You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘identity’ category.

I have been told that I cannot say I still have a blog if it’s not updated. So because I love this place and I kind of miss writing, here is a short post on where we are. Plus, I want to be able to say that I still blog – I hear  bloggers make money in Romania   🙂

After eight years of studying in US we returned to Romania and  we are trying to readjust to living in our own country. It is a strange feeling to be without a  “home” in your home country. On this bumpy way coming home we find hope in the people with whom we protest for a better country, in people we bike with in overcrowded cities, in children who don’t accept injustices and speak up for their rights.

We do have hope but, for the time being, we are silently looking around learning and searching  for a place where we can make a difference.

For the first time in 5 years of living in USA I’ve  spent the 4th of July with a small group of Americans.  As natural as it is to say Our Father before dinner, God Bless America was sang before tonight’s dinner.  No unnecessary introductions, just the song, a few skipped words, goose bumps and small tears.

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

In Romania a similar moment, even in a small crowd celebrating our First of December,  would be cataloged as right extremism. In USA you  don’t get a denigrating label (as far as I know) for this. Some say this is because you have freedom, some say because it is not politically correct. It may be also because people cannot really see you. As an Orthodox Christian(but not only),  you still have to wear a mask in the  society. Yes, you are free to worship whatever but why are you so different? …and at one point you get tired of explaining. (Nobody cares anyway).  Depending on the  community, you sometimes need to wear a mask in your own church.

We, who came to learn about freedom first from books and movies,   often don’t expect that, once established,  freedom is not free.  We have to continually give something in exchange for freedom for “our people” being them our community, our county, region, state, world.  Compared to other prices like someone’s life, dignity or identity,  a mask is a small one.  However, to get to this price,  many people paid much more along USA history.  (It’s market economy 101,  a friend of mine would say.)

Will the USA be able to allow maskless people to simply be? Don’t know. All I know is that, at the moment, in Romania, even though the Orthodox communities don’t have a mask they might, just might,  get used to the “right extremist” box they are put in and act accordingly.

Having a Communist past, we are just learning about how our face looks like. Some look in the mirror for this, some on the window heading West. In any case we don’t like masks. What we don’t know is that we are expected to wear one and figure very fast  how to wear it properly in the European society. You see, very few people (if any) are looking for God’s blessing of the European Union. And in Romania … we used to ask for God’s blessing even before cutting our bread at dinner.

A number of people attacked the Romanian ex-president Ion Iliescu with coins at a commemoration of 1989 Revolution in Bucharest. The security was needed so he can be  taken away from the scene untouched.  Accusations of  Iliescu betraying the Revolution and the people that died for the freedom of Romania seem to take him  by surprise every time… It’s been 19 years of looking for answers  that would explain, at least in part, the tragedy of those days and the aftermath.  The classical media reactions are somehow wondering how come people did not forget about all this, how come they are still wondering and getting mad at things that happened 19 years ago…

Respect for the  people that know what questions they need to answer and are fighting to get those answers sending  clear messages about that. This is a warning message to any politician  in Romania:  you cannot continue to ignore  people’s sacrifices and fight for truth.

Respect for the people that died in 1989 Revolution. May God rest their souls.

Respect for people that were on the streets in December 1989. Multumesc (Thank you).

“The forward movement of Eastern Europe should be evaluated not only for its ability to modernize political and economical structures, but also for its ability to clarify the recent history of these scarred societies, and to direct them toward the full truth. This is not an easy task, and it is first and foremost the task of intellectuals, not politicians. But our future is premised on the quality, on the probity, of our understanding of the past”

This is the final of an article written by Norman Manea and published in 1998 in the New Republic. I found the article today in a faxed paper from Vladimir Tismaneanu to Andrei Codrescu. The paper was enclosed in a 2003 book from the Codrescu collection that I was cataloging. All three of them were living in US at that time but they were(and are) thinking about the well being of Romania.

In 2000 The Romanian Institute for Recent History was created and its mission resemblance the Manea’s call. Their web page however is not updated and there is not much information online about their recent activities. Nevertheless a different organization, the Institute for Investigation  of Communism Crimes is very active: have different projects and publications. There is a clear sign that things started to move in a good direction. What trace they will leave remains to be seen. I like the fact that they “investigate” and that they accept students as volunteers.

me on Twitter