Romania (Romanian: România) is a country located in eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south. At 238,391 square kilometres (92,043 sq mi), Romania is the eighth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with 20,121,641 people (20 October 2011). Its capital and largest city is Bucharest – the sixth largest city in the EU. It is also a member of NATO.
Modern Romania was formed by the personal union of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859, and it gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. It expanded its territory after joining the Allies during World War I, gaining Bukovina, Bessarabia, and Transylvania. However, it lost Bessarabia and North Bukovina to the Soviet Union during World War II, attempted reoccupying it by allying with Nazi Germany and joining the Axis invasion of the USSR, and then got defeated and occupied by the USSR itself. It remained under a Communist satellite government until the Revolutions of 1989, which allowed it to transition to capitalism and liberal democracy.
- Because of its lack of geographical unity, Romania is a place full of contrasts.
- The Automobile Association, Foreign Touring Guide, p. 434, 1931
- Every time I come to Romania, I'm impressed again at just how much progress you've made. In a single generation your country has risen from tyranny to join the ranks of the world's free nations, the European Union, and the most powerful alliance in human history, the NATO alliance.
- Romania has made a remarkable journey from tyranny to freedom, from captive nation to NATO ally -- and it happened, it's happened in the space of a single generation.
- There is no timeless Romania, however. It is my view that the country's distinctive characteristics are to be explained by history and by the current social situation. Today's Romania does not much resemble yesterday's. Nor will the Romania of tomorrow be much like that of today.
- Lucian Boia, Romania: borderland of Europe (translated by James Christian Brown), p. 10, 2001
- The Romanian constitution of 1866 was simply an imitation of the Belgian one of 1833. This was a remarkable performance: Romania was an agrarian country of rural-patriarchal type, while Belgium was one of the most industrialized and bourgeois countries on the continent. Given all the constitutions available to choose from, the Romanians opted for the most advanced and liberal of them all!
- Lucian Boia, Romania: borderland of Europe (translated by James Christian Brown), p. 86, 2001
- We must make cleverness our national trait... Stop showing a sullen, frowning face and clenched fist to the West. Start making it feel compassion for us, and you'll see how fast Western boycotts change into magnanimity. Let's present Romania as a Latin island in the Slavic sea... Our millenia-old traditions of independence are now up against Moscow's political centrism... A pawn between two superpowers.
- Who was your geography teacher? Romania lies in Europe, in France...
- CIA chief (played by Bryan Jardine), Garcea și oltenii, 2001
- America knows that Romania's destiny lies in an undivided, democratic, peaceful Europe, where every nation is free, and every free nation is the partner of the United States. To all the people of Romania who love freedom so dearly: I come to Romania because of all you have already done. I come because I know what you still can do. I come because of all that we must do together to achieve your destiny in the family of freedom.
- The values that govern Romania today -- liberty, openness, tolerance, free markets -- these are values shared by the community of democracies Romania is joining.
- After I had told them about my country for so long, stories both true and imagined, my family and friends wanted to hear for themselves what the new story was. One day, I told everyone, we will all go to Romania to eat plums from apple trees, pears from poplars, honey from streams. Romania was more fairy tale than real place to them; but now a miracle had taken place, and the fairy tale had sprung to life.
- Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag, p. 54, 1991
- Situated at the very center of the ancient spice routes of the Orient, Romania was the golden apple that made everyone's mouth water, and consequently, everyone, the Goths, Visigoths, Huns, Slavs, Austrians, and Soviets, tried to swallow it whole. Amazingly enough, it survived the battering rams of a ceaselessly hostile history for hundreds of years until the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu began accomplishing in a few years what the combined horrors of numberless invaders were unable to.
- Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag, p. 165, 1991
- There is an untranslatable Romanian word that expresses with great precision the kind of unbearable longing and nostalgia that grips one's heart when thinking of home. That word is dor. I have felt it many times. Nostalgia for the medieval squares of Sibiu steeped in golden light, longing for the outdoor cafés of Bucharest, drinking new wine, all of us young, intoxicated with poetry and song. I missed the smells of flowering linden trees, the blue reflections of deep mountain snow in the evenings, the old peasant villages that Ceaușescu's insanity almost wiped off the face of the earth. I missed the real fairy tales I was raised on. The story of the waters of life and death, youth without age, the tale of the sheep Mioritza that recites the cosmic poetry of the sky, the story of the poplars that grew pears...
- Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag, p. 177, 1991
- In days too long ago now to remember, Romania was a breadbasket and among the largest corn producers in the world, and Bucharest was lush with fruits, vegetables and every delicacy.
- Driving through the Rumanian countryside I found was an unmixed pleasure. The landscape is very beautiful, and entirely unspoiled. The roads are either Roman and straight, or romantic and devious and narrow. There is little traffic, and one moves fast.
- Congress for Cultural Freedom, Encounter, volume 21, p. 96, 1963
- România este stat național, suveran și independent, unitar și indivizibil.
- Romania is a sovereign, independent, unitary and indivisible National State.
- Constitution of Romania, 2003 amended version
- Romania is a sovereign, independent, unitary and indivisible National State.
- Madam President, I was a student leader in Ireland 30 years ago and, inspired by the heroism of Romanian students and workers, I travelled to Bucharest and Timișoara and spent over a month there in the midst of those revolutionary days. I have to say that it was one of the most defining experiences of my youth to witness the overthrow of Ceaușescu's brutal totalitarian regime, an elite which enriched themselves at the expense of the population and developed a vicious secret police and state apparatus to do so. It was an absolutely incredible experience. To feel the hopes of the population for the future, for democracy, for a say in their lives and for a more stable economic experience was very humbling. But we have to be honest as well, because what did they get? In many ways they got much of the same elite in new clothes, combined also with a new elite – a new neoliberal elite – and many people have unresolved issues there. We have to ask why Romania has got the second biggest diaspora in the world, second only to Syria – five million driven out of that country. There is a lot of corruption still to tackle. So I stand continually in solidarity with those people. The revolution has not been completed there.
- Clare Daly, Commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Romanian revolution of December 1989 debate in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, December 16, 2019
- Romania is the only country in Europe between the two great regions of instability and uncertainty -- the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union. For the sake of ourselves and Europe we need to remain politically stable. We need NATO more than any other country in Europe.
- Once Caspian Sea oil starts flowing to Europe across the Black Sea, Romania's international-security profile will grow. Romania is no longer on the periphery of Europe. It is in the middle of a volatile new region between Europe and the Caspian.
- The subject of opening diplomatic relations with Roumania and Servia, now become independent sovereignties, is at present under consideration, and is the subject of diplomatic correspondence. There is a gratifying increase of trade with nearly all European and American countries, and it is believed that, with judicious action in regard to its development, it can and will be still more enhanced, and that American products and manufactures will find new and expanding markets.
- Of the Balkan states, Romania made the greatest advances. Food processing, with the emphasis on flour and sugar, was the major industry. At the beginning of the twentieth century the oil of the Ploești region began to be exploited. Nevertheless, the country remained predominantly agricultural. In 1914 only 1.5 percent of the national wealth was in industry; agricultural products accounted for 75.7 percent of the exports. Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece, of course, retained their strongly agrarian structures.
- Barbara Jelavich, History of the Balkans, Volume II: Twentieth Century, p. 21, 2006 
- In Romania, hitchhiking is not the daring means of travel it is in the United States. The shortage of cars and the collapse of the intercity bus system under the Draconian fuel rationing of the late dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, forged an informal, nationwide car-pool network. In the countryside, everyone hitches, including old ladies with shopping bags, and most drivers are obliging. Since I was intent on trekking some of the time, it was frustrating to have a car pull up even when I didn't have my finger out. The custom is to pay the driver about 10 percent of the taxi rate for the distance. But when drivers learned that I was an American journalist, they usually refused to take money. Off the beaten path, meeting a westerner is still a novel experience for Romanians. I was anxious for a ride up the pass, however, and was soon picked up by a man driving a Dacia, Romania's homemade car, which even by Communist standards is barely functional.
- Romania is a less extreme version of Egypt, with a mass of peasantry and a precocious consumer class that is limited mainly to a few districts of the capital. As my train entered Bucharest from the north, I saw miles of corrugated-metal squatter settlements as bad as many in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- Rumania's actual Latin origins are somewhat obscure, for the region was virtually lost to recorded history for a millennium between the end of Roman and the onset of Turkish dominion.
- Donald Kirk, Not So Liberal Rumania, p. 8, in Worldview Magazine (Carnegie Council), Volume 22, No. 4, April 1979
- To the foreigner who visits Rumania for the first time this country and its mixed population seems full of inexplicable and insoluble contradictions.
- C. Kormos, Rumania, British Survey Handbooks (Cambridge University Press), p. 1, 1944
- Greater Rumania was primarily an agricultural country, but its industry held an important place in the economy of South-Eastern Europe. With its fertile soil, great reserves of mineral resources and considerable water-power Rumania could have been one of the richest countries of Europe. But while the land was full of natural wealth the standard of living of the people remained a low one. Only a small part of Rumania's resources was exploited, and an even smaller part for the benefit of her inhabitants.
- C. Kormos, Rumania, British Survey Handbooks (Cambridge University Press), p. 52, 1944
- This so-called maverick policy of foreign policy has lured the United States into an unsavory courtship of Romania. Moreover, there is a great deal of evidence that this idea of Romanian foreign policy independence is more fiction than fact, more perception than reality, and should not be used to gloss over their tragic record on human rights.
- Jeri Laber, op-ed in the Washington Post, via Human rights in Romania and its implications for U.S. policy and most favored nation status, June 24, 1987
- At least 1 million people left Ukraine so far and have crossed our borders. And Romania has welcomed almost 150,000 people and provided them with food and shelter. Romanians have given such a moving example to the world. As the war started, Romanians were rushing in droves to the Vama Siret crossing point to welcome refugees with food, water, blankets and baby milk. People are opening their homes for families. They are organising collections and fund-raising on social media. Romania has really stepped up to welcome the refugees and I really thank you for that. But Romania is not only welcoming the refugees, it is also helping their neighbours, like Moldova. You provided electricity generators, for example, which is extremely important for Moldova. Romania provided medicines to Ukraine. You are a shining example of European solidarity and I really want to commend and thank you for that.
- For much of Rumania's charm is to be found in her mountains. Unforgettable is the first sight of the Carpathians, so thickly, richly wooded that, at a distance, it seems impossible that there could be roads or even paths piercing the greenness.
- May Mackintosh, Rumania, p. 15, 1963
- Indeed Rumania is full of song: the epic songs sung in country inns and roadside halts; ancient versions of the “walling-in sacrifice” and the Icarus myth; ballads of the Turkish occupation; the haiducks’ songs of revolt and battle; the slow, long-drawn out melody of the doina.
- May Mackintosh, Rumania, p. 85, 1963
- Maize and vine thrive wonderfully in Roumania, and even the fig-tree and the almond bear in the open air under favourable conditions. The soil is extremely fertile, so fertile, indeed, that it is almost impossible to come across a piece of hopelessly barren ground. Very rarely is it necessary to use any manure, which the peasants do not often know how to get rid of. It may be said that manure is valuable everywhere.
- J. W. Ozanne, Three Years in Roumania, p. 116, 1878
- Formerly, the whole of Bessarabia belonged, as I have already said, to Moldavia; and it was not until the year 1812 that it was unjustly ceded to Russia. The Czar would therefore have performed a graceful act had he given back the remainder of Bessarabia to his Roumanian friends. Instead, however, of behaving with generosity, or even with ordinary fairness, the Czar put in a claim for Roumanian Bessarabia in exchange for the useless Dobrudja. Never, it is commonly allowed, was perpetrated a deed of more flagrant ingratitude; and, to make matters worse, when the Roumanian Government refused the complimentary offer, a Russian army proceeded to occupy the country, extending its ramifications, as reinforcements arrived, in every conceivable direction. Roumania is now in the position of a woman who, having deserted her husband, is herself abandoned by the man with whom she eloped. Roumania has behaved very badly; it has offended against the public law of Europe; it has sinned against every principle of generous honour; and this is Russia's return. To what purpose was all this sacrifice of blood and treasure? It is all in vain. Better far to have joined with Turkey, as honesty, always the true policy, recommended, in expelling the intruder from its gates. Loudly do the Moldo-Wallachians now cry out against the perfidy of their quondam allies.
- J. W. Ozanne, Three Years in Roumania, pp. 223–224, 1878
- Romania, bridge between East and West, crossroads between Central and Eastern Europe, Romania, traditionally called by the beautiful title: "Garden of Mary", I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and of the Blessed Virgin. On the threshold of a new millennium, once again set your future firmly on the rock of the Gospel. With Christ's help you will play a leading role in a new season of enthusiasm and courage. You will be a prosperous nation, a fertile land of goodness, a united people and peacemakers.
- Rumania is "the land of the Romans," and the Rumanians proudly trace their ancestry to Trajan's Roman legionaries who settled Dacia, a Roman province roughly corresponding to modern Rumania, in the second century A.D.
- Mario Pei, The Story of Language, p. 62, 1949
- Rumania is essentially an agricultural country. The ores of the Carpathians are not utilised, for there are no roads which give access to them.
- Élisée Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants: Europe, Vol. I, p. 167, 1882
- Romania is isolated by mountains and a long history of dictatorships that began with the withdrawal of the Roman legions in the third century. Some 23 million people, 6 million more than the population of Texas, live on a land mass about one third the size of Texas. On every side Romania is surrounded by countries in turmoil—Bulgaria to the south, Yugoslavia to the west, Hungary to the northwest, and the Soviet Union to the north and northeast. Hardship is nothing new to Romania. It is as though time stopped after World War II. Factories are lit by skylights because there aren’t enough Romanian-standard forty-watt bulbs to go around. In one village a woman said that this was the first Easter in eighteen years that her family had had eggs. “We decorated them so beautifully,” she said, tears drenching her lined face. Poverty and squalor are everywhere, from the center of Bucharest, where many of the country’s 20,000 orphans live in horrific orphanages, to the countryside where gypsies and farmers travel in ox-drawn carts as if they have just stepped out of the fifteenth century.
- Bucharest was a constant irritant inside Comecon and the Warsaw Pact. Romania’s ambitious industrial plans remained in place. Ceaușescu also reinforced the collective-farm system. Like Khrushchëv earlier, he bulldozed villages and brought peasants together in new rural townships. The rationale for this was the zeal to bring concrete-slab, multi-storey buildings, tractors and electric light to the countryside. National pride was asserted and the Hungarian Autonomous Region was abolished. Opposition was vigorously suppressed by the security police. Ceaușescu was determined to secure his regime from internal subversion as well as external interference. What saved Romania from being invaded by its allies in the Warsaw Pact was its retention of the one-party, one-ideology communist state. Ceaușescu's friendliness to the powers of the West was irritating but not a casus belli. Adoption of party pluralism and capitalist economics would have been an entirely different matter.
- Robert Service, Comrades: A History of World Communism (2009)
- The legendary ballads and national songs of Roumania are almost unknown in Europe; they are scarcely more familiar to the higher classes of their native country; but the old superstitions and weird fantastic creeds—many of them of pagan origin—have been perpetuated and kept alive amongst the peasantry of the mountain districts, from whom they were, with long and patient research, at length collected in a chaplet of exquisite little poems by the native poet Alecsandri, who also published, a few years later, an admirable French translation.
- Mary Adelaide Walker, Untrodden Paths in Roumania, p. 33, 1888
- But the case of Roumania was far different. She knew with a terrible certainty that the moment she entered the war she would be the target for attack on a frontier over twelve hundred kilometres long. The world criticized her for remaining neutral, and yet one wonders how many countries would have staked their national future as Roumania did when she entered the war. In a short fourteen months she has seen more than one half of her army destroyed, her fertile plains pass into the hands of her enemies, and her great oil industry almost wiped out. Today her army, supported by Russians, is holding with difficulty hardly twenty per cent of what, before the war, was one of the most fertile and prosperous small kingdoms of Europe.
- Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
- Woodrow Wilson, 14 Points, 1918
- Life must go on and trust me
The world will change
The lights in the darkness will shine for the people in Russia
Europe will win, Perestroika from Poland to Romania
The lights in the darkness will shine
There's no reason to cry all day
Millions of people are dreaming to live like you
The better way
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