Dependence Day

December 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Posted in Family, Transylvania | 9 Comments
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Burgers on the grill. Strawberry shortcake. An afternoon at the pool, then fireworks at the park.

Sound like the perfect way to spend Independence Day? Then you’ve never celebrated it like Romanians do. Their celebration falls on the first day of December, so it goes more like this …

Long underwear. Earmuffs. Mulled wine and steaming-hot nut bread. Traditional songs, dances, and costumes. The Red, Yellow, and Blue flying high.

And fireworks. Of course. (Some things are universal.)

And in the middle of it all? Us. Five Americans. A freezing, laughing, moving island in a sea of fur coats, high-heeled boots, secondhand smoke, and words like unirii and cozonac.

We ricocheted off piaţă benches and light-wrapped lampposts as we gawked at saxophones, violins, and their players gliding by in wool hats.

We eyed the half-assembled ice rink and the clusters of blue-jacketed poliţişti.

We watched the fireworks over warm Cokes and hot pizza.

We celebrated the independence of a country we don’t call home. Danced and clapped to patriotic songs we couldn’t understand. Toasted each other with “La mulţi ani!”

While Romania celebrated its independence, we realized our dependence.

On this beautiful country.

On these resilient people.

On this sometimes tragic, ultimately heartening history that we’re now a tiny part of.

Have you ever celebrated a holiday that’s not your own? Ever felt a connection to another country or culture? Ever had warm Coke??

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

9 Comments »

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  1. What an unforgettable experience. That pic with the fireworks is amazing.

  2. No warm coke by choice. But. Texas is hot. And Romania is cold. It might be good.

    I love holidays that take me out of my little world. When I was about Lollipop’s age, I was invited to celebrate los posados at a new friend’s house. There was no English spoken, the foods were exotic to my tongue, the traditions and decorations surprising. And I loved it all.

  3. How liberating to also experience dependence. I loved every part of this post, except the warm Coke. NO.

  4. I have drunk warm coke. My family is from England so it is common there. Love the firework shot. Gorgeous.

  5. I love that you have these experiences. And even though it isn’t your country, you are embracing it.

  6. I’ve felt like an outsider looking in for a long, long time before I finally adopted the new traditions I found here in the States and called them my own. Now, I yearn for the celebrations of my past and try to incorporate what I can to the new ones we have now. It’s great to be a part of a collective celebration, even if the nuances in how we celebrate differ from family to family.

  7. Stacia, I LOVE warm (room temperature) Coke! It has to be in a can, and it’s best with a snack-sized bag of Doritos. I know, strange. It was one of my favorite treats back when I was a nanny. I am so enjoying your winter photos and stories, and my mom is even hooked now! I forward my Monday email from you to her every week and we discuss your heartwarming stories. Miss you!

    • When I get back, we’ll have to share warm cans of Coke and a bag of Doritos (and maybe some Cheetos for me). And we’ll invite your sweet mom. Hope you are all doing well! Miss you.

  8. Great entry and beautiful photos. Makes me want to go to Romania. Thanks!


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