You've heard a lot about Romania these days. All famous magazines and TV channels extensively cover recent events in our country. Your Facebook News Feed probably contains some spectacular photos and videos taken in Romania. You may have also seen groups of people in your city chanting and carrying our national flag. I am going to tell you who we truly are and why this is happening, but first, let me share you a story...
My name is Romania. My father is the Roman Empire himself and my mother was Dacia. You know this name thanks to the car brand you keep acquiring all over Europe. Many years of courtship led to my father conquering my mother in 106 A.D. I, Romania, was born after a few centuries of Romanization and long after my father disappeared.
Throughout my history I had my ups and downs like anyone else. I spent my whole childhood divided in three - Walachia, Transylvania and Moldavia. I fulfilled my dream of Unification once, in 1600, but it only lasted for one year. Apart from that, I have enjoyed the wealth of the Habsburg Empire, the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, later on the strong influence of Russia.
I am a modern, unified state since 1918, when I became one of the strongest country in the Balkan region. My last 100 years have been a true rollercoaster: I produced the most famous artists of the century and I played a key role in the termination of World War II. I had to endure 40 years of oppressions during communism, but I managed to turn it down by December 1989. And finally, I have witnessed a loooong period of transition towards democracy, which is still in place nowadays, in February 2017...
Every single past event made me the country I am today. I felt wealth and poverty, wars and peace, pride and disgust. And it's the same now, when I am an attractive, astonishing country, with a lot of demons inside me... When you meet me, you have to know about my both sides:
My bad selfish side is when I solely follow my personal interest. Since 1990 I have understood freedom as an opportunity to escape from poverty, to get powerful as quickly as possible, to always have more and more money. I don't care about others, it's me and those like me who have to succeed, and success is measured by the numbers in the bank account. Sorry, not always the bank account ‘cos I can be caught, the numbers in my wallet... I have taken corruption to another level. And today I feel strong enough to legalize it, so that no one bothers me from my future acts anymore. Oh, and I always rely on poor people, I am so good at corruption that my loyal fans say "ok, he steals, but at least he gives us something too..." My bad side is actually the reason why I am considered a poor country.
And then there is my positive side. This one you are going to love, and I want to believe is more dominant than the other, despite not having official power in its hands. It should be an example for democracy taught in any international school, a benchmark for any country who needs to exercise freedom of speech. My good side is a hard-working, educated, European society, believing in healthy values, interested in personal development. It is the reason why you, dear Terra, respect me so much: every time you have the chance to interact with my positive side, you are amazed of what I can do. I am creative, I am funny, I am trustworthy, resilient and efficient. And I know how and when to fight against injustice, to make myself heard, to unmask corruption when necessary.
My favorite colors are blue, yellow and red. You have seen this combination a lot lately, in your news, in your Facebook, in your city. I am everywhere these days due to the big clash which escalated between my two sides. And you, dear Terra, should have a direct concern regarding the winner: you want to keep working with me, to have me as your partner, to capitalize on my tremendous qualities. I am the cheapest most beautiful country in the world. There is probably no other place on Earth with a better balance between cost effectiveness and market potential, and this is why I am so attractive today.
This is where the story becomes reality. Don't get me wrong, it is not a classic, violent war with weapons and stuff. Yet. It is a clash of ideologies: they want to change the whole system in their favor, while we do whatever it takes not to allow it. They have always tried that, but now they are closer than ever. They thought they can do it without anyone noticing but ... damn these new technologies! They have reached a point where our society won't allow it, at least not without a fight. And when brilliant minds get together against the system, spectacular things can happen. You don't have to believe me, you can check it for yourself here, here or here. The idea is this - a strong side of our society has decided to speak up, and to show them they are not alone in their plan to direct Romania's resources to their pockets!
If they win, our borders will be closed - for NATO, EU, multinationals, expats, future investments. They all have a huge interest for Romania, but they explicably won't work with corrupt leadership. They will do whatever they want, they will keep milking the cash cow until there's nothing left. Which won't be a problem for them - they will have enough to live happily ever after...
But if we win... well, we'll just stick to normality, to the prospect of an interesting future. It's as simple as that - a few thousands of corrupts against more than half of a million people interested in a healthy, sophisticated life tied to Romania. The bad side has the official power in their hands, while the good side - the truth spoken out loud. Which will be more powerful eventually?
Dear Terra, meet Romania! The country that it's in your best interest to stay free, open and complex. The country that gives you some of the most performing human resources; the most diversified opportunities to travel; some of the best brands to consume or places to work. And the best example of safeguarding democracy. Let's keep it that way, shall we?
Photo Credit: Dan Mihai Balanescu
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