Romania, the largest of the Balkan countries having an area of 238,391 sq. km is located at the intersection of Central and South-eastern Europe; sharing its border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east and Bulgaria to the South, it is the eighth largest country of the European Union.
The colour red colour in the Romanian flag represents the blood of the people who fought for the country, yellow for the grain that feeds its people and blue represents the sky.
Owing to its distance from the open sea, Romania has a climate that is temperate and continental with four distinct seasons. The winters are cold with quite low temperatures leading to a lot of snowfall in the mountains making it a perfect destination for skiers and snowboarders. Spring in Romania has cool mornings and warm nights. During summers, hot days are experienced along the black sea coastline. Autumn is cool and dry with colourful foliage from the trees and mountains creating a scenic beauty.
Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes due to its influence from both invaders and neighbours having a touch of Turkish, Hungarian and Austrian. Over the years, various such dishes have become just as traditional as the oldest Romanian food. The staple diet of the people heavily features the popular dishes of meat, cabbage rolls, sausages and stews. Romanian fishes are popular among the people as they are salty and grilled. Traditional Romanian desserts are pastries popularly known as ‘Danishes’ which are made with cheese fillings and a variety of toppings making it the typical dessert for the people.
Throughout the year, Romanians celebrate their ancient heritage and festivals with the changing seasons and religious holidays. In Romania, traditional folkways are meticulously preserved with young celebrants wearing the same costumes and dancing to the tunes played on the instruments traditional to their ancestors. Various traditional festivals are celebrated throughout the year and the most celebrated one amongst these is ‘Dance at Prislop’, which is very popular amongst three of the Romanian regions: Transylvania, Moldova and Maramures. Of all the events, folk festivals are without a doubt the most spectacular and popular among the people.
The majority of the people living in Romania are poor and the overall standard of living is low compared to that of the Western Europe. Only a few elite’s have access to various luxuries of life. Cars are rare and people who own them are usually part of the elite group, they also own imported consumer goods and household appliances representing another symbol of their high economic standing as compared to the poor. In Romania, it is considered a mark of wealth if a child is sent to day-care centres or is provided private tutoring. In cities, majority of the people wear westernized clothing, where-as in rural area some people still wear the traditional garb. For women it is wool skirts and for men it is a white blouse, leather belt and cap.