Dependence DayDecember 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Posted in Family, Transylvania | 9 Comments
Tags: Children, Expats, Family, History, Holidays, Language, Perspectives, Photography, Romania, Travel
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??