Category Archives: Romania in the news

“Graduation” graduates with Best Director award at Cannes

“Romania’s Cristian Mungiu and France’s Olivier Assayas (in picture) share best director prize at Cannes for this 69th edition. Mungiu, who won the Palme d’Or in 2007, was rewarded for his critically-acclaimed ‘Baccalaureat / Graduation’. (…) Other Romanian movies and co-productions were awarded during this festival”. 

More details here:

A longer review (spoiler alert!), here:



The Daily Mirror discovers Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania“I wandered through cobblestone streets, dazzled by the colourful medieval and renaissance architecture, the citadels on the hillsides looking down, picture-perfectly framed by the forested mountain standing tall behind.

It could have been Germany’s Rhineland or Bavaria – but I was in Romania and this was Transylvania.

Nestled amongst the peaks and plains of the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania was once on the wild edges of Europe.”
More here:

Romanians can teach a thing or two

Transylvania“The Transylvanian landscape looks something like Shropshire, with more woods and no hedges. Centuries-old trees stand in the meadows, giving shade to cattle in the fierce summer heats. The beechwoods are reminiscent of Sussex; only with hardly anybody about and no sign of human habitation for miles.


At a time when Britain is letting in large numbers of migrant workers from Romania, Prince Charles is leading a small counter-migration: of well-heeled Northern Europeans who delight in species-rich meadows and rickety farmhouses (which, incidentally, can still be bought for a song).

‘It’s the last corner of Europe where you see true sustainability and complete resilience,’ says the Prince. ‘There’s so much we can learn from it before it’s too late.'”

From the Daily Mail:

Budget-friendly and (almost) Dracula-free Transylvania

DSC_3702 (Small)““Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things,” said a certain sharp-fanged count to his English visitor, freshly arrived by train to Transylvania.

In some sense, things haven’t changed much since Bram Stoker published those words in 1897. I arrived by train myself in mid-January and I, too, found strange things: A picture-perfect medieval town square packed not with tourists but primary school students. “Bagel” shops that don’t sell bagels. An Eastern Orthodox priest denouncing guitar lessons and raising bees.


Still, Sighisoara, under three hours from Brasov by train, was the highlight. I’m very picky about medieval walled towns, having skewered places from Dubrovnik, Croatia, to Èze, France, as little more than polished museum pieces. But unlike those places (and true to what guidebooks said), Sighisoara is truly living medieval town, its 16th- through 18th-century homes largely still inhabited. When I stopped into a place called the Medieval Cafe for a 5-lei warm winter drink made of black currants, I could hear children playing in the neighboring schoolyard; I would later see the same kids rushing out of school in the square in front of the clock tower, which in many other places would be strictly tourist territory.”

More from the New York Times here:

Romanian cities have highest download speed in the world

Capture“Based on millions of recent test results from, the index compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe. The value is the rolling mean throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles.”

Guess what. Country ranking, Feb 07, 2014, 0:00 hours:

1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Romania

City ranking:

1. Timisoara (RO)
2. Bucharest (RO)

3. Central District (Hong Kong)
4. Brasov (RO)
5. Iasi (RO)

6. Kowloon (Hong Kong)
7. Paris (FR)
8. Singapore
9. Cluj-Napoca (RO)
10. Vilnius (Lit)

More on:

GuardianWitness on Romania

”There’s been a lot of discussion about Romanians arriving in Britain on 1 January 2014. We wanted to find out more about Romania, so we asked Romanians to share perspectives of themselves and their country via GuardianWitness. The pictures were diverse and intriguing – here are some of them”:

What went wrong?

“The Romanian and Bulgarian ambassadors to Britain have been summoned to Downing street for urgent talks this morning following the complete absence of the stampede of immigrants expected on New Years day. Prime Minister David Cameron explained “We were supposed to wake up on New years day to find them all camping on roundabouts and mugging pensioners. Looks like they’ve all gone to France or Spain instead. Or even worse stayed at home. How dare they not come here and piss on our sanctimonious bonfire like that.”

The lack of expected mass immigration, which has caused both the Daily Mail and Daily Express to have blank covers this morning, is thought likely to result in legal action. A spokesman for both papers explained:”

To read the full story, click here:

Happy New Year everyone, everywhere! 🙂

Wild Carpathia

“Join Charlie Ottley as he ventures deep into the breath-taking but little known mountains and forests of Carpathia. Home to bears, wolves and the elusive Lynx and little known to the rest of the world, this is perhaps the last great wilderness in Europe, seen as never before. We will provide you with a unique insight into the beauty and rich culture of the region exploring its chequered history from the mystical ruins of the ancient Dacian civilisations to its medieval communities, many of which survive intact to this day.”

More details on the beautiful documentary here:

The three episodes:

1. Transylvania

2. From the mountains to the sea

3. Wild forever

Virus in Bucharest

While we have admitted that Bucharest is not as gorgeous as Budapest, it doesn’t mean it’s not an intriguing place worth checking out. Be it for the crazy architectural mix, underground art movements, booming clubbing scene or simply immersion in a postmodern city.

“Romania is the world’s most postmodern nation: it is still a generative arena of word-combat that runs through its rhetorically-cursed history to bloom into our posthistory where it is possible to be finally seen, like a lush tree appearing suddenly in front of your car doing 200 mph on the highway of modernity.”

Andrei Codrescu: The posthuman dada guide. Tzara and Lenin play chess, Princeton University Press, 2009, page 125.

That’s what the Virus crew from the Swiss Television must have thought as well, doing an episode on Bucharest as part of their Balkan travel to rather unknown places.

Here’s one for our German and Swiss German speaking friends:

06 Bucharest

The Nightingmale

Close your eyes and listen to this voice:

Now open your eyes and see what the Eurovision song contest does to people:


The most controversial show Romania has ever come up with for this event. Good? Bad? Opinions diverge hugely; among a sea of critics, some Britons with taste for the extra-ordinary give it credit for its whackiness.

Call it what you may, ultimately it is yet another tiny lil’ proofpoint that, you know… a.r.a.v.