Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Latin spirit

2 more days. Just 2 more. I can do it. I can make it. God damn, it feels like forever.
If you can't rant on your own blog, where can you?

In any case, lately I've been thinking quite a lot about the 'Eastern-European' label. It's not a fetish, rather I've been forced to. I don't know what it is about spring, but within a week I've been asked "how does it feel to be an Eastern-European?" three times.

And then it dawned on me! I've never in my entire life thought of myself or anyone that I knew as an Eastern-European. For some reason, that term was never employed when referring to Romanians inside Romania. Which is the most curious little thing. The Balkan countries are. Poland is. Even Hungary!
But no, Romanians are Latin. Yes, we are Latin people. We speak a Latin language expressed in a Slavic way and behave like Latin-Americans most of the time. Yes, we are Latin. Latinos even. Thus, of Western descent and innately superior to those crude and corrupt Slavs and plain strange Hungarians (huo, Mongolians!).

So then I turned to my few sources of Romanian happenings in Romania. Online newspapers, blogs and instant messaging with friends. And all I get back is this image of "man, this country SUCKS. I wish I could just magically leave it!". Everyone I know complains about it every time I speak to them. The traffic is horrendous, the police is retarded, the system is corrupt, education nothing more than a joke. I check back with memory - yup, quite consistent indeed.

So then.. how is it exactly that we are not Eastern Europeans? Why is it that we would rather identify ourselves as a nation referencing events that occurred over two millennia ago than with a culture that hits you in the face every single day?