Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 9

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Chapter 9 covered the Dutch East Indies in the first story and the fall of the Ottoman Empire through the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 in the second story. The first story was totally new information to me, but not the second one.

Red and white ribbon traditionally worn in Eastern Europe in March - martsishor

Red and white ribbon traditionally worn in Romania in March – martsishor

Why? Because it was not just Russia and Bulgaria fighting the Ottoman Turks. The coalition was led by Russia and included Bulgaria, but it also included Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. Continue reading »

I grew up in Romania and this war of 1877-1878 was taught to us as the “War of Independence” from the Ottoman Empire. I was disappointed that Susan Wise Bauer did not explain the coalition included more countries than just Bulgaria. And why not put Romania, Serbia and Montenegro on the map?

Why mention only Bulgaria? Why say that Bulgaria lay “just south of the Russian border?” How do you define “just south?” You skip a whole country, i.e. Romania, which is tucked between Russia and Bulgaria, and then you declare Bulgaria “just south of Russia?”


Ribbon for brooches worn to celebrate the arrival of spring in Romania and Bulgaria

I told the kids my feelings on the subject and explained that there were several battles where Romanian soldiers bravely fought against the Turks at the time. It was an Eastern Orthodox coalition, too, against Muslims. This was mentioned in the chapter, but only briefly.

Anyway, I will stop complaining. FYI, the Bulgarian-inspired craft called “Martenitsa” sounded familiar as well. We have the exact same thing in Romania, called “Martsishor” and it dates back to when our territory was a Roman Province. I used to wear the red and white ribbon with small brooches too, along with everybody else, on March 1, when I was growing up.

Tuesday Tome Week 32 – Romanian History

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The title of my book this week was “O scurtă istorie ilustrată a românilor” written by Nicolae Djuvara, who is almost 100 years old. I picked up this book when I was in Romania in April. To be clear, it is in Romanian.

Romanian History

Just in case you are interested in reading it, this Romanian title has been translated into English and French. The English title is “A Brief Illustrated History of Romanians” and Amazon sells it, of course. Well, I should say that is the literal translation of the Romanian title. I see they chose “A Concise History of Romania” for the official title of the English version, translated and published in Canada.

Djuvara is a historian with many book titles to his name, so I can only assume that this English translation is the same as the Romanian title I read. If you are not confused yet, read on.

Continue reading »

First of all, this was a great read because of the content. I love history and it has been a long time since I read anything about Romanian history. Secondly, the history I was taught growing up was highly censored and biased, as the Communist regime in Romania wanted things presented from their point of view. So I learned a lot from this book, which tells the real story of what actually happened.

Last but not least, the older I get, the more I want to re-visit my roots. I have spoken with other immigrants and they told me they feel the same way. This one gentleman from Jamaica was telling me when he was in his 70s that he felt himself drawn more and more to the culture, cooking, music etc of his home country despite the fact that he had lived in the US since he was a teenager.

On an even more personal note, my dad was a history buff. With his passing last year, I felt even more drawn to reading history as a way to connect with him post-humously. I wonder, “Did dad know about this event?” or “How did he feel about this historical figure?” and so on.

So, you know, I am aging. It is a sign of getting older that I turn to history books about Romania and learning and re-learning some facts. The most interesting part for me was modern history – since 1859 and on. The Masons had a lot to do with our history, just like all over the world. It’s a historical fact.

Then, the royal house of Hohenzollern (from Germany) was brought to the throne of Romania at the end of the 19th century and I did not know much about that. The Communists made sure we did not get too much information about the royals they ousted in 1947. A great read if you like this kind of stuff.

Queen Anne of Romania Has Died

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Queen Anne of Romania passed away on August 1 and I feel very sorry. Although she was a very unusual queen, in that she never really reigned properly over Romania, she represented the monarchy in a very real way. The Communists removed her fiance, King Michael, from the throne in 1947, so she never really set foot in Romania until almost 50 years later.

Peles Castle - mom and children visiting

The kids and I in front of Peles Castle, one of the residences of the Romanian Royal Family.

Next Tuesday, I will publish a post about this book on Romanian history I just finished. The best part was the modern era, because I finally learned the real facts about the time just before Communism set in. And the royal family were a big part of that history.  Continue reading »

Queen Anne was a French princess who never really learned Romanian, but we loved her anyway. She was everything we would have wanted in a queen: beautiful, smart, a wonderful mom, and a devoted wife. Hers was a marriage of pure love to King Michael and they raised five daughters. One of them was recently stripped of her HRH title because of her arrest and guilty plea for some illegal activities, but that’s a different story.

Since daughter number 1 did not have children, the heir presumptive to the (nonexistent) throne of Romania will go to the son of the second daughter of Queen Anne. His name is Nicholas. He grew up in England but has recently said that if the Romanian people asked him to be king, he would not refuse.

Anyway, it’s a long story about our royal family. It’s a theoretical throne at best and even though more and more Romanians would like to see monarchy restored, nobody believes it will happen.

We are sad to see our beautiful queen go. Condolences to the family.