dacia and so the territory got split. It stayed that way for a very long time. In time, the Romanian territories became three. They were called principalities and were named Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. This is where Vlad Dracul steps into the story. He became the ruler of Wallachia. He fought against the Ottoman Empire that wanted to conquer Wallachia. Vlad Dracul managed to keep the Empire away, but after his death, the threat remained.

It’s true: as principalities, Romanians had a lot of enemies. And then they had the idea: they had to be united. The first Romanian ruler who did that was Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave). It was for a short period of time though. He died and the Romanian principalities got split once again.

Many years passed. Romanians wanted to become one. However, there were many people who wanted them split. Why? Because split, they didn’t have so much power. But a brave Romanian ruler managed the impossible. He united two of the three principalities: Wallachia and Moldavia. His name: Alexandru Ioan Cuza (Alexander John Cuza). Romania was one step closer to turn into a true country.

World War I came and brought bad things with it. But it brought some good news for Romanians. After the war ended, Prince Carol I, part of the Hohenzollern royal family, united Transylvania with Romania. Finally, they were all united! And Carol I became king of Romania.

And this is how, after a long period of time, Romanians were able to live together. There were no more boundaries between them. Today, Romania is not a kingdom, like the Great Britain. It has a president, just like the United States. In the end, history teaches us that the best and easiest way to live is peacefully. When there is peace, children can learn and play, and history becomes just another story about each other.

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Interesting Facts About Romanian Culture – Romanian Culture for kids

Romania is a beautiful European country and it is a member of the European Union. Like any other country, it has its own history and its own culture. For example, did you know that Romanians have their own traditional Valentine’s Day? It’s called “Dragobete” in Romanian and is celebrated on February 24th. Girls usually receive snowdrops from boys. Another holiday loved by girls is celebrated on the 1st of March. It’s called “Mărţişor”, which actually means “little March”. On this day, girls receive little talismans that have a red and white string. They can wear it as a brooch for several days.

Romanian culture has plenty of fairytales that you’d love to hear. One of the greatest fairytales collectors was Petre Ispirescu. He gathered stories from elder people and rewrote them. That’s how these stories survived and children can still enjoy them to this day. Dragons, princes and princesses, places where people stay young forever, golden apples that need to be protected – all these are part of Romanian fairytales. The fight between good and evil is always present. But, don’t worry! Good always wins.

You’re probably wondering: what about Dracula? Well, Dracula is another great story. But that’s all. There are no such things as vampires and there never were. The idea took birth because of Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler), a Romanian ruler, also known as Vlad Dracul. Writer Bram Stoker thought it would be a great name for his vampire story. But we’ll learn more about Vlad Dracul later.

Great stories are not the only interesting thing from the Romanian culture. Writers, painters, sculptors, musical composers and actors made Romania an internationally known country.

And let’s not forget about food! Romanian food is diverse. It has salty, sweet, sour and spicy dishes. Romanians like to eat and they’re not afraid to use spices. However, food is prepared differently in various parts of the country. But you’ll definitely want to try the “sarmale”. It sounds strange, but actually it’s a combination of pork and beef, or just pork. The meat is then mixed with rice and wrapped in cabbage leaves.

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Famous Romanian Places to See

Famous places in Romania

 

The Danube Delta – has different lakes and marshes.  You can find here more than 300 species of birds and 45 species of fish.  It is the second largest delta from Europe.

 

Bran Castle -it is considered to be Dracula’s castle.  It is situated 30 km far from Brasov.  On Halloween so many American and British tourists visit this castle.  It is one of the most expensive estates in the world.

 

Peles Castle – one of the most beautiful castles from Europe.    It has more than 170 rooms, but only 10 can be visited by tourists.  The royal residence was built between 1875 and 1883.  King Carol I wanted so much to have a castle in castle in that picturesque landscape.  There are valuable collections of paintings, jewelry, sculptures, carpets, statues, gold and silver dishes in the castle.

 

Transfagarasanul – this is a road that climbs the Fagaras Mountains (the highest mountains from Romania – Moldoveanu peak 2544 metres).  The road has viaducts, tunnels.  You also have the chance to admire a glacial lake (Balea lake).  There are countless turns, therefore the average speed is maximum 40 km/hour.

Carpathian Mountains (Muntii Carpati)

 

Represent an extension of the Alps, but they exceed the length of the Alps.  They are divided in 4 groups: Western, Forests, Eastern and Southern.  They are also called the heart of Romania.  The landscape is magnificent: forests, rivers, wild animals, flowers.  You can also find unique shapes of rock.

 

Bucovina – represents a region in the North of Romania.  It is extremely appreciated by tourists for its monasteries: Sucevita, Moldovita, Voronet, Humor.  The offer of accommodation is varied: pensions, hotels and even rustic farmhouses.

 

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Romanian Values, Customs, and Habits

Romanian values

Family represents an important Romanian value.  In fact, Romania is a family-focused society.  Romanians appreciate the long term relations based on trust, respect and loyalty.  These are attributes they learn to appreciate early in their childhood.

 

Religion plays an important role in the life of the Romanian people.  Most of them are members of the Orthodox Church.  Their religion was suppressed for more than 20 years under communism (Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship).  Even so, the Romanian persons have not forgotten to pray and hope.

 

Identity 

Romanian persons are proud of their country, customs, history, national heritage and heroes.  They respect their past.  Even if some of them work outside the country, a part of Romania will always be with them.

 

8.Romanian customs and habits

 

Ignat – this habit is about sacrificing a pig on the Ignat day, on 20th of December. It is considered that in the night before, the pig dreams the knife that will sacrifice him.  Moreover, children at countryside are marked with a cross in their foreheads with blood from the pig to be healthy.

 

Noaptea Sfantului Andrei (Saint Andrew’s Night)

This is the Romanian Halloween.  On 30th of November, there is the night when the ghosts, spirits come to harass us.  In order to avoid this, the Romanian people use to put garlic at their doors and windows.

 

Sanzienele

Romanian people celebrate Sanzienele on June 24th.  It is celebrated nature and fecundity.  Sanzienele were some young girls who offered special powers to some flowers called sanziene.  These flowers protect our house from bad luck and evil.  The night before June 24th, the girls who want to get marry have to put sanziene flowers under their pillow.  They will dream their future husband.

 

Capra (The goat)

 

The Goat dance represents a New Year’s Eve custom.  The Goat dance is a full of vitality dance that symbolizes the death and rebirth of the Goat, the symbol of vegetation.  This dance is played with many masks.

A woodenhead goat is covered with fur.  Moreover, the inferior jaw has to “clatter”.  The cornels may come from a real animal or are generally made of wood.  They are decorated with ribbons, artificial and natural flowers.  The body of the goat is extremely colored.  It is made of carpets, furs, embroidered handkerchiefs.  The Goat does not come alone.  It is accompanied by 6 or 10 persons who dance: the shepherd, the gipsy, devils or doctors.  The Goat jumps, turns round, and bends.

 

The dance of the Goat expresses the best wishes for the New Year.

 

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How do you communicate in Romania?? – Nonverbal and Verbal communication of Romanian Culture

Romanian verbal and nonverbal communication

 

Greetings

 

Buna, Salut for the American Hello, Hi

Buna dimineata – Good Morning

Buna ziua – Hello in the middle of the day

-  Good afternoon, after the middle of the day

Buna seara- Good evening

Noapte buna- Good night

 

Romanian people are extremely friendly and expressive when they talk.  They are Latin, therefore they are not cold persons.  They are comfortable with hugs and kisses on the cheek when greeting or departing.  During conversations Romanian people use a lot of gestures, touch themselves on the arms, shoulders, hands and stand pretty closely to each other.  Hospitality characterizes the Romanian people.  They simply adore having guests.  Moreover, direct eye contact is appreciated in Romania.

 

Handshaking is the most popular form of greeting. When a Romanian man is introduced to a woman, he will probably kiss her hand.  Romanians smile every time they meet their friends or colleagues on the street.

 

It is not considered impolite to discuss with a person about politics, weight, income, or religion.

 

If you are going to pay a visit to a friend, it is common to offer a small gift: flowers (in odd number) or some chocolate.

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