Dear Romania

Protest night 02 in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017

My dear country Romania,

I am writing this letter because I feel I owe it to you. I want people to know how beautiful and kind you are, always offering so much. Yes, you have your problems, and maybe you are not the richest, the most evolved, or famous for the right reasons, but who doesn’t have issues? Nobody is perfect, and that is what makes you special.

You’ve been through so much, through wars and communism, you’ve been run by crazy government leaders who started to export all of your treasures and import from others, thinking they are better, underestimating you. Why did they do that? Why are they cutting down your forests and selling them to your neighbours? Why are all the good people leaving you for money? Why are your leaders corrupt?

I wish you could have a say in all of this, but we, your people, are your voice, and we can be loud and clear.

We finally had too much and, as a country, we fought together to overrule the law decriminalising corruption that the prime minister and the cabinet had implemented. The act essentially said that as long as a member of government, parliament or the state steals less than $47,000, this is no longer punishable to the same degree as it had been previously. Ridiculous, right?

How long do they think they can manipulate, fool and distract us? 45,000 people from my city, Cluj- Napoca, took to the streets and made it clear TO THE GOVERNMENT that it is no longer possible to do what they want. And 250,000 protesters from Bucharest did the same thing, along with people from many other cities in Romania.

The best part of it is that everything went peacefully throughout the weeks of the largest demonstrations that had ever taken place in Romania; protesters replaced violence with creativity, and I think that says a lot about us, about you Romania.

Protest night in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017

It has been said that you don’t develop fast enough, that we, your people, don’t evolve as we should, that we are a backward country in the European Union. And maybe this is true, maybe we don’t fit where we are expected to, but we have a voice and we know how to use it and when to use it.

We know how to say, this is what we want for our community, for our country and for our future. In 2013, when the prime minister tried to pass a law that would have made it possible for foreign companies to carry out mining in the mountains of Romania, we stopped that project. When the same individual tried to steal the presidential election by denying the opportunity to vote to many thousands of Romanians abroad by cutting short the opening hours for polling stations, we erupted again.

I am most proud of you, Romania, because you know how to stand up for your values, and nobody can argue with that.

Protest night 02 in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017

I hope that everybody who reads this letter can feel your energy and spirit and understand you better, maybe even empathise with you. But I can’t say goodbye without also revealing your “physical” part. And I am talking about your amazing landscapes that you sometimes reveal only to us, your people.

I admire how well you have preserved your traditions, making it impossible for me to call any other place home.

Varatec, Romania, August 2016

And here I began my trip to find out your secrets, Romania.

Bigar is one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world, and one of the most beautiful. According to The World Geography, there are a number of facts that place it number one on the list of eight unique waterfalls around the world. It is exactly located on the 45th parallel north, at the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole.

The Endless Column – Constantin Brincus, Targu Jiu, Romania, July 2015

The sculpture symbolises the concept of infinity and the infinite sacrifice of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I. The ensemble is considered to be one of the greatest works of  outdoor sculpture in the twentieth century, a great work of modern art.

Decebalus, the last king of Dacia who fought against the Roman emperors to preserve the independence of his country, which corresponded to modern Romania. It took 10 years for the 12 sculptures to be completed. It is located on the Danube River, at the Iron Gates, which forms the border between Romania and Serbia.

So here we are. I hope I managed to capture a tiny part of you and present it to the world through my eyes and my purest feelings as a Romanian. I wish people could see you as I do, as an undiscovered treasure.

With love,

Carina

Credits

Image Title Author License
Protest night in Cluj-Napoca, 19th January 2017 Protest night in Cluj-Napoca, 19th January 2017 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Protest night in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017 Protest night in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Protest night 02 in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017 Protest night 02 in Cluj-Napoca, February 2017 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Varatec, Romania, August 2016 Varatec, Romania, August 2016 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Piatra Neamt, Romania, August 2015 Piatra Neamt, Romania, August 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Cluj, Romania, March 2015 Cluj, Romania, March 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Bigar Waterfall, Romania, July 2015 Bigar Waterfall, Romania, July 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
The Endless Column – Constantin Brincus, Targu Jiu, Romania, July 2015 The Endless Column – Constantin Brincus, Targu Jiu, Romania, July 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Corvin Castle, Hunedoara, Romania, July 2015 Corvin Castle, Hunedoara, Romania, July 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
The Danube, Orsova, Romania, July 2015 The Danube, Orsova, Romania, July 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Rock sculpture of Decebalus, Orsova, Romania, July 2015 Rock sculpture of Decebalus, Orsova, Romania, July 2015 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Black sea, Vama Veche, Romania, August 2016 Black sea, Vama Veche, Romania, August 2016 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0
Rosia, Bihor, Romania, February 2017 Rosia, Bihor, Romania, February 2017 Carina Toma CC BY-SA 4.0