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"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 cafes 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 Miorița that recites the cosmic poetry of the sky, the story of the poplars that grew pears..."
Andrei Codrescu

Romania (Romanian: România), a member of The European Union, is a Eastern European country of 20 million people and one of the only two Latin countries that are Orthodox Christian, the other one being its close relative Moldova.

It's had quite a troubled past, with large chunks of its history being about resisting encroaching foreign powers for as long as possible before the inevitable failure, even larger chunks about the struggle to carve a place for itself while surrounded by larger countries like Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottoman Empire, all slathered in heavy doses of being the Butt-Monkey of Eastern Europe and occasional moments of Yank the Dog's Chain. The modern country formed through the union of its two constitutent states, Moldova (Moldavia) and Wallachia, in 1859.

Romania's entry into World War I mostly came about under pressure from the Allies and promises that they could annex Transylvania from Hungary. It proved to be a disaster, with the Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians and Ottomans all ganging up on a poorly organised army and forcing it to retreat up to Moldova, where they held together for a few more years before finally capitulating after the Bolsheviks pulled Russia out of the war. As part of the Peace of Bucharest of March 1918, Romania was reduced to a vassal state occupied by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria, had several of its territories yanked away again and would have a German monopoly on oil exports for 99 years. Said peace treaty was never completely ratified because King Ferdinand refused to sign it, and Romania re-entered the war one day before the armistice with Germany was signed and well after the military forces of the Central Powers had been thrashed on the Western Fronts. The Allies eventually kept their word, giving Transylvania to Romania (but Romania had to twist their hand a bit by starting a Curb Stomp War with Hungary in 1919 and occupying and plundering it for about a year or so, and then milking some abusive armistice terms, not to mention the fact that the majority of the population in Transylvania were actually Romanians and had voted for a union with Romania), which had also regained the Romanian-dominated area (Moldova between the Prut and Dniester rivers) in the meantime. Greater Romania was born.


Greater Romania lasted between 1919-1940 and is generally regarded as Romania's one period of Glory Days in history, when its culture was flourishing, reforms were implemented to address social ills, the economy was doing well and Bucharest was legitimately called "The Paris of the East" - it's okay as long as you don't mind the worrying popularity of far-right groups (like the Iron Guard) or anti-Semitism. Unsurprisingly, it did not last. Thanks to the rank incompetence and authoritarianism of King Carol II, Romania had its constitution suspended in 1938 and fell under a dictatorship led by Ion Antonescu, was forced into World War Two on the Axis' side before defecting to the Allied side in August 1944 after a coup led by the opposition and King Michael. For all their trouble, all Romanians got out of it was Meet the New Boss: the Soviet Union imposed a Stalinist regime on the country and even took away the areas of the country beyond the Prut, in essence creating Romania's modern borders. They however were generous enough to recognise Romania's ownership of Transylvania.


Once the 1946 elections were thoroughly frauded to make the Communist Party win note , the King was deposed and thrown out and the parties banned, Stalinism took over - it's a reasonable claim to argue that Romania had one of the worst regimes in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, which lasted for only two leaders. The first, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (1948-1965), presided over horrible repression, the nationalisation of industry, the violent collectivisation of agriculture, the institution of the Five-Year Plans, the construction of the Danube-Black Sea Canal (which involved dissidents being worked to death) and the foundation of the infamous secret police Securitate ("Security"), all with appropriately Stalinist zeal. The next was Nicolae Ceaușescu, who initially seemed like an improvement, presiding over a period of cultural thawing, improved relations with the West, and gaining immense popularity from denouncing the Warsaw Pact's invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

All this ended after he came back from a tour of North Korea and China in 1971 and published the "July theses". From then on, he managed to be even worse than Dej, and is routinely credited for destroying the country thanks to his subsequent policies. In detail: He started a personality cult that was egregious even by Warsaw Pact standards. In 1966, he presided over a policy of enforcing population growth (as in, five children per mother, abortion and contraception completely banned, guaranteed maternity leave and childcare support) that produced many unwanted children, who ended up in orphanages often described as "gulags for children". He destroyed a whole lot of old buildings in Bucharest (already battered by the 1977 earthquake) and other cities as part of a "systematization" policy which saw them replaced with depressing, Stalinist eyesore apartment blocks. And having already showed his complete incompetence at economic matters, then he decided to export everything to pay off Romania's foreign debts, leading to rationing, shortages, and starvation for the rest of the population. Unsurprisingly, even with the heavy-handed dictatorship and secret police, the terrible conditions caused revolts, in 1977 in the Jiu Valley and 1987 in Brașov.

The Romanian version of the Hole in Flag revolutions was the only one that got seriously violent. Then again, the Ceaușescu regime was one of the most unpleasant in the Warsaw Pact — a place where the locking of dissidents in insane asylums was standard practice. While this makes Romania probably the worst of the post-Stalin Soviet Bloc countries, ironically Ceaușescu at first had gained some popularity in the West, on both the left and the right, for his independent foreign policy and challenging the authority of the Soviet Union. This, however, had more to do with him admiring himself more than the respective Soviet leaders than with being a good human.

The Revolution saw 1,104 deaths, with Ceaușescu and his wife receiving a machine-gunning, on camera, as a Christmas present. It too counts as a Meet the New Boss, since in the entire chaos the second rung of the Communist Party ended up in power. It is wise to try to steer clear of this subject, since there's so many unknowns and suspicious details going around that it's a prime source of conspiracy theories — where the USA has Who Shot JFK?, Romania has What Really Happened In 1989? and What The Hell Was Up With The Mineriad? note .

Romania has many long-standing problems, one of them being nasty orphanages. This had to do with Ceaușescu wanting to boost the Romanian population by all means, even if this involved many mothers not being able to care for so many unwanted kids, abandoning them instead, so they ended up in... right. And we haven't even gone into the chaotic post-dictatorship situation, the Mineriads, the inefficient education system, a shrinking population (with many Romanians leaving the country for elsewhere in the EU), the painful transition to capitalism, the income inequality and poverty problems, the severe corruption and plain incompetent governments...

That said, they do have what some motoring enthusiasts have described as the greatest driving-road and some of the fastest Internet speeds...

... the world.

Used to have a long enmity with Hungary, especially over Transylvania (a bit more on this historical conflict on the Hungary page), but that's mostly boiled over by now and the two countries get along well enough. Usually at any rate; average citizens from the two countries may still dislike/hate the residents of the other country. And one of the continuing grievances involves the region of Transylvania.

Transylvania, setting for Dracula, is in Romania - now. It also initially belonged to Romania, before it was transferred to Hungary, then Romania claimed it again at the end of World War One, and it has always been an ethnically mixed country (there is a serious unresolved - on an international level - debate going on about that though, regarding who was there first - science has pretty much said it was likely Romanians, not that it matters anyhow): despite some 400 years of efforts from Hungarian, and later Austro-Hungarian authorities, a good chunk of it has been settled down by Romanians at least since the Turkish Wars; despite some 50 years of best efforts from the Commies, the Hungarian "Szeklers" are still there; they currently form an ethnic majority in the counties of Covasna and Harghita (where they form 85% of the population) and are a significant presence in Mureș and other counties, causing some hand-wringing and Misplaced Nationalism over minority rights (you better not bring up the question of language rights). Traditionally, the south was inhabited by Germans who had come to the Mongol-ravaged land in the Middle Ages, but they mostly packed up and left after the war or were bought the privilege to leave - one of Ceaușescu's brilliant ideas was to sell off Germans and Jews to West Germany and Israel. There is a still a larger-than-average German minority, German in high-schools, and German names on some road signs. Bram Stoker's Dracula was a Szekler, but its inspiration, the "real" Dracula, was Romanian, although, ironically, not a Transylvanian at all: he was from Wallachia, the southern third of the country.

In other words, when someone tries to do a gritty adaptation of Count Dracula, the vampire who terrorized London before being ultimately put down by a Dutch doctor, and has him speaking Romanian to up the realism, they're wrong—he should be speaking Hungarian. If they were making a film about Vlad III Dracula, Wallachian prince and freedom fighter also known as "The Impaler", then he ought to be speaking Romanian.

Fun fact: Romania can be pretty much described as the Mexico of Eastern Europe. Both have long and complex relations with oppressive surrounding powers, both had a rough time in the eighties, both pretty much opened to the world once the nineties began (Romania with the fall of communism, Mexico with the NAFTA), both have spent a long time amidst war and rebellion, both have large diasporas living in Western Europe and the United States, respectively. And both have an unhealthy obsession with maize.note 

The national anthem, incidentally, is impressive.

Romania and popular culture (not to be confused with the below section).

Romania has now mostly nationalistic archives from before WWII, and after the commies took over the television and there was only one station - TVR1. It served as a propaganda tool, as well as a form of keeping the masses in line. Being closed off from all western television and radio stations (and "pirate" radio stations would give their own western propaganda, rather than talk about trends, stars, etc of the western side), otherwise respected Romanian actors and singers would "inspire greatly" from western movies and music (as to where, if someone without a Nostalgia Filter and who knows now western and Romanian "oldies" songs alike, would notice between 50% and 90% have the same tune. Seriously). Original creations include Sergiu Nicolaescu's historical movies about Romania in just about every stage of its history (it'd fit with the commie nationalistic propaganda), a comedy series called BD ("The Diverse Brigate"), and others.

By 1985-1989, at the tail end of Ceaușescu's "pay off debt by starving the population" phase, the entire network's runtime had been reduced to two hours, containing mostly patriotic songs. The people were not amused. People could still watch foreign stations with make-shift (or very expensive, depending on the case) "black market" parabolic antennas. For the worst of those, they could see Russian, Moldovan and Bulgarian stations. For the best, they could tune to French ones.

After the fall of Communism in the '90s, television tried to grow, but unfortunately TVR was the only available option and still in the grasp of the Neo-Communists that had come to power. One of the first (free, private) stations was Tele7ABC, but the first mainstream television station to hold its ground as leader even today was Pro TV, created in 1995.

Film rights and airing were scarce, but televisions tried. While the copyright law made it fair game (now, in 2010, in Moldova, there are still reports of movies being aired directly from downloaded from the internet by national stations), we didn't really need the problems. On the other hand, television ratings were nonexistent until the 2000s (even 2005). This implied anything short of porn could be aired all day or all night (there were attempts to forbid porn as "violating public morals" or whatever) - 16+ horrors at 8 o'clock, etc, if you can imagine it, it was aired whenever they liked it. This was partly due to the authorities' fear that they'd be accused of limiting the "freedom of the press" (while stealing everything there was to steal left from the old regime), and coincided with the country's "Wild West / Aggressive Capitalism" period, where almost anything, however legal, semi-legal or illegal it was, was mostly fair game (short of stealing from someone's house: steal millions of dollars from a bank, split up the profit with the country's rulership, profit; you steal an apple from someone's house, 5 years jail, no discussion).

For the first ten years after the revolution, the film industry was basically dead (it relied for 40 years from state sponsorship; now with the country revitalizing its economy, that was one of the least of the priorities). It didn't help that funds for new films were gobbled up by the same Sergiu Nicolaescu, while copyright commissions gobbled up artists' money rights. This didn't stop the music industry from flourishing though, as a song was cheap to make and record, the first years everyone relied on radio to be transmitted (yes, the same TVR corporation ruling it, and bribes to be aired were not unheard of, and if the national radio station didn't air your song, "you didn't exist" and could hardly sell your albums), and with the introduction of videoclips, half-naked underaged girls to sing high-pitched forgettable songs were not hard to find.

Romania's industry has gone down in recent years, although it was built on innovation. One such innovation is that in 1877 Romania produced the world's first oil refinery, extracting and processing oil. Oil later become the driving force of the Industrial Age.

Currently Romania's film industry adapted to the system, that is artsy films with very little resources. The most recent notable film is 4 luni, 3 săptămâni și 2 zile, better known in English as 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

Romania has a certain talent for computers and programming. You'd be surprised to know that the second most spoken language in Microsoft is Romanian. Also, due to the higher-than-average concentration of network engineers and programmers it also has fastest download speeds and second-fastest Internet on the planet, right behind South Korea. Internet access is generally dirt cheap.

Also to note is the adaptability of Romania to technology and new challenges. One 16th November 2000, Romania won the International Bridge Championship on the Internet, Bridge being considered one of the most difficult card games.

In sports, Romania is well-known for its gymnasts, many of whom were the products of infamously rough training. The most famous is Nadia Comăneci, who earned the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics competition at the 1976 Olympics, effectively redefining the sport.

Romania is also known as the earliest godfather of baseball. Going back to 14th century, they invented the crude unrefined baseball of its time known only as "Oina".

Romania's ancestor "Dacia" was a huge rival for the Roman Empire at the time. It is said that when the great king of Dacians, "Burebista" could up to arms an army of 100,000 during the hight of its power making the Romans suspiciously

Romania is known to be a big fan of space travel. It is even counted as one of the few countries in the world that managed to put a man in space. Dumitru Prunariu is the first Romanian to reach space with the USSR space flight programe Soiuz 40 in 1981. Officially he became the 103rd person to reach space. In fact Romanian has been an active participant each year in International contests for plans for space programs especially from the young youth who are heavily inspired. It has always received a very respectable place in the top 5.

This interest for space seems to have been carried with them because in 2022, Romania is participating in a European space contest with an experimental green fuel flight system named Eco Rocket. Basically, it is a 2 stage rocket for delivering small and medium scale satellites into space using 2 types of propulsion: a water based propulsion system to secure a boost and normal rocket fuel to secure the flight into orbit. It's more eco friendly because if successful it will use less fuel than normal rockets, and it can be reusable. The flight is meant to take place is early in the second half of 2022 and if successful it will mean that Romania will be the second country in the European Union, next to France, to launch its own satellite in space. Pretty interesting for being a deadlast in EU's eyes.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Revolution of 89. Romania has slowly been turning into a hub for modern entertainment and international entertainment. For example, a lot of the movies in the country are not dubbed in Romanian but just subbed in Romanian. This has led to a lot of openness to outside entertainment from both Western entertainment to Eastern entertainment. So much so that Romania is the country that hosts the yearly Eastern European Comic Con in the Romexpo gallery in Bucharest. It is a hub of Eastern Europe and some western European fanbases to gather meet, cosplay, play games, buy merch and meet some B-class actors on famous shows or movies. It bring a good source of tourism and cultural exchange between Romanians and other Europeans.

One of the industries that had a lot to suffer after the fall of Communism was the entertainment industry, namely the artistic industry because the industry was supported financially by the government: artistic projects, art schools, entertainers and retired artists and their pensions were financed mostly by the government. When the communist system fell, a lot of money and finances were lost and slowly the entertainment industry became a dying industry because the money frequently disappeared due to corruption and they had to contend with the entertainment powerhouse that was Hollywood in the 80s and 90s. Slowly the industry has been building up again bit it has been a hard journey.

True or False

  • The Roma - their actual number in the general population is not large and never was, yet they are disproportionately represented in the criminal class. They suffer from terrible poverty, prejudice against them and "invisibility" - according to a UN survey, Romania is the most highly segregated society in Eastern Europe when it comes to the separation between the Roma and the rest of the population.
  • Poverty - most street begging is actually professional and profitable, playing on the compulsive duty of the average Romanian to appear compassionate.
  • Romanians are lazy - False. Romania is one of the most overworked countries in Europe. To get an idea: Japan, one of the most publically known overworked countries in the world has 16 legal holidays. Romania has only 15.
  • Romanians are anti-vaxxers - Well, sadly true. But don't hold it against them, during the communist era, a lot of cheap useful and useless vaccines were used. And people generally formed a distrust of doctors and their expertise.note 
  • Romania is polluted - Well sadly it is a uncomfortable truth that people and companies would do anything for some money or business and that includes buying 10+ year old or older cars from rich western Europe, who is slowly banning them because they produce too much smog and selling it in Romanians who are not yet forced to use cleaner cars, yet. This kind of business model can apply to anything from construction vehicles to even useless trash which other european countries just want off their hands.

Romania on TV Tropes

Famous Romanians

(most of them having made a name for themselves abroad, for some reason)
  • Edward G. Robinson - became a very famous actor in America after his family emigrated when he was 10
  • Eugène Ionesco (Eugen Ionescu) - playwright, Trope Maker of the Theatre of the Absurd alongside Samuel Beckett back in The '50s.
  • Emil Cioran - philosopher and writer.
  • Nicolae Teclu - inventor of the "Teclu Burner".
  • Eugen Pavel - Romanian scientist and inventor. In 1999 he won the gold Medal for at the EUREKA Contest in Brussels for inventions that culminated into the creation of the Hyper CD-Rom which could write 100 EB(1 Exabytes = 1 billion gigabytes). The information on the CD would last 5000 years.
  • Petrache Poenaru - inventor of the fountain pen.
  • Augustin Maior - famous romanian inventor who place a foundation on modern day Telephones. In 1906, in Budapest Hungary during a inventor contest, he managed to create a system where he proved that using one single telephone line, he could exchange 5 different conversations without the signals interfacing one another. His discovery is the base of the current interplanetary telecommunication system. He received a Nobel prize in 1950.
  • Mircea Eliade - writer and historian, known for his works dealing with the history of religions. Fled Romania after the Communists took over, lived in Chicago until his death.
  • Aurel Vlaicu - inventor, self-taught pilot. He built his own planes in Romania in 1900's. Due to his success, Romania become the second country in the world to employ Airplanes in the military force after France. At the time, his planes were the best in Europe at precision landing, flexibility of flight.
  • George Enescu - the most famous Romanian composer.
  • Constantin Brancusi - the most famous Romanian sculptor.
  • Gheorghe Zamfir - famous pan flute virtuoso.
  • Victor Babes - One of the first microbiologists in the world. He wrote the first book on microbiology and made a lot of descoveries regarding infectious diseases.
  • Gheorghe Hagi - footballer, best player in recent history, known to have led the national team to The World Cup quarter-finals in 1994.
  • Elie Wiesel (part Hungarian) - famous Holocaust survivor, and author of Night.
  • Sebastian Stan - Actor, famous for his role as Bucky/The Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as Gossip Girl and Kings. Born in Constanța, moved to Vienna after the Romanian Revolution, and then to the United States at age twelve.
  • Stefan Odobleja - Romanian scientist, and the father of Cybernetics. Invented the concept of Cybernatics applied even in the present.
  • Nicolae Paulescu - Romanian physiologist, inventor of insulin.
  • Lazar Edeleanu - Romanian born, but moved to Germany, he is the original inventor of amphetamines which the father of modern day pain-killers, depressant and epilepsy medicine invented later. He did not know how to use the full potential of his discovery, but the Germans managed to put it to use by creating a medicine that was said to alleviate fatigue for soldiers in harsh conditions in WWII. It was later used in the US to create painkillers and antidepressants. His greatest discovery though was the discovery of a method to process crude oil, which is the fore-stone of the multi-billion industry in the present.
  • Henri Coanda - Romanian inventor and aerodynamics pioneer, recognized as the inventor of the jet airplane;
  • Anastase Dragomir - Early flight pioneer, and a passionate enthusiast for the safety of flying. In France, he proposed the system of safely ejection of passengers from planes in case on danger. His idea eventually transformed into the invention of the Ejection seat. James Bond movies would be a lot more boring without them.
  • Nadia Comăneci - aforementioned world class gymnast. Has lived in the US since 1989, having left shortly before the revolution, and has been a dual Romanian/US citizen since 2012.
  • Carol II - King of Romania from 1930 to 1940. An absolute monarch who overthrew the elected government in 1938, banned all opposition parties, and instituted a Cult of Personality which styled himself as the "Savior of Romania". He was overthrown by...
  • Ion Antonescu - the country's dictator between 1940 and 1944. He led Romania into joining the Axis and instituted many pogroms against Jews and Romanis, but nevertheless played a balancing game by eliminating the country's fascist Iron Guard movement and kept the country from full Nazi occupation. He was desposed in 1944 by the Romanian monarch Michael I and was executed in 1946. Like fellow dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu below, he is largely reviled for his excesses, but remain a cult figure among Romanian nationalists.
  • Nicolae Ceaușescu - the country's dictator between 1965-1989. Initially supported by the West for daring to stand up to Moscow, by the end he had hundreds of volunteers for his firing squad. Today, he is reviled for severely mismanaging the economy, oppressing the people, and generally running the country into the ground, but is still admired by some Romanian nationalists today for his anti-Soviet stance. One of the rare cases of the Revolution being televised — he and his wife were deposed, subjected to a shift show trial, mostly meant to show off their avaricious life-style, and sentenced to a summary execution, all on live television.
  • Ion Iliescu - former Communist member and the country's first post-Communist president, serving three terms between 1990-1996 and 2000-2004 (despite the Constitution limiting him to two. Loophole Abuse is fun!). Masterminded the Mineriad, which is a whole 'nother can of worms.
  • László Tőkés – Ethnically Hungarian Protestant pastor who helped to trigger the 1989 Revolution. Later went on to become a member of the European Parliament, though he represents Hungary instead of Romania (despite being a lifelong resident of Romania).
  • Béla and Márta Károlyi – Husband-and-wife gymnastics coaches, also ethnic Hungarians born in Transylvania. Béla first achieved fame as Comăneci's coach; due to clashes with government officials, he and Márta fled to the US in 1981, later becoming American citizens. From then until Márta retired after the 2016 Olympics (Béla had retired as an active coach 20 years earlier), just about every top female American gymnast had trained directly under them, or trained under one of their former proteges. Shortly after Márta retired, their legacy would be greatly tarnished by the USA gymnastics sexual abuse scandal.note 
  • Inna - dance music singer.
  • Vlad III Țepeș, aka "The Impaler", ruled Wallachia between 1456-1462 then again for a few months in 1476 before his death. His supposed love of a very Squicky execution technique was very likely exaggerated in order to discredit him while he was held captive by King Matthias Corvinus between 1462-1476.
  • Stefan III of Moldavia, or Stefan the Great, ruled Moldavia between 1433 - 1504, was the great king that fought against Moldova's outside powerhouses of Poland, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Known as the greatest battle king who fought 48 great battles and won 46. He is also known as the cousin of Vlad III or Vlad the Impaler.
  • Ion Mihai Pacepa - the highest-ranking Eastern Bloc defector. Once a Lieutenant-General in the Securitate, the Romanian secret police, he defected by walking in the American Embassy in Bonn, West Germany, where he was on a mission. He has since wrote several books about the inner workings of Eastern Bloc secret polices.
  • Oana Gregory - Actress best known for her role as Amanda Bernstein on the Disney XD sitcom Crash & Bernstein. She was born in Romania but moved to the U.S. at the age of 6.
  • Simona Halep - Tennis player, one of the most talented athletes in Romania. She has two Grand Slam singles titles to her credit and has been world number 1 for 64 weeks in all, including the year-end #1 ranking in both 2017 and 2018. However, as of July 2021, she's dropped to the lower reaches of the top 10 thanks to nagging injuries. Before COVID-19, she was consistently in the top 5, if not #1. Interestingly, her game saw a dramatic improvement when she decided to reduce her chest size.
  • Canadian tennis player and 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu is the daughter of Romanian immigrants, and spent part of her childhood in Romania.
  • Canadian-born British tennis player and 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu has a Romanian immigrant father, but never lived in Romania. (Her mother, by the way, is Chinese.)
  • Like Andreescu, WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu is the daughter of Romanian immigrants, but like Raducanu never lived in Romania. She spent her entire life in California's East Bay before playing college basketball at Oregon, where she became arguably the face of US women's basketball (including the WNBA) in 2020.
  • Alexandru Duru - A young inventor immigrant in Canada created a man-made hoverboard for one user. One person can fly on the invention at the time and the technology seems to be based on drone technology. Although it's in prototype stage it has already won the Guinness World Record in 2015 for the farthest distance achieved on a hoverboard. Fans of Back to the Future will have to wait a while longer until all the kinks are fixed.
  • The Cheeky Girls - we're sorry.
  • Ana Ularu: Actress and model who played The Wicked Witch of the West in Emerald City, although that version had her be a more sympathetic character.
  • Angela Gheorghiu - an internationally-acclaimed operatic soprano who actually grew up under Ceausescu's Romania, and deeply hates the regime for how it suppressed many artists.
  • Burebista - Romania's ancestor "Dacia" was a huge rival for the Roman Empire at the time. Its greatest king who united all the tribes and conquered territories from the north in Bohemia and parts from Bavaria to the south in the Balkans (parts from Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; most of Serbia and Bulgaria), "Burebista" was said to have an army of 100,000 at his back and call during the height of his power, making it the second largest army on the continent. The Romans were very hesitant to challenge him in war because of that. He was said to have frequented raids into nearby Roman provinces and publicly supported Caesar's rival, Pompey, for the throne of the Republic. General and later Dictator Caesar won and was planning an invasion against the empire as punishment for their impudence. However, he was assassinated before he could act on his plan. In a twisted sense of irony, Burebista was "assassinated" the same year as Caesar. His death split the large Empire into 5 smaller kingdoms. Gradually the kingdoms became more of a nuisance for the Roman Empire rather than a threat.
  • Dumitru Dorin Prunariu - The first Romanian Cosmonaut who went to space. He was an Aeronautics Engineer who participated in the Soiuz 40 space flight in the USSR on the 14th May 1981. He spent 7 days 20 hours and 42 minutes in space. Since then he has been a leading figure in the International Space Community representing Romania.

Romania in Popular culture

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Hansel and Gretel, the Creepy Twins from Black Lagoon, hail from Romania, where they were raised in an Orphanage of Fear. And that's one of the least disturbing things in regards to them.
  • Hetalia. Another Moe Anthropomorphism of Romania is mentioned in Hungary's bio and relationship chart, and apparently doesn't get along with her. By now, he had appeared in Volume 4 and wears a nice hat. He may be a homage or reference to Dracula because of his red eyes and cute little fang. Personality-wise he's a cheerful Nightmare Fetishist, a good friend of Bulgaria, Moldova's big brother, and the Sitcom Archnemesis of Hungary.
  • Hellsing is a modern anime that acts like a continuation of the Bran Stoker's Dracula. It revolves around the last descendant of Abraham Van Hellsing, named Integra Hellsing, inheriting a monster killer organization in Britain named the Hellsing Organization which deals in hunting modern monsters and vampires that are a threat to the human race. You would think that a modern mercenary army armed with high-powered weapons would be enough, but you'd be wrong. Hellsing's main weapon is the father of all vampires himself Dracula, now going by the name Alucard(cute) who has a bit of a crisis of meaning and purpose in the modern world. Usually stoic and disinterested in human affairs, he lets his guns do the talking, but when faced with a real threat, he tends to let all his frustrations out on his enemies which often leaves little to be studied in its wake. The only interest Alucard seems to have is turning his master Integra into a fellow vampire and enjoying an eternity together or die trying.

    Comic Books 
  • The 2000 AD comic Fiends of the Eastern Front revolves around a group of Rumanian vampires who fight alongside the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front of World War II. Their leader, Captain Constanta, is stated to have fought the Ottomans centuries earlier. He might be a bloodsucking fiend, but he's still a patriot!
  • The Valiant Comics comic book X-O Manowar is about a Dacian, or ancient Romanian, named Aric of Dacia who gets kidnapped from the ancient world, enslaved and made into a soldier in an army to be used as canon fodder for an intergalactic warlord. He loses his arm but stumbled upon a suit of armor with an AI that makes Iron Man's armor look like tin foil.

  • Train of Life, a great tragicomedy about Romanian Jews in World War II who know that they're to be deported and hatch a crazy plan - that could work.
  • Though presented as Kazakhstan, the village at the beginning of Borat is in Romania.
  • Fright Night 2: New Blood is set in Bucharest, Romania, presumably as some sort of tie-in to Dracula. However, the villainess is implied to be Elizabeth Báthory, who was Hungarian.
  • Vlad Tepes, a 1979 Biopic of Vlad the Impaler.
  • Bucharest makes a brief appearance in the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, solely so that the aforementioned Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes can speak his native language a little bit.
  • Ghostbusters II's main villian is named Vigo the Carpathian, the Scourge of Carpathia, the Sorrow of Moldovia. Moldavia, not to be confused with current day Republic of Moldova, was actually one of the original 3 Kingdoms that United to formed Romania at the end of the 20th century, the other being Wallachia and after the end of WW 1, Transylvania. And the Carpathian mountains are part of Current day Romania. So it is safe to say that this fictional character would have been from Romania heritage today.
  • The movie Modigliani (2004) is an biography and drama about famous artist Amedeo Modigliani, a student of famous Romanian artist Brancusi, and fellow rival of artist Pablo Picasso. Although the movie takes place in Paris, France, it was actually entirely filmed in Bucharest Romania, the little Paris of the Balkans because of its more classic look of the era the story takes place in.
  • Watcher is set and filmed in Bucharest and is about a young American woman who moves there with her Romanian husband.

  • In Harry Potter, Ron's brother, Charlie Weasley, works with dragons in Romania.
  • In Twilight's Breaking Dawn, some of the most ancient vampires come actually from Romania, angry at the Volturi clan for destroying their castle and the other Romanian vampires.
  • Nicolae Carpathia, the Antichrist in the Left Behind series, is the former president of Romania. He probably doesn't have the same first name as Ceaușescu for nothing.
  • Wallachia is the location of the first gateway to the Vampire World, and the birthplace (not to mention undeath place) of the Big Bads from the first two books of the Necroscope saga.
  • A lot of Fate/Apocrypha takes place here, which is intentional: the Black Faction's leading Heroic Servant is, in fact, Vlad the Impaler (not Dracula, and he won't appreciate you making the mistake). Since the power of a Heroic Spirit is directly proportional to their Legend's fame, Vlad's master deliberately had his faction build their base of operations in the former Voivode's home country, banking on the massive power boost that would give him. Unfortunately for him, it cuts both ways - the minute the Red Faction can lure him off of Romanian soil, his power drops like a rock.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An unintentional depiction occurred in an episode of Charmed, where an old woman "gypsy", instead of speaking Romani (which she was allegedly speaking), was actually speaking, yes... Romanian, which is a completely different language.
    • The same happens in Buffy. An ancient "gypsy" spell seems to be partly in Latin, partly in Romanian.
      • Perhaps coincidentally, the tribe that invented that spell were protected by Dracula, so they might have picked up elements of the spell from other magicians nearby.
    • Same again in the Wolf Man remake. The two gypsy women speak in Romanian.
  • In Desperate Housewives' season 4 finale it's revealed that Dylan comes from a Romanian orphanage. The kind of Romanian orphanage run by the church, with Catholic Nuns no less. (Never mind that most Romanians are ORTHODOX.)
    • Well, there is a Catholic Church down here, but they barely add up to 4.7% of the population. They probably didn't care enough to do the research and are just lucky that by coincidence, there's a Catholic minority in Romania.
  • In Israeli show Juda the titular protagonist travels to Bucharest for a poker game and meets the beautiful Tania, who is definitely not what she seems. Turns out she's a vampire. And so is her brother. And father, who is the King of Vampires.
  • A Wizards of Waverly Place episode revolves around Romania, due to the fact that Alex wants to travel there for entertainment, and she doesn't know exactly where it is located (or what it actually is). Her father explains to her that Romania is a country in Europe, filled with gymnasts and vampires.

  • The band O-Zone, famous for "Dragostea din Tei" - better known as the "Numa Numa song" - are commonly thought to be Romanian. They're actually Moldovan. But then again, plenty of Moldovans would call themselves Romanians. It's complicated.

    Standup Comedy 
  • George Carlin declared that gymnastics don't count as a sport "because Romainans are good at it."

    Video Games 
  • Agent 47's creator in the Hitman series, Otto Ort-Meyer, is Romanian, and the final two levels of Hitman: Codename 47 and the first of Hitman: Contracts take place in his asylum in the country, with the second mission of Contracts also taking place in a Romanian slaughterhouse. The final mission of Hitman 3 also takes places on a train in the countryside.
  • Resident Evil Village is set in a village in Romania. Alcina Dimitrescu is a character based on Dracula. Her whole character is about combining contemporary high society with vampire themes. She is also the biggest MILF in current day video games. No pun intented...

    Western Animation 
  • South Park's answer to the Elian Gonzalez debacle, Quintuplets 2000, involved Romanian quintuplets... whose home country is apparently still Communist, and certainly dominated by grey, bland architecture and an economy and populace so poor that a few hundred US dollars makes one "rich" there. Probably not the best depiction, and not necessarily all that accurate, either it turns out (current-day Bucharest, at any rate, is actually quite pretty, as far as we're concerned, and the country's been a democratically-elected Republic for years). This probably stems more from the fact that Romania was Communist-controlled until 1989 and wanting to draw a better comparison between the episode's plot and the Elian Gonzalez thing than anything else, though.
  • Monster High Draculaura is Dracula's daughter. In fact, in Welcome to Monster High, it was revealed that the school was built out of her father's old mansion in Transylvania.
    • The older bits of Bucharest are pretty. The Communists did their best to hack the place apart and fill it with depressing architecture. It's all a matter of finding the old parts that escaped relatively unscathed.
  • Netflix animated series Castlevania (2017) is about the most powerful vampire in fictional history Dracula and his decedents and it takes place in Transylvania or current day Romania.
  • Sony's animated movie Hotel Transylvania takes place in current day Romania and is about Dracula hosting a hotel and spa resort for monsters away from the most dangerous creatures on the planet, humans. Don't worry, it's a comedy and Adam Sandler's best voice acting to date.
  • Bunnicula is Boomerang's new animated series based on a children's book series of the same name Bunnicula, but made to look very cute and cuddly while also very weird and unsettling sometimes. It's main character, Bunnicula, is a magic vampire rabbit who belonged to Dracula and somehow ended up in the care of Mina Monroe and her pets Harold the dog and Chester the cat in the supernatural capital of America, New Orleans. The animated series takes a lot of inspiration from the original book and Bram Stoker's Dracula, with Mina sharing a name with the story's main female character and a deformed, insane guinea pig name Lugosi, obviously named after famed black and white monster actor Bela Lugosi.
  • Vampirina is a Disney Junior's newest animated series based on a series of books for kids named "Vampirina Ballerina" by Anne Marie Pace. It's about a family of vampires that movie from Transylvania to Pennsylvania and open a Bed and Breakfast for ghouls and vampires. The series is Fish out of Water series about a family of vampires adapting to a new life among humans while trying to keep their identity a secret from hardest neighbors.

  • Delta Space Mission is one the best space animation movies made in the late 80s. It is hand drawn and it is seeing a Blue ray Release in the 2022.

  • Romania as represented in Scandinavia and the World is a vampire who steals wallets, in keeping with the typical exaggeration of stereotypes. He also re-enacted Dracula with the Netherlands, at least until England threw them out of his garden.

  • As said, oh so many books, games and movies involving Dracula. Van Helsing, Castlevania, and so on.
    • Hellsing. Alucard's real origins are actually from Transylvania, Romania.
    • It's a bit more complicated. Alucard is Vlad III, but at the same time he was explicitly said to be the Bram Stoker's vampire — who realistically should've been, and actually was described as Hungarian. Given that Kouta Hirano never misses a detail due to sloppy research, it was most probably due to Rule of Cool.
      • Dracula was never described to be Hungarian in the Bram Stoker's original book. He was said to be from Eastern Europe and implied to be Vlad the Impaler, who was Romanian, not Hungarian. The idea of Dracula having Hungarian traits came from the 30's movie, in which Dracula was played by an Hungarian actor, but that was just it. Dracula was initially intended to be from Transylvania, which originally belonged to Romania, even before it belonged to Hungary.
      • It's true that the Count is never described as Hungarian in the novel — in fact, as a proud Szekely, he boasts of how "we threw off the Hungarian yoke." However, as Elizabeth Miller discusses in Dracula: Sense and Nonsense, much of his characterization is more consistent with Hungarian than Romanian origin (which she uses as evidence for for thinly the Count is based on the historical Vlad Tepes, about whom Stoker know little).

The Romanian flag
The flag combines the heraldic colors of Wallachia (red and yellow) and Moldavia (red and blue), two of the major components of Romania. Not to be confused with that of Chad, which uses a lighter shade of blue.

The Romanian national anthem

Deșteaptă-te, române, din somnul cel de moarte,
În care te-adânciră barbarii de tirani! Barbarii de tirani!
Acum ori niciodată, croiește-ți altă soarte,
La care să se-nchine și cruzii tăi dușmani. Si cruzii tăi dușmani.
Acum ori niciodată, croiește-ți altă soarte,
La care să se-nchine și cruzii tăi dușmani. Si cruzii tăi dușmani.

Acum ori niciodată să dăm dovezi la lume
Că-n aste mâni mai curge un sânge de roman, un sânge de roman,
Și că-n a noastre piepturi păstrăm cu fală-un nume
Triumfător în lupte, un nume de Traian! Un nume de Traian!
Și că-n a noastre piepturi păstrăm cu fală-un nume
Triumfător în lupte, un nume de Traian! Un nume de Traian!

Înalță-ți lata frunte și caută-n giur de tine,
Cum stau ca brazi în munte voinici sute de mii; În munte voinici sute de mii;
Un glas ei mai așteaptă și sar ca lupi în stâne,
Bătrâni, bărbați, juni, tineri, din munți și din câmpii! Din munți și din câmpii!
Un glas ei mai așteaptă și sar ca lupi în stâne,
Bătrâni, bărbați, juni, tineri, din munți și din câmpii! Din munți și din câmpii!

Priviți, mărețe umbre, Mihai, Ștefan, Corvine,
Româna națiune, ai voștri strănepoți, ai voștri strănepoți,
Cu brațele armate, cu focul vostru-n vine,
„Viața-n libertate ori moarte!” strigă toți. Strigă toți.
Cu brațele armate, cu focul vostru-n vine,
„Viața-n libertate ori moarte!” strigă toți. Strigă toți.

Pre voi vă nimiciră a pizmei răutate
Și oarba neunire la Milcov și Carpați! La Milcov și Carpați!
Dar noi, pătrunși la suflet de sfânta libertate,
Jurăm că vom da mâna, să fim pururea frați! Să fim pururea frați!
Dar noi, pătrunși la suflet de sfânta libertate,
Jurăm că vom da mâna, să fim pururea frați! Să fim pururea frați!

O mamă văduvită de la Mihai cel Mare
Pretinde de la fii-și azi mână d-ajutori, azi mână d-ajutori,
Și blastămă cu lacrămi în ochi pe orișicare,
În astfel de pericul s-ar face vânzători! S-ar face vânzători!
Și blastămă cu lacrămi în ochi pe orișicare,
În astfel de pericul s-ar face vânzători! S-ar face vânzători!

De fulgere să piară, de trăsnet și pucioasă,
Oricare s-ar retrage din gloriosul loc, din gloriosul loc,
Când patria sau mama, cu inima duioasă,
Va cere ca să trecem prin sabie și foc! Prin sabie și foc!
Când patria sau mama, cu inima duioasă,
Va cere ca să trecem prin sabie și foc! Prin sabie și foc!

N-ajunse iataganul barbarei semilune,
A cărui plăgi fatale și azi le mai simțim; și azi le mai simțim;
Acum se vâră cnuta în vetrele străbune,
Dar martor ne e Domnul că vii nu o primim! Că vii nu o primim!
Acum se vâră cnuta în vetrele străbune,
Dar martor ne e Domnul că vii nu o primim! Că vii nu o primim!

N-ajunse despotismul cu-ntreaga lui orbie,
Al cărui jug din seculi ca vitele-l purtăm; ca vitele-l purtăm;
Acum se-ncearcă cruzii, în oarba lor trufie,
Să ne răpească limba, dar morți numai o dăm! Dar morți numai o dăm!
Acum se-ncearcă cruzii, în oarba lor trufie,
Să ne răpească limba, dar morți numai o dăm! Dar morți numai o dăm!

Români din patru unghiuri, acum ori niciodată
Uniți-vă în cuget, uniți-vă-n simțiri! Uniți-vă-n simțiri!
Strigați în lumea largă că Dunărea-i furată
Prin intrigă și silă, viclene uneltiri! Viclene uneltiri!

Preoți, cu crucea-n frunte căci oastea e creștină,
Deviza-i libertate și scopul ei preasfânt. Scopul ei preasfânt.
Murim mai bine-n luptă, cu glorie deplină,
Decât să fim sclavi iarăși în vechiul nost' pământ! În vechiul nost' pământ!

Awaken thee Romanian from your sleep of death
Into which you've been sunk by the barbaric tyrants. The barbaric tyrants.
Now or never, sow a new fate for yourself
To which even your cruel enemies will bow! Enemies will bow!
Now or never, sow a new fate for yourself
To which even your cruel enemies will bow! Enemies will bow!

Now or never, let us show the world
That through these arms, Roman blood still flows; Roman blood still flows;
And that in our chests we still proudly bear a name
Triumphant in battles, the name of Trajan! The name of Trajan!
And that in our chests we still proudly bear a name
Triumphant in battles, the name of Trajan! The name of Trajan!

Raise your broad forehead and see around you
How, like fir trees on a mountain, brave youths, of a hundred thousand, of a hundred thousand
An order they await, ready to pounce, as if wolves on sheep.
Old men and young, from mountains high and plains wide! High and plains wide!
An order they await, ready to pounce, as if wolves on sheep.
Old men and young, from mountains high and plains wide! High and plains wide!

Behold, mighty shadows; Michael, Stephen, Corvinus,
The Romanian nation, your great grandchildren. Your great grandchildren.
With armed hands, with your fire in their veins,
"Life in liberty or death", they all proclaim! They all proclaim!
With armed hands, with your fire in their veins,
"Life in liberty or death", they all proclaim! They all proclaim!

You were vanquished by the evils of your envy
And by blind disunity at Milcov and the Carpathians, Milcov and the Carpathians
But we, whose souls were pierced by holy liberty,
Swear that forever in brotherhood we will join! In brotherhood we will join!
But we, whose souls were pierced by holy liberty,
Swear that forever in brotherhood we will join! In brotherhood we will join!

A widowed mother from time of Michael the Brave
Of her sons, she today demands a helping hand, a helping hand
And curses, with tears in her eyes, whosoever
In times of such great need, a traitor proven! A traitor proven!
And curses, with tears in her eyes, whosoever
In times of such great need, a traitor proven! A traitor proven!

Of thunder and of brimstone should they perish
Anyone who flees from this glorious calling. This glorious calling.
When homeland and our mothers, with a sorrowful heart,
Will ask us to cross through swords and blazing fire! Swords and blazing fire!
When homeland and our mothers, with a sorrowful heart,
Will ask us to cross through swords and blazing fire! Swords and blazing fire!

Have we not had enough of the barbaric crescent's yatagan
Whose fatal wounds we still feel today? We still feel today?
Now, the knout is intruding on our ancestral lands
But the Lord is our witness that so long as we are alive, we won't accept it! We won't accept it!
Now, the knout is intruding on our ancestral lands
But the Lord is our witness that so long as we are alive, we won't accept it! We won't accept it!

Have we not had enough of despotism and its unseeing eye
Whose yoke, like cattle, for centuries we have carried? For centuries we have carried?
Now the cruel ones are trying, in their blind arrogance,
To take away our language, but only dead shall we surrender it! We surrender it!
Now the cruel ones are trying, in their blind arrogance,
To take away our language, but only dead shall we surrender it! We surrender it!

Romanians of the four corners of the world, now or never,
Unite in thought, unite in feeling! Unite in feeling!
Proclaim to the world that the Danube has been stolen
Through intrigue and coercion, sly machinations! Sly machinations!
Proclaim to the world that the Danube has been stolen
Through intrigue and coercion, sly machinations! Sly machinations!

Priests, lead with holy crosses, for this army is Christian,
Its motto is liberty and its goal all too holy. Its goal all too holy.
Better to die in battle in with eternal glory,
Than to once again be slaves on our ancient lands! Our ancient lands!
Better to die in battle in with eternal glory,
Than to once again be slaves on our ancient lands! Our ancient lands!

  • Unitary semi-presidential republic
    • President: Klaus Iohannis
    • Prime Minister: Nicolae Ciucă

  • Capital and largest city: Bucharest
  • Population: 19,317,984
  • Area: 238,397 km² (92,046 sq mi) (81st)
  • Currency: Romanian leu (L) (RON)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: RO
  • Country calling code: 40
  • Highest point: Moldoveanu (2544 m/8,346 ft) (92nd)
  • Lowest point: Black Sea (2,212 m/7,257 ft) (-)