The Romanian National Day in Korea, Part 3; A Little Bit of History

At the Romanian reception I went to yesterday, there were lots and lots of pictures.  They were pictures about when Romania became Romania. I walked around with my Korean friend explaining the pictures to her.  There were small explanations type written in the corner of the pictures in Romanian, English, and Korean, but she was so focused on the pictures I don’t think she even knew the explanations were there. She was thrilled with the pictures and took lots of pictures of the pictures. I was interested too, and I also took some pictures, but I was probably interested for a different reason than she was because she has never been to Romania.

Here is the Romanian map that was on display.  Immediately south of Romania, you find Bulgaria, and their culture is very similar to Romania.  To the west of Romania, on the top, you see Hungary, and on the bottom, you see Yugoslavia., Yugoslavia is now broken up into two different countries, Serbia and Croatia.  To the immediate north of Romania, you see the Ukraine.  They speak Russian in the Ukraine, and even though under Communism, there were strong ties between Romania and Russia, the Romanians were the first to pull away from Soviet Union. Yugoslavia was the first to pull out of Communism. On the left of Romania, you can see the Black Sea, and on the other side of the Black Sea is Turkey.  There is part of Romania who broke off after the Revolution too.  Many Ukrainians were living there along with the Romanians, and they didn’t want to be part of Romania nor part of the Ukraine, so they became a very small separate country called Moldova which is also the name of one of the Romanian states. The Romanians didn’t appreciate them breaking off at all, but they understood because many people there speak Russian. Sibiu, where I lived, is right smack in the middle of Romania, and Bucharest, the capital is 12 hours south of Sibiu by train. Budapest, the capital of Hungary was 12 hours west of us by train. At times, we traveled to both places.

I was really happy when I was looking at the pictures because there were pictures of Alba Iulia, a place near where I lived in Romania. Evidently, when the unification of the three Romanian states took place, the papers were signed in Alba Iulia.  Alba Iulia is in Transylvania. Everyone has heard of Transylvania, and it is one of the Romanian states.

This is a picture in Alba Iulia in Transylvania, Romania.  This is when they signed the unification papers in 1918.  This is what the party yesterday was celebrating.
You can’t talk about Romania without including an Orthodox priest. This priest is from 1918.

Orthodoxy is the national religion of Romania.  Christianity is part of what threw Communism out of Romania. The Communist were bulldozing church buildings, and the Romanians just couldn’t take it. When I was in Romania, someone showed me a book of where they had taken pictures of all the church buildings that were bulldozed by the Communists, and they were not happy about it at all.  Before I went to Romania, I read an article called, “The Spark of the Revolution,” and it was all about how the secret police in Romania had kidnapped a preacher in the eastern part of Romania in Timnisoara, in Transylvania, and how the people just weren’t going to stand for it and rose up against them.  Romania has a long tradition of Christianity.  Christianity first came to Romania with the Apostle Thomas. Romania is full of beautiful church buildings, and if you ever go, you need to see their church buildings. They are truly something to behold!

Here is another picture in Alba Iulia at the signing of the document that unified Romania in 1918.  If you notice, an Orthodox priest is front and center.  Orthodoxy is extremely important in Romania. The Metropoli, the Orthodox pope lives in Sibiu, and I had the privilege of meeting him when I was there.  I told him that I was a Christian, and his reply was, “Yes, that is what Billy Graham said too.”  Billy Graham had spoken in the Orthodox cathedral in Sibiu.  I taught in the Orthodox seminary across the street from the Orthodox cathedral in Sibiu.
This is written in Romanian, so I know you probably can’t read it. However, it is a very important document.  It is the document proclaiming that all of Romania was united on December 1, 1918. December 1st is their actual national day.  There are words in Romanian similar to English, so you might be able to make some of the words out.
This is a picture of he government building in Bucharest, Romania, the capital of Romania. There are two flags at the top. The first one is Romanian, and the second one is Korean.
This picture didn’t turn out really well, but it is me standing next to the big sign saying the Romanians were celebrating their 100th birthday..

There were other pictures, but I couldn’t take a picture of all of them. There was actually a picture of the Romanian royal family with the army behind it, and I took a picture of it, but it is not among my pictures, and I don’t know why.  When I was in Romania, the royal family was living in France, and many of them wanted the king back after Communism fell, but they didn’t get him. Romania has democratically elected presidents now.  If you watch the movie “Christmas Prince” on net flix, you will be seeing a Romanian palace,  When I watched it, I recognized the palace in that movie to be one I toured when I was in Romania.  If you look back through my blogs, I did a blog on Dracula’s castle, and I also toured that one. The one people tour is actually a citadel that was built to protect the city of Brasov, and the real Dracula’s castle is in ruins way up in the mountains somewhere.  Now, you are asking, “Did Dracula actually exist?”  Well, yes, and no.  You will have to look back through my blogs and find the blog about Dracula to see why I say that.  I wish I could share more of the pictures with you and that they were easier to see, but they are very old pictures, and even if I took a pictures, the original quality wasn’t very good, but this gives you an idea about the history of Romania and why the Romanians celebrate December 1st.



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