January 29, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Romania

There are many beautiful and unique natural wild territories, and places full of inspiration and history inherited by Romanians from Thracians,  Dacians and Romans or having Byzantine / Ottoman influences.  Few of them was identified having unique features and was included by UNESCO on the List of World Heritage Sites.

UNESCO - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization adopted in 1972 an international treaty named " Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" identifying cultural and natural heritage teritories in order to protect and preserve them to be passed on to future generations. Until June 2010, this Convention was ratified by 187  States Parties (Romania ratified the Convention in 16 May 1990). The World Heritage List includes 911 properties located in 151 States Parties: 704 cultural, 180 natural and 27 mixed sites forming part of the cultural and natural universal heritage. Once included in World Heritage List, the sites became part of the World Heritage, belonging to the peoples all over the world wherever they are located.

Danube Delta - postcard - Romanian Natural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Danube Delta - postcard - Romanian Natural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

From Romania were included 7 sites and I would like to remind them for those who still do not know them:

On the natural category, until now was accepted only the Danube Delta (since 1991) -> the whole region where the Danube River discharges into Black Sea. There are few other natural parks submitted on the tentative list, pending to be accepted in this list as: Retezat National Park / Parcul National Retezat and Rodna Mountains / Pietrosul Rodnei.

On the cultural category were accepted six sites, some of them having several components:

* Churches of Moldavia - Suceava county ( since 1993) : Voroneţ, Sucevita, Moldovita, Manastirea Humorului,  Saint George's Church of Suceava, Probota, Arbore, Patrauti.

Sucevita Monastery (postcard) -Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Sucevita Monastery (postcard) -Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

 * Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains (since 1999): Sarmizegetusa Regia - The Capital of Dacia, Costesti-Blidaru, Costesti - Cetățuie, Piatra Rosie, Banita, Capâlna.

Sarmizegetusa - The Capital of Dacia -Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Sarmizegetusa - The Capital of Dacia

* Historic Centre of Sighişoara - Mures County(since 1999)

Sighisoara (postcard) -Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Sighisoara  (postcard) -  Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

 * Monastery of Horezu - Vâlcea county(since 1993)

Horezu Monastery - Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Horezu Monastery -  Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

   * Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania (since 1993): Biertan,  Câlnic, Dârjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor, Viscri 

Viscri Fortified Church -Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Viscri Fortified Church -Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

  * Wooden Churches of Maramureş ( since 1999): Bârsana, Budesti,  Desesti, Ieud,  Plopis / Sisesti Commune, Poienile Izei,  Rogoz / Târgu Lapus, Surdesti / Sisesti Commune.

Poienile Izei Wooden Church - Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Poienile Izei Wooden Church - Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

The full list of the Romanian sites submitted to be accepted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and still pending to be accepted is:

    * Neamt Monastery / Mânastirea Neamtului(1991)
    * Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Ensembles of Curtea de Arges / Ansamblul bizantin si post-bizantin Curtea de Arges(1991)
    * Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brancusi in Târgu Jiu / Ansamblul Sculptural Constantin Brancusi (1991)
    * Rupestrian Ensemble in Basarabi, Dobruja / Ansamblul rupestru din Basarabi, Dobrogea (1991)
    * Three Hierarchs Monastery/ Mânastirea Trei Ierarhi  (1991)
    * Fortified Houses from Oltenia / Cule din Oltenia (1991)
    * Densus Church / Biserica din Densus (1991)
    * Historic Town of Alba-Iulia / Orasul istoric Alba Iulia (1991)
    * Retezat National Park / Parcul National Retezat(1991)
    * Rodna Mountains / Pietrosul Rodnei (1991)
    * Sânpetru Formation (paleontological site) / Site-ul paleontologic de la Sânpetru, Hunedoara (1991)
    * Slătioara Secular Forest  / Codrul secular Slatiora  (1991)
    * The Historic Centre of Sibiu and its Ensemble of Squares / Centrul istoric al Sibiului (2004)

Voronet Monastery (postcard) - Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites
Voronet Monastery (postcard) - Cultural Site on the List of World Heritage Sites

January 24, 2011

Hora, Romanian Traditional Dance

 "Hora" ("the round dance") is a Romanian dance inherited from Dacians, that gathers all the dancers  in a big circle.
Hora is an ancient ritual common in the Black Sea area, symbolizing spiritual communion, equality and the wish for a happy and joyful life. It is also popular in other countries as: Israel (hōrāh is Jewish national dance), Greece (χορός), Bulgaria (Horo) Macedonia (Oro). Hora is popular in festivals, weddings or event celebrations when people gathered in large circles and dance (the rhythm could be slow or fast).

 The Longing Ansamble / Ansamblul folcloric Dorul
"The longing" Ansamble  / Ansamblul folcloric Dorul 

Dancing Hora requires a set of standardized (more or less) steps. The dancers hold each others hands or put their hands on the shoulders of the neighbors. The dancers follow a sequence of steps forward and back: they start stepping with left foot, then step over with the right, step again with left foot, swing the right foot in front of left, then step back on their places.

Sometimes the circle spins, as the participants follows a similar sequence of steps but step to the side, passing left foot behind right, then move the right foot beside the left foot, then step to the side again, passing left foot in front of right, then move backward. When large groups gathered, people create several circles - the smaller inside the bigger and so on and are circling together, usually  to the right.

Doina Gorjului ansamble dancing Hora of the Union / Ansamblul folcloric Doina Gorjului dansand Hora Unirii
Doina Gorjului ansamble dancing Hora of the Union / Ansamblul folcloric Doina Gorjului dansand Hora Unirii

One of the most famous Romanian Hora is a patriotic song,  the Hymn of the Union of the Principalities :  "Hora of the Union" / "Hora Unirii", lyrics wrote by Vasile Alexandri, music by Alexandru Flechtenmacher. Its music and verses were heard today in every corner of Romania (and  this  inspired me to write the article).

24th January 2011 is the celebration day of the 152st anniversary of the reunification of  Wallachia and Moldavia. The people from these states elected same ruler: Alexandru Ioan Cuza as first prince of the "Romanian United Principalities" /  "Principality of Romania" in 1859.  This day is known as  "The Day of small union/Ziua Micii Unirii".  Every year on this day and also on "Great Union Day / Ziua Marii Uniri",   the Romanians gather in public places, singing and dancing  "Hora of the Union" (next video) . The master of Romanian painting Theodor Aman (1831-1891) immortalized one of these moments in his work "The Hora of the Union at Craiova/ Hora Unirii la Craiova", piece of art kept at the Romanian National Museum of Art.

The Hora of the Union at Craiova/ Hora Unirii la Craiova, by Theodor Aman - Picture courtesy of wikipedia

Come on, everybody, let's dance now the Hora of the Union!

January 20, 2011

The Shadow of Mircea. At Cozia.

"Writing is always a way to write another script more perfect, and I'll be first to applaud the one who will do better /  O scriere este intotdeauna un mijloc de a face alta mai desavarsita, si eu voi fi cel dintai a aplauda pe acela ce va face mai bine" Grigore Alexandrescu

 Mircea The Old and Michael the Brave on stained glass at Cozia Monastery
Mircea the Old and Michael the Brave - Stained Glass at Cozia Monastery

Cozia Monastery (1386-1388), named also "Nucet" or the "Nut Grove", is a a great example of Romanian - Wallachian architecture with  Byzantine Medieval influences,  being the resting place of Mircea the Old / Mircea the Great (Mircea cel Batran), the great Ruler of Wallachia who fought against Turks, father of Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul)  and  grandfather of Vlad the Impaler’s (Vlad Tepes, Dracula).

You can not go to Romania without seeing this amazing piece of historical art with valuable paintings, which was built by Mircea the Old  in a stunning scenery, below Cozia Mountains, along rushing torrents of Olt River. Nowadays, the monastery is situated on E81 road, on the right bank of the Olt River, in Vâlcea county, at 20 km of Râmnicu Vâlcea, in the vicinity of the Calimanesti-Caciulata resorts.

 Olt River near Cozia Monastery

Grigore Alexandrescu (22.02.1810 - 25.11.1885) was a famous romantic Romanian poet, renowned for his poems and fables with social and political undertones. He wrote emotional, touching poems on the heroic episodes from Romanian history, recalling greatness of Romanian invincible heroes, brave soldiers who fought and died for the country as: "An impression dedicated to the Romanian army / O impresie dedicata ostirii romane" "The Tombs. At Drăgăşani / Mormintele. La Dragasani", "The union of the Principalities / Unirea Principatelor", "The Shadow of Mircea. At Cozia / Umbra lui Mircea. La Cozia".  He was also considered the best Romanian fable-writer, his fables, letters and satires being influenced by French style.
He was at Cozia Monastery when wrote "The Shadow of Mircea. At Cozia", in the Cozia Medieval Cultural Center where monk and scholars translated and interpreted many books rendering them accessible to the Romanians.

 Cozia Monastery

" The Shadow of Mircea. At Cozia"

I tried to respect the integrity of the original poem (whose meaning is complicated enough to understand in Romanian, too) when I have translated it in English, keeping most of the words wrote initially by the poet. I hope it comply with the Romanian version of the poem, although is not exactly a literal translation.

Shadows of the towers which are lying over waves
Are extending to the river edges, elongating over water bowl,
And the proudly generations of the spumy waves
Are striking rhythmic, in cadence, the old monastery's walls.

From a cave, from a ravine, night is coming, surrounding me:
From the cliff ridge, blackened faces are descending;
Moss is moving on the wall ... among grass is straining he
Like a blower, passing like a shiver through the knees.

It is time for imagination, one tomb is unveiling,
A ghost-crowned goes out of it ... foresee her...
Leaving ... coming to the shore ... siting ...looking around her ...
The river withdraws... mountains rinse their lures.

Listen ...the Great Ghost beckons ... give a command ...
Armies, countless camps are raising around him...
His voice is heard, increases, being repeated from cliff to sand
Transylvania hears the message, Hungarians take their guns.

River-Olt, that have witnessed the bravery past
And have watched strong legions passing your river-banks,
Great virtues, terrible acts are known to you...,
Who is the man who has terrified your waves?

It is He,  as it shows his sword and armor,
The Knight of Faith, or Lord over the Tiber River,
Trajan, the Glory of Rome who struggle with nature,
Or the Giant of Dacia, or is Mircea the Old?

Mircea! Answered the Hill, Mircea! replied the Olt-River.
This sound, this name was taken by the waves,
They say it to each other, notifies the Danube River,
Whose sparkling waves were washed it away to the Black Sea.

I kiss your hand, Old Shadow! Please, receives worship
From Romania's sons which you have honored:
We arouse our astonishment to your grave;
Centuries, who swallow nations, your name fed.

Your zeal has been tirelessly, endless - this endeavor of yours:
All life, until you're old, you have encouraged the Romanian army
But, alas, fate was not forgiving to crown the desire of yours
And your name to be linked to the freedom's legacy.

But  with so fewer resources, your works were surprising:
The reason, not the result, brought your glory:
What you undertook was right, was noble and was glowing
Therefore, your name will be loved and spotless.

In that stone-temple, road that leads to eternal life,
Where did you think, maybe, about the people that you love
How much pleasure did you feel when Mike's wife  (Michael the Brave was his son)
Came to tell you his feats that made him shine above!

We read about your battles, as we look on the old armor
That once was held by a giant in wars fought;
Its weight is pressing us, passing over our poor bounds
We doubt if that's how people stayed into the truth.

Those times have passed, times of bravery acts
But the sad and bitter laws, habits have betrayed:
Using science and art, twin nations unites
In thought and in peace founding the glory way.

Because War is terrible scourge, that is loved by death
And for it's bloody laurels, nations are paying;
Is the anger of the Heaven, is the fire which is melting
Blooming pastures, and the forests which nurture it.

But the black veil of the Night widens over the hills,
At sunset the clouds gathered, and are spreading as a garment;
Darkness reigns over the waves and in the skies;
All is terror and silence ... shadow's falling in the grave.

The World is waiting ... the tall towers naves
As the ghosts of their great ages, mourn their heroes;

And the proudly generations of the spumy waves
Are striking rhythmic, in cadence, the old monastery's walls.

 Cozia Monastery - Valcea county

The original poem in Romanian published in "Propasirea" in 1844:

Umbra lui Mircea. La Cozia.

Ale turnurilor umbre peste unde stau culcate:
Catre tarmul dimpotriva se întind, se prelungesc,
S-ale valurilor mîndre generatii spumegate
Zidul vechi al manastirei în cadenta îl izbesc.

Dintr-o pestera, din rîpa, noaptea iese, ma-mpresoara:
De pe muche, de pe stînca, chipuri negre se cobor;
Muschiul zidului se misca… pîntre iarba sa strecoara
O suflare, care trece ca prin vine un fior.

Este ceasul nalucirei; un mormînt se desvaleste,
O fantoma-ncoronata din el iese… o zaresc…
Iese… vine catre tarmuri… sta… în preajma ei priveste…
Rîul înapoi se trage… muntii vîrful îsi clatesc.

Ascultati!… marea fantoma face semn… da o porunca…
Ostiri, taberi fara numar împrejuru-i înviez…
Glasul ei se-ntinde, creste, repetat din stînca-n stînca,
Transilvania l-aude, ungurii se înarmez.

Oltule, care-ai fost martur vitejiilor trecute,
Si puternici legioane p-a ta margine-ai privit,
Virtuti mari, fapte cumplite îti sînt tie cunoscute,
Cine oar’ poate sa fie omul care te-a-ngrozit?

Este el, cum îl arata sabia lui si armura,
Cavaler de ai credintei, sau al Tibrului stapîn,
Traian, cinste a Romei ce se lupta cu natura,
Urias e al Daciei, sau e Mircea cel Batrîn?

Mircea! îmi raspunde dealul; Mircea! Oltul repeteaza.
Acest sunet, acest nume valurile-l priimesc,
Unul altuia îl spune; Dunarea se-nstiinteaza,
S-ale ei spumate unde catre mare îl pornesc.

Sarutare, umbra veche! priimeste-nchinaciune
De la fiii României care tu o ai cinstit:
Noi venim mirare noastra la mormîntu-ti a depune;
Veacurile ce-nghit neamuri al tau nume l-au hranit.

Rîvna-ti fu neobosita, îndelung-a ta silinta:
Pîna l-adînci batrînete pe români îmbarbatasi;
Însa, vai! n-a iertat soarta sa-ncununi a ta dorinta,
S-al tau nume mostenire libertatii sa îl lasi.

Dar cu slabele-ti mijloace faptele-ti sînt de mirare:
Pricina, nu rezultatul, laude ti-a cîstigat:
Întreprinderea-ti fu dreapta, a fost nobila si mare,
De aceea al tau nume va fi scump si nepatat.

În acel locas de piatra, drum ce duce la vecie,
Unde tu te gîndesti poate la norodul ce-ai iubit,
Cîta ai simtit placere cînd a lui Mihai sotie
A venit sa-ti povesteasca fapte ce l-a stralucit!

Noi citim luptele voastre, cum privim vechea armura
Ce un urias odata în razboaie a purtat;
Greutatea ei ne-apasa, trece slaba-ne masura,
Ne-ndoim dac-asa oameni întru adevar au stat.

Au trecut vremile-acelea, vremi de fapte stralucite,
Însa triste si amare; legi, naravuri se-ndulcesc:
Prin stiinte si prin arte natiile înfratite
În gîndire si în pace drumul slavei îl gasesc.

Caci razboiul e bici groaznec, care moartea îl iubeste,
Si ai lui sîngerati dafini natiile îi platesc;
E a cerului urgie, este foc care topeste
Crîngurile înflorite, si padurile ce-l hranesc.

Dar a noaptei neagra manta peste dealuri se lateste,
La apus se adun norii, se întind ca un vesmînt;
Peste unde si-n tarie întunerecul domneste;
Tot e groaza si tacere… umbra intra în mormînt.

Lumea e în asteptare… turnurile cele-nalte
Ca fantome de mari veacuri pe eroii lor jalesc;
Si-ale valurilor mîndre generatii spumegate
Zidul vechi al manastirei în cadenta îl izbesc.

January 13, 2011

Tudor Gheorghe, Romanian Minstrel at the Longing Courts

Tudor Gheorghe, the "Minstrel at the Longing's Courts/ Menestrel la Curtile Dorului" as he entitled himself in 1969 in his first recital, is a Romanian master of speech,  singer, composer and actor. 
"The acacia trees went crazy / Au innebunit salcamii" sung by Tudor Gheorghe is one of the songs dear to my heart. I know - the (spring) time of joy and rebirth is still far, but when I hear this song, I recall the smell of the blooming acacia trees along the grandparent's fence! (and I translated with pleasure its lyrics).

The acacia trees went crazy
Feeling so much Spring around them,
Walking naked through the heavens
Being wholeheartedly in bloom.

They was blooming in the morning
White and soaked in morningdew
With strong scents of heavens
Plucked flowers, a new mystery.

The acacia trees went crazy
And along with their spring-illness
Seems that something magic happened
To the whole entire World.

Birds are feeling slightly dizzy
Spilling out their soul-birds
Wandering with many sorrows
Travelers among the stars.

The leafy green forest swings confudled
Not so quiet anymore
Keeping the oblong-moon
Like a heart-in-hand.

Can't you see my soul is spilling out
Through many chaotic words?
The acacia trees went crazy
And do you want me to abide peacefully?

Tudor Gheorghe
Tudor Gheorghe, photo courtesy of wikipedia
"Au inebunit salcamii
De atata primavara,
Umbla despuiati prin ceruri
Cu tot sufletu-n afara

Si l-au scos de dimineata
Alb si incarcat de roua
Cu miresme tari de ceruri
Smulse dintr-o taina noua.

Au innebunit salcamii
Si cu boala lor odata
S-a-ntamplat ceva imi pare
Si cu lumea asta toata

Pasarile aiurite
Isi scot sufletul din ele
Pribegind de doruri multe
Calatoare printre stele

S-a-mbatat padurea verde
Nu mai e asa de calma,
Tine luna lunguiata
Ca pe-o inima in palma

Nu-mi vezi sufletul cum iese
In haotice cuvinte,
Au innebunit salcamii
Si tu vrei sa fiu cumïnte?
Si tu vrei sa fiu cuminte?"

Tudor Gheorghe is living in Craiova, Dolj County, and was born in 1945 in Podari, a suburb of Craiova. He graduated the Theatre Institute in Bucharest and he starred in many plays staged by the National Theater of Craiova.
He is famous for his magic concerts of music and poetry in which he charmed with his guitar and his amazing voice that forward so many kind of emotions. Named also " the troubadour of the Romanian Song" - he devoted his life to Romanian culture, being one of the greatest promoters of folk songs, poetry (clasical and romanian folklore) and love of country, nature and art.

He tries to refund Romanian poetry and the music from the "old times" - rediscovering the music of the interwar period.

"Every time I listen to him - and this happens often - Tudor Gheorghe confirms my hunch that Romanian poetry can move the mountains / De fiecare data cand il ascult - si asta se intampla des- Tudor Gheorghe imi confirma banuiala ca poezia romanesca - populara si culta - poate misca muntii." Marin Sorescu (1936-1996 - Romanian poet and novelist)

"Every day we mock the love, birds and the sea and not realize that instead remains a desert of despair / În fiecare zi ne batem joc de păsări, de iubire şi de mare si nu băgăm de seamă că în loc rămâne un deşert de disperare." lyrics of the song "Every Day / In fiecare zi" by Romulus Vulpescu.   

Just listening his songs from his season's albums  "Symphonic Autumn / Toamna simfonic" "Spring/ Primavara" "Symphonic Winter/ Iarna simfonic" “Symphonic Summer/ Vara simfonic”. He explained himself  " I care / Imi pasa" in " Every day / In fiecare zi", letting us to wander " At the edge of Empires / La margine de imperii" about "The mistery of words/ Taina cuvintelor"  He is leaving as legacy Romanian traditional songs as "Doina" "Doina of love/ Doina iubirii" or "Doina of outlaws / Doina Haiducilor" or the archaic epic ballad "Mioritza / Miorita".

He detailed the difference between fiddler songs and poetry-music in his concerts "Party with Orchestra/ Petrecerea cu taraf” , “Party with Orchestra II/ Petrecerea cu taraf II” and “Party with Orchestra III/ Petrecerea cu taraf III".
Always spontaneous and sincere in his shows, he has a special light in his eyes and always forwards his emotions - laughing or crying from all the heart when talking or singing songs as " Laughters and Roses / Rasuri si Trandafiri" "The Perfumes of crazy desires/ Parfumele nebunelor dorinti" "The wheat flowers/ Florile graului" "There is my country/ Acolo este tara mea", "Looking to the Lost Longing/ In cautarea dorului pierdut". Please enjoy scenes from his live show " Traveler longing / Dorul Calator" for a better understanding of his magnificent performances .

Be blessed with a long and happy and healthy life!
Hope you'll fill many years our souls with the splendor of your concerts.

January 11, 2011

January, by Duiliu Zamfirescu

 winter's cold, the windows painter

Winter's Cold, the windows painter,
is playing with the Snows
and it's changing them in hoar-frost
hanging tassels on tree-branches.

On my window chilled with ice
I sit looking at the sky:
The clouds, which are sealed by the frost,
Gathered spotless overhead.

Sad and lonely as a Cricket
Breaking the time barrier again
I'm waiting to spin my thoughts
In a warmer corner of my brain.

And outside, only the smoke
Thin and slowly takes the flight;
I commit my longing to him
Letting  fly up to the skies.

Winter in Carpathian Mountains

Duiliu Zamfirescu (1858 – 1922) was a Romanian novelist, poet, writer, lawyer, journalist, politician and diplomat. He wrote with refinement, developing an original style although his opera had a lot of influences, sometimes in contradictions: parnassianism, romanticism, neoclassicism, conservatism or realism.  Starting with his debut in novels: "Facing Life / In fata vietii" he became well known for  "Life in the Country/ Viata la Tara"; "Tanase Scatiu" and "At War / In razboi".
He wrote also poetry volumes: "Untitled / Fara titlu", " Other Horizons / Alte Orizonturi"; " Pagan Hymns / Imnuri pagane",  "New Poems / Poezii noue" and "On the Black Sea / Pe Marea Neagra".
He wrote "January / Januarie" poem in 1988 (the English translation tries to convey the Romanian meaning of the verses).


Frigul, scriitor pe geamuri,
Cu zapezile se joaca
Si le schimba-n promoroaca
Atarnand ciucuri pe ramuri.

Din fereastra-mi inghetata
Stau uitandu-ma la cer:
Norii, plumbuiti de ger,
S-au strans pata linga pata.

Trist si singur ca un greier
Valul timpului rupandu-l,
Eu astept sa-mi toarca gandul
Intr-un colt mai cald de creier.

Iar afara numai fumul
Subtiratec isi ia zborul;
Eu imi leg de dansul dorul
Si-n vazduhuri ii dau drumul. 

"The Reflexion, this splendor of our existence, has to embrace everything in the World. / Cugetarea, aceasta splendoare a existentei noastre, trebuie sa imbratiseze totul pe lume." Duiliu Zamfirescu 


January 5, 2011

European Funds to Protect Natural Resources

This Holiday season I received a beautiful Edelweiss / Queen's flower (Floare de Colt, Floarea Reginei) ecard and I remembered about this wonderful "flower of purity" found high in the Alps but also found in Romanian Carpathians Mountains in the rocky part higher than 2000 meters altitude. In Romania this plant is protected since 1933 and it is picture on the 50 Lei banknote. I felt in love with it's silvery woolly look since childhood, when I found one bush in bloom on the Bucegi Plateau. The impressive Romanian environmental heritage has stunning landscapes / natural areas and rare species of wild flora and fauna which should be protected. This post aims to provide a starting point for discussions in 2011 about biodiversity and nature protection for all those who love nature and wildlife.

 Edelweiss ecard / Floare de colt

Well, everywhere is talking about environmental problems and "How to live green". People all over the world are analyzing soil / air pollution, biodiversity and nature protection, floods and waste-water. Romania has amazing natural heritage: it is situated in the cross-point of the Carpathians, Danube and Black Sea ecosystems.  If you want to be involved in finding solutions for the environmental problems in Romania you can start your research by browsing the European Union Structural and  Cohesion Funds  available till 2013.

The Operational Programme 'Environment'   (Programul Operational Mediu - POS Mediu) which is managed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Ministerul Mediului si Padurilor) has an European budget (allocated for 2007-2013 period) of EUR 4.512,470 million and Romanian budget of EUR 1098,406 millions.
Its main objective is to improve the living standards and the environment in Romanian territory and it's main axys (types of investments funded) are:
  • Extension and modernization of water and waste-water systems; 
  • Development of integrated waste management systems and rehabilitation of historically contaminated sites;
  • Reduction of pollution and mitigation of climate change by restructuring and renovating urban heating systems towards energy efficiency targets in the identified local environmental hot-spots;
  • Implementation of adequate management systems for nature protection;
  • Implementation of adequate infrastructure of natural risk prevention in most vulnerable areas;
  • Technical Assistance
European Union Flag

The final version (2007) of the official document focusing in meeting the European legislation on the environment about Sectoral Operational Programme Environment (2007-2013) elaborated by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development is available at the

Romanian official website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests is http://www.mmediu.ro (English version is still unavailable) and the official website with detailed information about  the projects portfolio in Operational Sectoral Programme 'Environment'  / Programul Operaţional Sectorial "Mediu", European and national legislation on the environment, intermediate organizations and detailed guidance to applicants for different Axys in "Environment" Programme is: http://www.posmediu.ro/home (only romanian version).

In 2011, the projects for first two AxysExtension and modernization of water and wastewater systems and Development of integrated waste management systems and rehabilitation of historically contaminated sites could be completed and submitted to be financed until 31 December 2011.

For the "Implementation of adequate management systems for nature protection" which has as objectives: conservation of biological diversity, natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, and to ensure effective management of protected natural areas, the projects could be still completed and submitted to be financed  until 31 January 2011.

I don't know if the eligibility conditions are too restrictive, or the evaluation and selection process is correlated with other procedures, but it is a good opportunity for lovers of nature to implement a project in this domain.

Eligible to became beneficiary of these European funds are: The Administrators and Custodians of protected natural areas that have legal / juridic personality; local authorities (Mayor, County Concils), Nonguvernamental Organizations (Associations and Foundations for Protection of Nature); The Directorate of Nature Protection,   Research Institutes, Universities and Museums.

The activities eligible for the projects are:
  • developments / revisions of plans, strategies and measures for management of protected natural areas and other related activities.
  • investments in infrastructure for public-oriented environmental protection and management of protected natural areas
  • activities to improve and maintain the favorable conservation status of species and habitats
  • consultation and information activities
  • training and development of institutional network management of natural protected areas  
 Edelweiss / Floare de colt

Let's protect Edelweiss and all the natural resources we have.
They are part of our heritage, our way of life and our future.

I like to start the new year with best wishes to everyone.  Enjoy a lovely song Edelweiss (Floare de Colt) sung by Ducu Bertzi  - Romanian singer born in 1955 in Sighetu-Marmatiei (the lyrics were translated in English by myself).

 Thanks to G. Junescu for the video

Silvery dream covered by petals
Your nest is above the Mountains
Your beam of light descend my Way
More beautiful than in a fairy tale
Re: You, Edelweiss, wonder under sky vaults
Delicate Star, My love!

Snowed flower on top of Mountains
Beyond the clouds and stars
Who could reach your heights?
Only the longings of my soul! 
Re:You, Edelweiss, wonder under sky vaults
Delicate Star, My love!

Flower of living light,
Warm morning smile to brighten my day
I am always waiting for you
Meeting you once in all my life.
Re:You, Edelweiss, wonder under sky vaults
Delicate Star, My love!

Vis de-argint si de petale
Cuibul tau e sus pe creste
Raza ta-mi coboara-n cale
Mai frumos ca-ntr-o poveste.
Re: Tu floare de colt, minune sub bolti
Frageda stea, iubita mea !

Floare ninsa-n varf de stanca
Mai presus de nori si stele
Cine oare sa te-ajunga ?
Numai dorurile mele !
Re: Tu floare de colt, minune sub bolti
Frageda stea, iubita mea !

Floare de lumina vie
Zambet cald de dimineata
Te astept de-o vesnicie
Te-ntalnesc o data-n viata.
Re: Tu floare de colt, minune sub bolti
Frageda stea, iubita mea !