December 31, 2010

Best wishes for 2011!

 Best wishes for 2011

Like every year, in the New Year Eve, each of us, in our soul, ask for blessing to start the new year having success in everything and thanks for the gifts that we received in the previous year. The Romanian Orthodox Patriarch pray for the New Year at the Patriarchal Cathedral from Bucharest. In the "Black Church / Biserica Neagra", Brasov, classical music is played and for most of the Romanians, "New Year" begin with the great message from the Romanian National Anthem "Wake up, Romanian / Deşteaptă-te, române" -  The lyrics of this Revolutionary Anthem composed by Andrei Muresanu (1816-1863) will always be "An Echo / Un rasunet" for Romanians (the initial name of the poem published during 1848 revolution).

"Wake up, Romanian, from your deadly sleep
Into which you've been sunk by the barbaric tyrants
Now, or never, your fate renew,
To which your enemies will bow"

"Deşteaptă-te, române, din somnul cel de moarte,
În care te-adânciră barbarii de tirani    
Acum ori niciodată croieşte-ţi altă soartă,    
La care să se-nchine şi cruzii tăi duşmani

It is time to forget the laws of physics or the global crisis and to let us to believe in superstitions and to be carried by dreams into a magical world. It is the time to enjoy "Romanians winter traditions / datini si obiceiuri romanesti" when your home is honored by the "The Bear/ Ursul" or "The Goat/ Capra" visits or is plowed by the people who bring wealth in your home when featured "The little plow/ Plugusorul":

I thank to Radu Cajvaneanu for his nice video posted with images from the Romanian Festival of Traditions and Customs "From ancestors, from good people" /  Festivalul de Datini si Obiceiuri "Din străbuni, din oameni buni" - Botoşani, 2009. 

It is the moment when "Bears"  and the "Calusarii "(Romanian dancers in traditional costume) are dancing for the New Year (thanks to DorohoiNews for the next video). Also, it is the time to listen, in the morning of the new day, January 1st, the wishes from Romanian "Sorcova" said by children while touching people with a special flowers and fruit tree twigs (apple-tree, pear-tree, cherry-tree, plum-tree) bouquet to bring good luck for the next 12 months:

"Merry "Sorcova", Long may be your life, long time may you flourish,
Like apple trees, or  pear trees  or like a blossoming rose bush.
Strong like a rock, quick like an arrow
Hard like iron and tougher than steel.
Over summer, over spring, may your health be great.
Have a New Year with Happiness!"

 Sorcova, vesela, sa traiti, sa infloriti,
Ca un mar, ca un par, ca un fir de trandafir
tare ca piatra, iute ca sageata
tare ca fierul, iute ca otelul
peste vara, primavara, nici capul sa nu te doara
La anul si La Multi Ani!

I wish you a Happy New Year and to have success in everything! / Un an nou cu sanatate , sa aveti succes in toate!

Romania Magic Land

December 23, 2010

Traditional Romanian Christmas Songs

I sent a letter to Santa in which I told him what is the best present for me and who knows...?

Letter to Santa 2010

Is nice to remember how important was for me over the years that people once total strangers have become some of my dearest Friends, making me smile and laugh. You are in my thoughts and I wish to share with you my stories, my joy and my dreams,  to listen together with my family, personal friends or virtual friends over the web few Traditional Romanian Christmas Songs.

Happy Holidays everyone! Sarbatori Fericite tuturor!

High and deep is the Heaven 
Christmas Coral sung by Stefan Hrusca (Romanian folk singer who lived in Canada, known widely in Romania mostly by the Christmas carols he sings)

High and deep is the Heaven,
Mother is swinging her Baby 
Down in the stable of sweet slumber.
Child of the Holy Father!

And she is singing, till dawn
when descend upon the flowers
and on the face of her holy garment...
The Heaven's dew.

Sleep, Sweet Baby, till will be
Your crucifixion in one day...
And then will be saddest burial
Flower of embers..

Only thus the Holy Father
Through the long awaited revival
will displace you from the evil arms
Great star of the stars

Naltu-i Cerul Si Adanc  -
Colind de Craciun cantat de Stefan Hrusca

Naltu-i cerul si adanc,
Maica leagana un prunc,
Jos in ieslea somnului,
Fiul Domnului...

Si tot canta, pana-n zori,
Cand coboara peste flori,
Si pa fata straiului,
Roua Raiului...

Dormi pruncut pana-ti va fi,
Rastignirea-n plina zi
Si-apoi trista-ngropaciune,
Floare de taciune...

Doar asa Cerescul Tata,
Cu invierea asteaptata,
Te va smulge relelor,
Steaua Stelelor...

What did you see, shepherds?
Christmas Coral, singing Aurel Tamas and Angela Rusu (Romanian singers widely known by the traditional folk song they sing)

What did you see, shepherds
Wake up till dawn?
We saw the baby Jesus
Jesus, "The One" who came from the sky
The Son of God, The Son of God.

What palace did He have?
Where "the Lord" was staying?
Was a strange, cold cave.
The Beasts cave
Was his palace.
What did have as bedding
The little new-born?
A stable was his bed
Hay and straws was the bedding
for Little Jesus.

Who was staying with him,
the Little Lord?
Mary was staying, the Saint Mother,
Josef was staying, with his gentle face
They sat and made the cross sign.

Who sings for him?
Who did worship his image?
The Angels came from the Sky
Singing Happy songs
For the Little Lord.

What did you see, shepherds
Wake up till dawn?

Ce-ati vazut, pastori?
Colind de craciun cantat de Aurel Tamas and Angela Rusu (interpreti de seama al cantecului popular romanesc)

Ce-ati vazut pastori
Sculati pana-n zori?
Am vazut pe Prunc-Isusul
Prunc-Isus din cer venitul
Fiu Dumnezeiesc, fiu Dumnezeiesc

Ce palat avea
Unde Domnul sta?
Pestera straina, rece
Pestera de dobitoace
Palatul era, palatul era

Ce-avea de-asternut
Micul nou nascut
Ieslea ii era culcusul
Fan si paie asternutul
Micului Isus, micului Isus

Cine sta cu el
Domnul mititel
Sta Maria, Maica Sfanta
Sta Iosif cu fata-i blanda
Sta si se-nchina, sta si se-nchina

Cine ii canta
Cine-l premarea
Ingerii din cer venira
Vesele cantari doinira
Micului Stapan, Micului Stapan

Ce-ati vazut pastori
Sculati pana-n zori

Down There In Bethlehem

singing Cleopatra Stratan (Romanian singer born in Moldova, who sets the new world world record for the Youngest Successful Singer who performed live for two hours in front of a large audience - in 2006 when, at the age of 3 years, perform two hours, 28 songs long concert in Bucharest and the world record for the youngest singer who recorded an album) and Pavel Stratan (her father - Romanian singer born also in Moldova)

Down There In Bethlehem
The sky seems to burn brighter,
Today virgin Mary gives birth to the Christ.

She gives birth in a sheeps stable
To the Lord of all people.
Virgin Mary sits and cries quietly.

She has no cloth diapers
And no clothes to cover Him.
Virgin Mary to the Son of the God.

Do not cry, Holy Mother!

Do not cry, Holy Mother!
We will offer cloth diapers to your baby
Virgin Mary, you will wrap Him in swaddling clothes
Down There In Bethlehem.

La Betleem colo-n jos  

Colinda de Craciun,  canta Cleopatra Stratan si Pavel Stratan  

La Betleem colo-n jos
Cerul arde luminos,
Preacurata naste astazi pe Cristos.

Naste-n ieslea oilor
Pe-mparatul tuturor
Preacurata sta si plange-ncetisor.

N-are scutec de-nfasat,
Nici hainute de-mbracat
Preacurata pentru pruncul de-mparat.
Nu mai plange, Maica mea

Nu mai plange, Maica mea,
Scutecele noi ti-om da,
Preacurata pruncul sfant vei infasa.
La Betleem colo-n jos

Merry Christmas !  Craciun Fericit!

December 21, 2010

Waiting for Santa Claus, lyrics by Adrian Paunescu

The Year is snowing his last file
Romanian's sons are singing corals
And they are waiting for Frosty-Santa
to bring them back the Santa Claus.

Santa Claus is coming to town, miniature landscape

But Santa Claus has never been gone
He was forever and always "The Great Santa"
He did not descend from payed translations
He has prepared his arrival to us on the Christmas Eve
He has been roamed the Earth with peace
He was teaching the children what's good and what's bad
And what means what the man is doing
when he is in the care of his Santa.
The Year is snowing his last file
Romanian's sons are singing corals
And they are waiting for Frosty-Santa
to bring them back the Santa Claus. 
The night before Christmas, 1933

He has been sowed fairy throughout the snows
To be ever forgotten any problem
He is trying to be like a sweet holiday
overcoming any house with Christmas trees
And he did come to us for many years
Misterious hidden at  the windows
But he was forever and always "the Great Santa"
Over Romanian Fairy-Tales.
The Year is snowing his last file
Romanian's sons are singing corals
And they are waiting for Frosty-Santa
to bring them back the Santa Claus. 
 Waiting for Santa

Maybe on the eaves are tears of mercy
Perhaps the children are crying and say
That they are waiting for Frosty-Santa
to bring them back the Santa Claus.
Anyway, descending from the tales and the legends
Next to the people and Prince Charming
Over the oceans and the continents
Santa is coming back home on his foots.
The Year is snowing his last file
Romanian's sons are singing corals
And they are waiting for Frosty-Santa
to bring them back the Santa Claus.
 Santa Workshop, 1932

Ah...I remember waiting eagerly for Santa's arrival as a kid. :) Well, actually I saw him for few years,  until I grew up. Romanians recounting the days when Santa Claus was "replaced" with Frosty-Santa. All the children are waiting for Santa Claus to come in their homes since ancient times. One of the poem-manifesto against this strange replacements of  legendary characters was "Waiting for Santa Claus / In asteptarea lui Mos Craciun", lyrics by Adrian Paunescu,  the man who wrote this poem for his son in a period when Romanians was surviving between the desire to express what they are feeling and the sad reality regarding the incarceration of freedom of speech imposed by Communist Era. Perhaps the true meaning of words can be understood best by those who lived in Romania during that period, but I translated in English this poem as a tribute to the poet Adrian Paunescu.  You can listen the Romanian Christmas carol " In asteptarea lui Mos Craciun"  sung by Andrei Paunescu (Adrian Paunescu's son).  

Andrei Paunescu - In asteptarea lui Mos Craciun


In asteptarea lui Mos Craciun

versuri Adrian Paunescu

Anul isi ninge ultima fila
Fiii romanilor colinde spun
Si il asteapta pe Mos Gerila
Sa li-l aduca pe Mos Craciun
Dar Mos Craciun n-a plecat niciodata
El a fost vesnic Mosul cel bun
N-a coborit din traduceri cu plata
S-a pregatit printre noi din ajun
A colindat tot pamantul cu pace
i-a invatat pe copii bun si rau
si ce inseamna omul ce face
cand e in grija mosului sau
Anul isi ninge ultima fila
Fiii romanilor colinde spun
Si il asteapta pe Mos Gerila
Sa li-l aduca pe Mos Craciun
The Night Before Christmas,1933

A semanat prin ninsori feerie
Ca sa se uite orice necaz
ca sarbatoare cauta sa fie
A podidit  orice casa cu brazi
Si n-a venit ani intregi Mos Craciunul
decat in taina pe la feresti
dar el de-a pururi el a fost unul
peste legendele vechi romanesti
Anul isi ninge ultima fila
Fiii romanilor colinde spun
Si il asteapta pe Mos Gerila
Sa li-l aduca pe Mos Craciun

Santa in The Night Before Christmas,1933

Poate la stresini sunt lacrimi de mila
Poate copii plang si ne spun
Ca il asteapta pe Mos Gerila
Sa l-il aduca pe Mos Craciun
Oricum din basme si din legende
de langa oameni si Fat-Frumos
peste oceane si continente
se intoarce Mosul acasa pe jos.
Anul isi ninge ultima fila
Fiii romanilor colinde spun
Si il asteapta pe Mos Gerila
Sa li-l aduca pe Mos Craciun

December 20, 2010

A century with Neagu Djuvara

 Saturday, December 18th was launched in Bucharest " A century with Neagu Djuvara / Un secol cu Neagu Djuvara" - a collection of reference sequences from Neagu Djuvara's life, narrated by George Radulescu.

With this occasion George Radulescu said:  " I discovered Mr. Professor Neagu Djuvara in my readings and I wanted to make publicly known his words, my book being a call to normality / L-am descoperit pe domnul profesor în lecturile mele şi am vrut să fac cunoscute vorbele sale publicului, cartea mea fiind un apel la normalitate."   This post has also same goal: to make his work better known by people around the world.

Neagu Djuvara
Neagu Djuvara - photo courtesy of

 Neagu Djuvara, born in 1916 as the last descendant of the Gradişteanu family (Wallachian boyar's family), is a Romanian historian, essayist, philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat.
Amintiri din pribegie (1948-1990)He graduated Law at the University of Paris (the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales) and was involved in Romanian history being a diplomatist in the "Mihai Antonescu" Royal Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  During the communist regime in Romania, he decided to follow his way in exil for 42 years, " Bucarest-Paris-Niamey et retour ou Souvenirs de 42 ans d'exil (1948–1990) / Bucharest-Paris-Niamey and Back or Recollections from 42 Years of Exile"  or "Recollections from Exile / Amintiri din Pribegie ".
Foreign Relations of Niger: Neagu Djuvara, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration In that period  he has been for 23 years ( 1961 to 1984) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration to the Government of the Republic of Niger.

He wrote several books in French and Romanian about History, Philosophy of History and memoirs, most of them being published after his returning in 1990 in Romania:

  • "Between East and West. The Romanian Lands at the Beginning of the Modern Era / Între Orient şi Occident. Ţările române la începutul epocii moderne" ;
  • "Le pays roumain entre Orient et Occident. Les Principautés danubiennes au début du XXe siècle / The Romanian Land between Orient and Occident. The Danubian Principalities at the Beginning of the 20th Century / Intre Orient si Occident. Tarile Romane la inceputul epocii moderne"
  • "How Was the Romanian People Born? Cum s-a născut poporul român?"
  • "Is There a Truthful History? Există istorie adevarată?"
  • "From Vlad the Impaler to Dracula the Vampire /  De la Vlad Ţepeş la Dracula Vampirul"

He is renewed for his theory " the cyclic pattern of civilizations" which says that human civilizations follow a certain pattern (a theory developed by Splengler and continued by N. Djuvara , which was validated by the collapse of USSR in 1991 and seems to be in the validation phase by the current global crisis). He studied the History of many civilizations: Egyptian, Cretan, Babylonian, Indian, Chinese, Greco-Roman, Islamic, Byzantine, Inca,  Aztec and he considered that any civilization's  life expectancy is around 2500 years, and follow four phases in its duration: heroic age, flourish age, sustaining states age and imperial age. He became Laureate of the Academie Francaise with his book written in 1975: Civilisations et lois historiques. Essai d’étude comparée des civilisations /  Civilizations and Historical Patterns. Essay of Comparative Studies on Civilizations /  which was awarded  in 1976 with "History Prize of the French Academy".

Reading his books (available in Romanian, French and English ) is a great pleasure and many of us may find interesting theories/answers for our concerns about how evolves modern society and the global crissis.

"I'm very worried about the future of United Europe/  Sunt foarte îngrijorat de viitorul Europei unite " Neagu Djuvara

Perhaps anything happen in life by chance, as he says:
" Everything in my life happened by chance/ Totul în viaţa mea a fost întâmplător" Neagu Juvara

So, I'm happy for my chance to discover Mr Djuvara's historical writings. 

December 17, 2010

December, by George Bacovia

See how December is snowing
lyrics by George Bacovia

See how "December" is snowing ...
Look to the windows, my dear -
Tell them to bring in more embers,
And let me hear how fire is roaring.
Push the armchair near the stove
I'm listening the snow storm by the chimney,
Or my stormy days - it's the same -
I would like to learn their symphony.

Tell them also to bring in the tea,
And you come closer to me, please, -
Read me something about the poles,
Let it snow ... let's get buried in the snow.
How warm it is here in your home,
And everything is in, is sacred to me, -
See how "December" is snowing ...
Don't laugh ... just keep on reading.

It's day, but still darkness there is ...
Tell them to bring us a lamp,
Look, the snow has grown as the fence,
And the door-handle was caught by hoar-frost.
Today I'm not going home ...
It is a flood in front and behind me,
See how "December" is snowing ...
Don't laugh ... just keep on reading.

In December, you should have everything you need in your sacred house, enjoying with your families the serenity of peaceful life, looking at the playful flames dancing in your fireplace near Christmas tree, and listening "December" lyrics sung by Nicu Alifantis (Romanian folk singer, actor and poet born in 1954 in Braila).


 December is snowing
Te uita cum ninge decembrie,
Spre geamuri, iubito, priveste -
Mai spune s-aduca jaratec
Si focul s-aud cum trosneste.
Si mana fotoliul spre soba,
La horn sa ascult vijelia,
Sau zilele mele - totuna -
As vrea sa le-nvat simfonia.

Mai spune s-aduca si ceaiul,
Si vino si tu mai aproape, -
Citeste-mi ceva de la poluri,
Si ninga ... zapada ne-ngroape.
Ce cald e aicea la tine.
Si toate din casa mi-s sfinte, -
Te uita cum ninge decembre ...
Nu rade ... citeste-nainte.

E ziua si ce intuneric ...
Mai spune s-aduca si lampa -
Te uita, zapada-i cat gardul,
Si-a prins promoroaca si clanta.
Eu nu mai ma duc azi acasa ...
Potop e-napoi si-nainte,
Te uita cum ninge decembre,
Nu rade, citeste-nainte.

George Bacovia (1881-1957) was a great Romanian poet born in Bacau, who graduated The Bucharest Law College, with a large collection of writtings: "It's Raining", "Sonnet" "Winter Picture" "Neurosis" "Lead" "Yellow Sparks" "Pieces of Night" "With You" "Poems". For his volume "Poems" published in 1934, Bacovia won the Romanian National prize for Poetry.
Bacovia's poetic world, in an inseparable relationship with Romanian language and culture, was strangely coloured, bitter (he was known as a morbid, depressive poet) and when read his poems you'll be captivated by his melancholy and his obssesive/repetitive  rhymes. (The translation try to convey the Romanian connotation, although is hard to translate and to keep the original rhythm of his poems).

December 16, 2010

Andreea Olariu, the Girl with a Golden-Voice

Andreea Olariu, named also "The girl with a golden-voice", is an exceptional Romanian talent, who has been born 14 years ago in Constanta to captivate audiences with her fantastic songs.

The last trophy won with Celine Dion’s piece, “I Surrender”, was the jury prize in the finals of the TV contest “Io canto” (I sing), organized in Italy and the Mike Bongiorno Foundation’s Bravo Bravissimo award, consisting in a scholarship at the Music and Art Show in Milan.

Her voice was awarded in the last 4 years with numerous 1st prizes at the national and international festivals of music.

Her first  trophy was won at the "Sea Dolphin" festival in Cumpana when she was 10 years old, but since she started singing 8 years ago, she won more than 15 trophies, few of them being at: Remember 2009, Snowflake 2009, Camena 2009, The Constellation of  Juniors 2009, The Festival of Youth, International Festival "George Grigoriu" .

As specialists in music said, Andreea’s amazing voice is compared to the one of Lara Fabian, internationally recognised as being the one with the largest register.

Succesfull also is her qualification at America’S Got Talent - her next challenge. Keep singing like that and the whole world will love you!

Good luck Andreea - it's your time!

December 10, 2010

Amza Pellea, the Magnificent Actor

There are people who wear the mantle of magnificence ever; real titans, who were born with a big heart and open mind.  Strong personalities who give others the fullness of their soul and fill people's hearts with joy and happiness. Powerful and complex spirits who attract  around them fame, greatness and love. Your whole existence will be influenced beneficial if you have the privilege to meet such a man. 
This happened to me when I met Amza Pellea (April 7th, 1931 - December 12th, 1983), the brilliant  actor who filled Romanian's hearts with emotion, no matter what role he played (and I'll always be grateful for that) 

"I believe that there is no difference between a drama and comedy / Eu consider ca nu exista nici  o deosebire intre drama si comedie." Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea, the Magnificent Actor
Amza Pellea, the Magnificent Actor

The "Happy moments" with  Nea Marin (a comical and ingenious character that portrays an amazing archetypal Oltenian peasant) cheered up my childhood. 

"It's a trait of character of the Romanian people to make fun by themselves, sometimes even in trouble. / E o trasatura specifica poporului roman de a face haz, cateodata chiar de necaz"Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea aka Nea Marin
Amza Pellea aka Nea Marin

He was teaching us that lies in our power to see life friendly and to choose a cheerful and open way when tell a story  "I am convinced that any event may be told to squeeze tears or laughter /  Sunt convins ca orice intamplare poate fi povestita in asa fel incat sa stoarca si lacrimi si hohote de ras" Amza Pellea

I grew up between his magnificent jokes, quotes and his film/theater acting (comedy, drama, historical films - all were magnificent interpreted).
Amza Pellea, Decebal
Amza Pellea / Decebal

He was a genius who left his mark on Romanian culture and cinematography and will be forever associated with great Romanian leaders because of how passionately acted as Decebal, Dacian King  in "The Dacians/ Dacii" movie (1966) or Voivode Basarab from "The big Tailors of Wallachia / Croitorii cei mari din Valahia"  or Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia in "Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul" (1970).

He loved with passion theater, acting with outstanding performances in any TV, theater or film productions, succeeding so finely to capture human behave, walk and talk.

An actor should have "An open heart, perpetual sensitivity able to register any pain and human suffering, as a highest precision seismograph / Un suflet deschis, o sensibilitate vesnica in stare de alerta, in stare sa inregistreze ca un seismograf de cea mai mare precizie orice durere si suferinta omeneasca." Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea, The immortals/ Nemuritorii
Amza Pellea, The immortals/ Nemuritorii

During his life he played at the Craiova Theatre, Small Theatre, Nottara Theatre, Comedy Theatre and the National Theatre Bucharest, being also a professor at the Academy of Theatre and Film in Bucharest.  Other movies in which he played: Tudor (1963), "Catfish/ Pisica de mare" (1964) , "The outlaws / Haiducii" (1966) , "Sunday Father/ Tata de duminica" (1975), "Impossible love/ Imposibila iubire" (1983) (many of them having Sergiu Nicolaescu as a movie director).   In 1977 he won the "Best actor" prize at the Moscow International Film Festival - for the role played in "The Doom / Osanda" movie (1976).

In "Then I Sentenced Them All to Death/ Atunci i-am condamnat pe toti la moarte" movie (1971) he played disarming the role Ipu (the village idiot), who lives with simplicity the last days of the German occupation.

Amza Pellea, Ipu
Amza Pellea, Ipu

The" Michael The Brave/ Mihai Viteazul " movie is one of the most viewed Romanian movie, distributed worldwide by Columbia Pictures. This film was nominated for Golden Award at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1971 and at the Beaume Historic Film Festival in 1974.

Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul
Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul
HBO had to broadcast this film on December 1st, 2000.  Amza Pellea was outstanding  playing the main character - Michael the Brave, the king who united Romanian Provinces into the country of Romania in the 17th century.

Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul movie
Amza Pellea, Michael the Brave/ Mihai Viteazul movie

In 1981, with "Uncle Marin, the Billionaire / Nea Marin miliardar" he proved that he can played any role. In this most known Romanian comedy he played 2 characters: a comical authentic peasant  "Nea Marin Juvete" who calmly resolve things like in his village  and an American billionaire "Mr. Juvet" who cames in Romania and has to do with press, luxury life and with "bad guys" who kidnapped his daughter.

Amza Pellea, Uncle Marin, the Billionaire / Nea Marin miliardar
Amza Pellea." Uncle Marin, the Billionaire / Nea Marin miliardar"

"An actor should play any role and be credible as a ruler or a peasant, as a weak man or a strong man, as a thief or a judge. / Un actor trebuie sa joace orice si sa fie credibil si intr-un voievod, si intr-un taran, si intr-un om slab, si intr-un om puternic, si intr-un borfas si intr-un jurist" Amza Pellea

Amza Pellea, Nea Marin Juvete & Mr. Juvet, the Billionaire
Amza Pellea, Nea Marin Juvete & Mr. Juvet, the Billionaire

His biggest desire (the one thing he has wanted all his life), was to transform his hometown "Bailesti" into "The Romanian Capital of Satire and Humor". His dream has been accomplished with the support of the Bailesti City leaders at that time (Marin Ciuca, Tiberiu Grebla and Ion Teaca) by organizing in 1979, 1980 and 1982 tree successive editions of  The Humor and Satire Festival "From a joke to another joke"/ Festivalul de Satira si Umor De la o gluma la alta".  After his death, the name of this festival was changed in "The Amza Pellea Humor Festival / Festivalul de Umor Amza Pellea".
I did not forget the naturalness and simplicity of how he felt on his knees and prayed for gratitude for people gathered in Bailesti at the first edition of this Festival: " I kneeling before this great audience. Part of my heart will always love my native land and the people with whom I grew up. / Ingenunchez in fata acestui public minunat. O parte din inima mea va iubi intotdeauna pamanturile natale si oamenii langa care am copilarit" Amza Pellea

 Amza Pellea, Nea Marin, the Oltenian

And he really loved these people without limits and without reservation, beyond personal sacrifice
"A love that will lead to acting beyond any personal sacrifice, because once you entered in this profession, no longer belong to yourself / O dragoste de meserie care sa duca pana dincolo de orice sacrificiu personal, pentru ca odata intrat in aceasta meserie, nu-ti mai apartii" Amza Pellea.

This love lasts over time in his native town from Oltenia region, and those who remained after him (his humorous definition about them was "The Oltenians are like pepper in food  / C-asa e olteanul, ca piperul in mancare") remember with love for both: the Man and the Actor.  Two years ago was inaugurated "The memorial house Amza Pellea" and his statue stands in front of the Cultural House from Bailesti named in his honor "Amza Pellea House of Culture / Casa de cultura Amza Pellea".

Amza Pellea statue - Bailesti, Romania
Amza Pellea statue - Bailesti, Romania
Strangely,  my soul is divided in two:  part of me is sad because tomorrow will commemorate 27 years since his death (December 12th, 1983), and the other part will be forever grateful for the spiritual wealth left  as legacy over the centuries by this Magnificent Actor.

December 4, 2010

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Every year, the evening of December 5th is very important for all children (and not only for them). They carefully prepare their boots (ghetutele), clean them, polish them and place them near the door (and in many houses parents compete with children to do this). On the night of 5th to 6th December, is told that Saint Nicholas / Mos Nicolae comes on the windows (he was never seen by any person) and leaves in their boots sweets and other presents for any listeners children and silver twigs (rods, nuieluse) for the others, as punishment they are lazy and disobey their parents. The next day, children will find these gifts in their boots. 
This tradition transform this day in a very important moment of the year, so long awaited by children, but, also, by adults who consider Saint Nicholas Day as a beginning of the beautiful winter holidays.

Many legends and stories have been told  about St. Nicholas deeds through the centuries. The real Sf. Nicholas was raised by a devout Christian to assist the needy, the sick and the suffering. He was born in Patara, Turkey (at that time was Greek territory) and became Bishop Nicholas of Myra Lycia in the forth century, known for his generosity, love for children and concern for sailors and ships. He died December 6, 343, in Myra and was buried in his cathedral's church and the anniversary of his death became St. Nicholas Day, day widely celebrated in the World and especially in Europe, by Catholics and Orthodox. The stories of his goodness and generosity
are still recounted as a great worker of miracles (rescuing murdered children, giving dowry gold or bringing gifts, saving innocents and sailors).

Sf Nicholas - Sf. Nicolae Church, Bucharest

Sf Nicholas (Sf. Nicolae) Church, Curtea de Arges
Curtea de Arges medieval church
Under his patronage were founded many churches and monasteries all over the world. I want to mention only few from Romania, with a great history: 

- Medieval church "Sf Nicolas Church / Biserica Sfantul Nicolae" Curtea de Arges (photo courtesy of wikipedia). Basarab I founded this church in 1310-1352, and is considered the oldest princely foundation of Wallachia (inside of the the Royal Court / Cetatea Domneasca). 

Sf Nicholas (Sf. Nicolae) Church, Schei, Brasov

  - Sf. Nicholas Church, Brasov/ Biserica Sf. Nicolae Scheii Brasovului
(photo courtesy of , dating back to the 14th century, is situated in Schei in "The Union Square / Piata Unirii" - was founded by Vlad the Monk / Vlad Calugarul ( brother with Vlad the Impaler / Vlad Tepes/ Dracula) and Neagoe Basarab.

Royal Saint Nicholas Church / Biserica Sf. Nicolae Domnesc Iasi 

 - Royal Saint Nicholas Church / Biserica "Sf. Nicolae Domnesc" Iasi (postcard), was founded by Stephen the Great / Stefan cel Mare between 1491-1492 and it stands for the oldest religious dwelling in "Royal Court / Curtea Domneasca", Iasi, nearby "The Palace of Culture / Palatul Culturii".

The people are told that "Winter begins on St. Nicholas Day / Iarna incepe in ziua de Sf. Nicolae". Saint Nicholas is old and has a white beard, and in this day he is shaking his beard, so the time to have snow was coming. On this day, people says: " St. Nicholas rejuvenated / A intinerit Sf. Nicolae".

Over the centuries, many people were named after him. I want to remind one great Romanian physician, Nicolae Kalinderu (1835-1902) born on December 6th,  who initiated large studies on histology, microbiology, diagnosis and epidemiology of leprosy
together with Victor Babes. Even he is not so well known, he bequeathed to Romanian people, in 1907, The Museum of Art "Dr. Ioan and Nicholas Kalinderu" from Bucharest, with an impressive collection of Medieval art and traditional Romanian art.

I'm thankful to Saint Nicholas for the gifts received in all the years. Like every year, I'll place my boots in front of the chimney, hoping will be stuffed with gifts and accordingly with an old Romanian customary, I'll take a fruitful branch and I'll put it in water to bloom until New Year Eve. I don't know what The Saint will bring for you in the Saint Nicholas Day, but with this occasion I'm sending you lots of warm wishes on the
notes of  "The carol of the quince in window / Colindul gutuii din geam" ( lyrics Adrian Paunescu, singing Magda Puskas and Tatiana Stepa)

May Saint Nicholas's miracles come to your home and fill your life with light, happiness and wonderful presents!