5 Myths About Romanian People
She told me she was Romanian… Shock, horror!
There’s a lot of bad press at the moment about Romania. In particular, thanks to the world’s favourite sex trafficker. Mr ‘You-Know-Who’ is doing a fine job putting Romania on the map.
Now, I recently made a video where I spoke about a waitress that was embarrassed to say where she was from. That waitress wasn’t actually from Romania but I had a lot of comments on that video from Romanians who felt very much the same way. It seems like Romanian people feel that the West sees them in a very negative light. People are even embarrassed to say that they’re Romanian. And, personally, I really don’t think people should be embarrassed to say that they are Romanian. I’ll explain why.
I’ve worked with Romanians and Romanian businesses all of my working career. I’ve travelled to Romania many times and worked with many Romanian companies and I can only say positive things.
Therefore, here are a five myths about Romanian people that I would like to debunk:
- Romanians Are Corrupt.
There have been huge issues in Romania with corruption. They have tried their best, particularly over the last 20 years, to quash a lot of this corruption and to fix the problem. The Romanian government has implemented several measures to address corruption, such as passing anti-corruption laws and creating anti-corruption agencies.
In my experience though, the Romanians that I have worked with have all been pretty honest. I only had one occasion where a client didn’t pay for a service. He was an anomaly as I never had any issues from anyone else.
With his case, it went to court, and then, in the end, the lawyers forced him to pay.
That has to be a sign of a pretty good country, right? If you can get money out of a country when someone is refusing to pay, that can’t be too bad?
On the whole, the Romanians I’ve done business with are straightforward and I would highly recommend doing business with Romanian people; no bullshit and easy to work with. They don’t mind working with foreigners and you get the feeling that they won’t hold it against you if you make a profit from them. They understand that if you make money, they make money. They want a win-win.
2. Romanians Are Poor.
Now, there is a lot of poverty in Romania. That’s true. But in Bucharest, where the majority of the population lives, I have seen pretty good standards of living. They have good health service and they have a decent sized middle class as well. Romania is known as a ‘tiger’ economy due to its strong economic growth and development in recent years. The country has a diverse economy with a mix of agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors. Romania has also attracted significant foreign investment, particularly in the automotive and IT industries. So, it’s an economy which is extremely self-sufficient.
There are a lot poorer countries than Romania. On a global scale, they are a midlevel country. Okay, the average wage is not as high as other countries in the EU. But I certainly wouldn’t say they were poor just because of that. Everything is relative.
3. Romanians Are Gypsies.
Now, less than 10% of the Romanian population are from the Roma Gypsy ethnic group. So, there are actually very few Roma Gypsies in Romania when compared to their overall population.
Have I seen any Gypsies on my travels? No, I don’t think so.
Apparently though the Romanian government has implemented policies aimed at reducing poverty and discrimination, and NGOs and international organizations have been working to improve access to education, health care, and other services for the Roma. However, there is still a long way to go to fully integrate the Roma into Romanian society and to eliminate the discrimination they face.
4. Romanians Are Uncultured.
Every country in the world has their ‘rednecks’. But on the whole, from the people that I’ve met, particularly in Bucharest, Romanians come across as being very cultured and very European.
Romania also has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that spans centuries and the country has produced many notable figures in the arts, literature, and science.
Another point I will add is that I’ve worked all over Eastern Europe and Romanians speak the best English by far. To me it is a sign of culture if they are willing to embrace a secondary language in such a strong way.
5. Romanians Are Vampires.
Now, I’m not really a horror fan. I don’t really get this to be honest, but a lot of people think, oh, Transylvania, that’s in Romania and that’s where the vampires come from!
The idea that Romanians are vampires originated from the folklore and mythology of the region, which includes stories of vampire-like creatures such as the Strigoi and Moroi.
The association between vampires and Romania has also been reinforced by the popularity of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel “Dracula,” which features a vampire named Count Dracula who hails from Transylvania, a region in Romania.
But of course, vampires are a myth. And the idea that Romanians are vampires has no basis in reality. People are going to go to Transylvania to see Dracula and instead they’ll see some very nice churches and countryside.
So, I hope you liked this article. This is my response to anyone that feels embarrassed to say that they are Romanian.
Just remember that your country is a great country and that you should be proud. If I was Romanian, I would be.