In many areas, people of culture in Romania have brought notable changes to the world. Our language is not widespread especially because Romania never had colonies. So, some of the facets of our culture are under the shadow cone of undiscovered. But if you get to know the Romanian language or culture, you would be surprised with its wealth and depths.

Romania has a unique culture mostly due to its geographical position. Russian, Turkish/Ottoman and Balkan influences merged together and engrafted on the original stem of Romanism. To this the Romanians’ desire to mimic the Western democracies was added and the final blend came out only to be an astonishing one.

Romania is the only Greek-orthodox country with Latin origins, and the only country that has an official language of Latin descent and is not catholic.

Of course, all these are circumstances of an original, unique culture which grows rich when explored.
And on the topic of culture let us elaborate firstly on art. Because “Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs”. (Thomas Wolfe)


Romania prides itself with writers that amazed readers. But because Romanian language is not international, some of the writers decided to emigrate (France, USA etc.) and write in international languages. Eugen Ionesco would be the first who had done that. He was a brilliant play writer, who anticipated the Nazi disaster in his play, “The Rhinoceros”. Fortunately, or not, this genius writer lived and wrote in France. It is the same with Emil Cioran, one of the greatest philosophers of modern times.

In the family of great poets we can mention Mihai Eminescu. He is the Romanian poet whose work has been translated in the most international languages and thus welcomed successfully. He is rightfully considered Romania’s National Poet, as he transformed the native language itself with his art skilled instruments. On January, 15th, the day of his birth, a monument was unveiled in his honor in Islamabad, Pakistan, as a symbol of cultural dialogue. Also in 2004, the unveiling of a statue of Mihai Eminescu in Montreal, Canada marked his international acknowledgement, as well as inter-cultural communication.

An interesting chapter in Romanian culture is represented by Mircea Eliade. An absolute scholar, he had had a lot of interest in oriental philosophy and traditions, yoga techniques and the history of religions. He traveled to India, where he lived for a period and also experienced a love story with a local woman. Later, he authored a successful novel on that tender episode, entitled “Maitreyi”. Eliade was one of pioneers in researching the history of religions, and also founded the homonymous department at the University of Chicago, in USA. He authored lots of books, novels savored by readers, scientific papers and research internationally acknowledged and awarded.

Art Painting

Romanian painters have impressed and sensitized art admirers all over the world. Some of them have initiated styles and trends. We can mention painters from the 19th – 20th centuries: Nicolae Grigorescu, Nicolae Tonitza and Ștefan Luchian. The latter, afflicted by multiple sclerosis (MS), had been painting in the last years of his life immobilized in an armchair and with the paint attached to his wrist. In contemporary times, a Romanian woman artist has succeeded in getting the admiration and love of people from all over. She was recognized as a child prodigy at the age of 2. Her name is Alexandra Nichita, dubbed “the second Picasso”. At the age of 9 her paintings sold for 250,000 USD.


Constantin Brâncuși is the most famous Romanian sculptor. Famous and internationally awarded artist, Brâncuși had chosen to live his life and create in France, not only in Romania. Invited to work as an apprentice to Auguste Rodin, he declined by saying the famous words: “Rien ne pousse à l’ombre des grands arbres”( “Nothing can grow under big trees.”)


Although Romania is a small country with limited economical resources, Romanian athletes have succeeded many times in winning gold medals or first places at international competitions and contests. Sports which Romanians have highly performed at are: soccer (Gheorghe Hagi), canoeing (Ivan Patzaichin), athletics (Gabriela Szabo, Iolanda Balaș), swimming (Lia Manoliu), shooting, and fencing.

Two sports have had Romanian champions simply brilliant. Nadia Comăneci is the first gymnast in the world to be marked with a full 10. Tennis player Ilie Năstase amazed the audience, won many tournaments and ranked no. 1 in ATP World rankings two times. Also in tennis, there is a new contemporary fighter for prizes and performance – Simona Halep.


In this area Romanians have become known in the latest years, especially with music targeting young public, the so-called commercial music. Even if the lyrics are in Romanian, English or Spanish, Romanian singers go on tours and are admired and loved abroad. Names like Inna, Edward Maya, Alexandra Stan, Akcent or O-zone are known to the international music world.

If we were to talk about “good”, quality music, we would remember George Enescu (his piece, entitled “Ciocarlia”, inspired Goran Bregovic to create the famous “Kalashnikov”).

Science and inventions

In this domain, Romania has spawned titans.

Henri Coandă – invented and built the jet engine; also flew the first plane.

Anastase Dragomir – introduced the ejection seat.

Nicolae Păulescu – invented pancreine, later called insulin.

Petrache Poenaru – invented the fountain pen.

These are just a few names, but along with many others are written in the world cultural thesaurus.

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”

John F. Kennedy