Posts Tagged With: Bucharest

Mid-Term Training (2/2)

After a Saturday very busy we woke up on Sunday to keep our trip, in this point Antonio joined us. We headed to the Brasov train station to take the train that would take us to Predeal bu,t due to the chaos in terms of platforms and trains information, we lost our train. Luckily we only had to wait for less than one hour for taking the next train. Once in our destiny we met with our mate Rita and another 8 known EVS volunteers from Baia Mare, Fagaras, Craiova… and we only were in the train station.

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After taking a cab, finally, we came to the Eden Hotel, where we were greeted by Carmen (our favourite hotel desk clerk) and where we met in the same hall with a lot of known ones, volunteers from Arad, Baia Mare, Bucarest… After this, dinner with a lot of known faces and to know the different groups in which we were gonna be divided. As in the arrival training some volunteers brought with them guitars so we started kind of party with live music. It was only the first night, therefore it was a very quiet meeting… we should to get ready for the very intense week we had ahead. The training elapsed very fast for us, We wouldn´t have minded stay some day more enjoying the hotel (we had jacuzzi in our room), the town and overall, spending more time with our training fellows, but like all good things, the training ended.

So we (Luca, Aga and me) left which was our home for the past four days to go to the capital of our hosting country, Bucharest.

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We came to Bucharest under heavy cold (-16º) and we saw the city covered by a one-meter- cloack of snow. Anyway we decided to go out and to know the city by ourselves, so we started to tour in the downtown, we headed directly to the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function: Palatul Parlamentului. After that we kept our visit for some hours around the city, visiting the most important and known places in the city like Piata Revolutiei in the heart of the 1989 revolution. Since the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Ceausescu launched his latest speech. Nearby is the Roman Ateneul (1888) and hosts major concerts and the Central University Library in a neoclassical building, with marvelous art exhibitions. Anyway we didn´t have so many time and the weather was really hard so we finish our visit walking by the city and enjoying the architecture.

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The city center is a mixture of medieval, neoclassical and modernist architectural styles and buildings ‘neo-Romanian’ dating from the early twentieth century and a collection of modern buildings from the 1920s and 1930s. Most utilitarian part of the communist era architecture dominates most southern districts. Recent contemporary structures such as skyscrapers and office buildings complete the landscape of Bucharest.
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However, despite the cold weather, we ended the evening enjoying the nightlife of the city along with other EVS volunteers (from two asociations: Asociatia Culturala Ask Me and A.C.T.O.R.) … and it was really amazing, although many people had warned us that Bucharest is the most expensive city in country, you can find places really cheap and to have fun with not much money, some of this clubs are Kulturhaus and Panic! both close to Piața Universității. After two intense days our trip came to its end, but we still had time to meet us with some volunteers from Tismana whose we met in our arrival training and they came back to their respective countries after have finished their project. After that, we walked around the city for a couple of hours before to take the train that would bring us to Arad, promising ourselves back in town when the weather is more benevolent to enjoy the city in all its splendor and to meet again with our friends (whose aren´t few).
And, in this way, it finished a very intense week in which we met people from the 5 continents, we did more than one thousand kilometres and very many priceless new experiences.
Ne Vedem
P.R.
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Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania, EVS Activities, Volunteer´s life, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Revoluția Română

Today is the 24th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution beggining. Everything started in Timişoara, very close to our city, Arad; and soon spread throughout the country. It ultimately resulted in the violent overthrow and execution of longtime President of Romania Nicolae Ceauşescu, and the end of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Romania was under a hard authoritarian regime headed by Ceauşescu for more than 24 years.

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In the first years, the  Ceauşescu´s government is constructed based on repression, austerity, and grandiloquent investment a systematic abuse of the laws. All of this balanced with well proportioned odds at truculent nationalism, and feeding an open challenge to the Soviet Union. In parallel, Romania enjoys a more favorable economic situation, given the growing demand for food that the country is able to provide. Rural areas have abundant cultivable space and an equally nurtured human resources to work with.

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The leader becomes extremely popular, but never leaves aside the prerogatives of his secret agenda: Party infiltration continues stoking in every social sphere, while giving way to what would become the most feared secret police of the Eastern bloc, the Securitate. This context presents him with the opportunity to paint his figure with the brush of the cult of personality. Official propaganda (focused exclusively on his desires) refers to him with high sounding epithets: ‘‘The Great Conductor,” ”The Genius of the Carpathians” and ”The Danube of Thought.” And the structures fall under his complete dominance: the armed forces the intelligence services, police, media and economic activity in all its dimensions.

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After his visit to North Korea and China, Ceauşescu wants to transform Romania into an industrial power. For this purpose, initially proposes two major objectives: to increase the birth rate in the country and pay all external debt of Romania. He gets the first goal but the austerity programs to pay the external debt sorted by Ceauşescu, in early 1980, will pass the bill to the quality of life of the population and the rationing of food and heating (from energy shortages, many people die from extreme cold) will do that  the unpopularity of the government and the Communist Party soar. However, major riots don´t occur and the rate of social conflict remains low due to the high discretion displaying repressive leader. The agrarian program designed by the president reconstitution (‘systematization’) exacerbates the problem of food availability. But Ceauşescu not see it that way: the leader has lost all sense of reality. Continue with his agenda, and even conducts public presentations on farms and stables that have been provided previously well-fed animals and plastic fruits and vegetables.

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It´s such a day like today 24 years ago when started the Timişoara uprising from the Timișoara Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Mitropolitană). The protest broke out to repudiate government persecution of a political opponent, embodied in the figure of the Hungarian Reformed church pastor László Tőkés whose had made critical comments against the regime’s Systematization policy and complained that the Romanians don´t even know their human rights to foreign media. State repression leads to the worsening of the social scene, and subsequent days are characterized by demonstrations staged by students, workers and ordinary citizens, who seem to have lost their fear. The Romanian flag with socialist shield ripped from its center becomes a symbol that runs throughout the country.To these reactions, the system responds with an increasingly brutal persecution and accusations of fascist coup and agitation‘.

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The last public speech of Nicolae Ceauşescu takes place the 21th on December in the central square of Bucharest. The president proposed to take advantage of what was called a public meeting to be tailor made ​​to condemn the events in Timisoara , and he did. Most citizens boos him and, in an attempt to calm down , advertises ridiculous increases in the minimum salary. But this is not enough: the masses react negatively and his security advisers recommend him that safeguards inside the building. The speech is broadcast live and direct around the country and although the air is removed and replaced with a still image, most of the population has realized that something strange is happening. Everyone naturally turns to the streets in major cities under the slogans of “Death to the dictator” and “Down with the government”. Communist Party committees are looted and set on fire documents.

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After that, Ceauşescu and his wife take a helicopter to run away but finally they were arrested by police just hours later. And have no doubt: in the streets, the army also failed to respond, whereas the main references of the state and its activists are executed on the spot. And the same forces which will lead to summary trial the president the 25th on December. After two hours they were executed by a firing squad.

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In the wake of the revolution, 1,104 people died, 162 of these occurring in the protests that took place from 16 to 22 December 1989 and brought an end to the Ceauşescu regime and the remaining 942 in the riots before the seizure of power by a new political structure, the National Salvation Front. Most deaths occurred in cities such as Timişoara, Bucharest, Sibiu and Arad. The number of injured reached 3,352, of which 1,107 are for the period in which Ceauşescu still held power, and the remaining 2,245 are for the period after the seizure of power by the National Salvation Front.

References:

http://www.analitica.com/bitblio/ramonet/conflictos.asp

http://publicaciones.ua.es/filespubli/pdf/15793311RD35322090.pdf

http://www.elojodigital.com/contenido/11391-senor-presidente-hay-una-revolucion-aqui-afuera-usted-esta-solo-buena-suerte

http://modestine4.blogspot.ro/2010/09/transylvania-5.html

http://www.wikipedia.org/

Ne Vedem!

PR

Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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