Today is an important public holiday in Romania. I can’t tell you exactly what it is for – something like Romania Day, or the Day of Unification or something like that. It celebrates the day in 1918 when Romania became the country it is today. Everybody gets the day off work, and happiness reigns throughout the land.
Except of course in the bits of the land which are less happy with the concept of the Greater Romanian Dream. Like this bit, for example. While it’s not quite Al Naqba (The Palestinian marking of the “Catastrophe” of the establishment of the Jewish State in 1948), it is certainly not a day to be celebrated. In fact, despite being a public holiday, most people are working here today as a way of demonstrating their lack of celebration of the day. Working on a holiday. That to me is the clearest indication of refuting the celebration. (But then, I’m a lazy bastard, so working on a holiday seems like the greatest sacrifice one can make).
There will be a big something in the main square later today. Some form of Romanian dancing and speeches and stuff. The Romanian Orthodox Church has had to bus people in to make sure there are enough people there to make it worthwhile. I can see the square out of the window of this office and despite the police having been out to direct traffic for hours now, there is still absolutely nothing going on out there.
It’s all quite fascinating to be in a country which is celebrating its biggest holiday in a city which is almost entirely uncelebratory. I hope Romanians elsewhere are actually enjoying their day.
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