When it comes to the culture of Romania most people will think first of folklore, and even Romanians sometimes tend to do so. Then again culture always means much more than just folklore, traditional costumes, fancy dances and some hand-painted Easter eggs. This for Romania-Central has opened a new section where resources on the culture of Romania will be posted and collected. This post is the start of the new series and a short introduction about the articles to come.

Of course, folklore has its place in every culture and the Romanian culture has especially rich folklore and traditions. But Romania has also a literature, famous writers and poets, musicians – both classic and popular. Romania has its own painters which contributed to modern European art, Romania has a very amazing cinematographic scene and famous sportsmen.

What makes Romania’s culture in particular interesting are the various influences Romania was exposed to during history and which had their impact. For a long time there were strong Slavic influences, as well as the impact of the Byzantine Empire, later on followed by the Ottoman Empire. However, the Romanian style was always unique. Later on, Western influences prevailed, especially France was an important cultural partner.

However, culture began to consolidate significantly after 19859 when Wallachia and Moldovia united. New universities were established in Bucharest and Iaşi. Several cultural establishments should follow.

Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu wrote his famous poems in these times, but also the works of the playwriter Caragiale or of novelist Ion Creanga happened to be written in this period. Meanwhile modern painting in Romania was established by Stefan Luchian and Nicolae Grigorescu, while Ciprian Porumbescu left a stock of some 250 works composed by him.

However, the so called golden age of Romanian culture came in the first half of the 20th century, which founds its end with the beginning of the communist period after WW II. Eugen Lovinescu wrote in this “golden age”, Lucian Blaga and George Calinescu contributed their works then, just as Liviu Rebreanu with his novel “Padurea spanzuratiilor”. Furthermore, Romanian philosophy began to format on a more consolidated level, with such outstanding persons like Nicolae Iorga, hos legacy comprises the impressive number of some 1,2500 books and 25,000 articles. Romanian music became known worldwide due to the composers George Enescu and Constantin Dimitrescu.

During the communist era culture in Romania was subject to heavy censorship. But many members of the Romanian cultural scene preferred exile anyhow. The important contributor to religious history and author of many successful novels, Mircea Eliade chose the USA, while philosopher Emile Cioran chose France, just as the playwriter Eugene Ionesco (born: Ionescu).

Contemporary and renowned writers are Mircea Cărtărescu (with his books being translated in several languages), Gabriel Liceanu or Horia-Roman Patapievici. Andrei Pleşu is likewise popular and Mircea Dinescu, the poet who proclaimed the fall of communism during the revolution in 1989 is to be mentioned, too.

Theatre has some famous actors (like Maia Morgenstern) and plays (like the interpretation of Faust by the National Theatre Radu Stanca, Sibiu). But it are films which are currently high appreciated among the critics. Films from the so called „new wave” of Romanian films were several times honored with awards: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu (2007) or the nominated film The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu by Cristi Puiu (2005) are good examples. Other films of this kind are California Dreamin’ by Cristian Nemescu (2007), The Way I Spent the End of the World by Cătălin Mitulescu (2006). A great success was Filantropica by Nae Caranfil(2002). Currently Nunta Muta by Horatiu Malaele seems to be well perceived.

Many other artists and works are to be mentioned. This for, Romania Central created a new category entirely dedicated to the Culture of Romania (less to the folklore however). In the next time we will subsequently fill this category with content. So stay tuned and subscribe to the RSS feed in order to get notifications about the updates. You may also follow our Twitter account.

Category : Articles / Culture of Romania

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