Welcome to Romania, land of great natural beauty and diversity, and a rich cultural heritage. It is situated in the north of the Balkan Peninsula on the western shores of the Black Sea.
Romania is governed on the basis of multi-party democratic system and the segregation of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers. It is a semi-presidential republic where executive functions are held by both the government and the president.
While Romania is a secular state and has no state religion, around 90% of the population identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians.
The official and most spoken language is Romanian, an Eastern Romance language that shares some features with other Romance languages such as Italian, French, and Spanish. English and French are the main foreign languages taught in schools.
Romanians enjoy a leisurely walk on the weekend where they would often stop to chat with friends and acquaintances. They also enjoy folk dance groups, amateur theatrical groups, music ensembles, and a host of other entertainers. Romania has many radio/television stations, live theaters, opera houses, cabarets, and entertainment establishments. Notably, Western influence, especially American, has been increasingly noticeable in Romanian music, dance, and film.
Given its geographic location, Romanian cuisine shares some similarities with other Balkan cuisines such as Greek, Bulgarian, and Turkish. Mamalinga, cornmeal mush, is one of the staples of Romanian diet, and pork is the favorite meat of the Romanians – much more so than beef. The largest meal of the day is usually eaten in the early afternoon.
School is free and compulsory from the ages of six to sixteen in Romania. From ages six to fourteen, children attend primary school. After this, they must pass examinations to enter secondary school. About half the students go onto vocational schools, while the other half continue their education at technical institutes or teacher-training programs. Only 5% of students take a college preparatory course in secondary school. To study at a university, they must pass a rigorous examination that often requires expensive tutoring outside of school.
Calisthenics, exercising, and other gymnastics are a part of the school curriculum. Some of the best students are specially trained to compete in international events such as the Olympics.
In Romania, it is not uncommon for several generations to live together. Its national culture places a high value on helping extended family members and children are brought up to defer to their parents and elders.
Romanians are generally shy and quiet when you first meet and admire modesty and humility in themselves and others.
Basketball is particularly popular among Romanian youth.