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Romanian report Romanian report
by Euro Reporter
2009-10-14 07:59:25
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The struggle for sports

Romania used to be one of Europe's sports powers during the communist years. Now, the performance achieved in this malfunctioning system is considered a miracle. The communist government created a structure of sports clubs, camps, and faculties to extend the area of selection of gifted children and youngsters and to have sportsmen able to compete with those of western countries. The expectations were great, and so was the pressure on the sportsmen. The most famous example is that of the gymnasts, who were simply taken away from their parents at small ages (even preschool ages) and kept in training centres for years. It is the story of Nadia Comaneci. But it is also the story of other thousands of little girls and boys. Unfair methods such as doping brought performance but also secondary effects for the sportsmen in a period when just a few things were known in the field.

Beyond the ugly side, the system created all around the country training centres for almost all Olympic disciplines and brought the young generation to the sports clubs. Many voices say that in a grey and oppressive society, sports were almost the only alternative to have fun for the young generation. The fall of the communism in 1989 changed all that. No investments have been made anymore in preserving sports facilities and the alternatives for the spare time of children and youngsters have appeared almost everywhere. The best trainers also moved to other countries where they are better paid.

Still, Romania kept the pace and stayed with the powers of the world (14th nation at 1992 Barcelona's Olympiad and the one in Atlanta, 1996, 11th country at 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 14th at the Athena Olympics in 2004). Concentrating mostly on the sports that brought medals, slowly but surely, Romania disappeared from the winter Olympics and other traditional disciplines, such as water polo and cycling, which lost the authorities support. In such conditions, the water polo national team reached the quarter finals (7th place) at 2009 World Championships from Rome, Italy. Romanian authorities have suddenly discovered that in the entire country there is only one modern swimming pool and that sponsors cannot be attracted if proper conditions for clubs performances are not created.

The end of a golden era can always mean the beginning as well!


Gypsy architecture, banned in Transylvanian city

Little towers, pagodas, and imitations of fairytale castles are typical in many areas inhabited by Romania's Gypsy ethnics. Authorities in the small town of Pecica (County Arad) have decided to officially ban this type of architecture.  Considered a symptom of wealth and prosperity by the Gypsies themselves and a symptom of poor taste and kitsch by the authorities, such controversial architecture will be officially forbidden in residential buildings, according to a new project voted by the councillors.

'New houses must integrate into the general architecture of the surrounding buildings, to avoid changing the overall style of the area,' says Pecica Vicemayor Miodrag Stanoiov. He believes that it is very good that people build new houses, but these new buildings must not 'look like monasteries'. The new rules will have to be followed in the town of Pecica and the nearby villages of Turnu and Sederhat.

It is pity when prejudice blinds people and kills their heritage!


400 people flash mob in Cluj

Get ready for Romania's largest flashmob ever. Rock music provided on the house. Tonight (12th October 2009), approximately 400 children, students, and parents will dance in the city centre on Queen's “We will rock you” and Michael Jackson's “Beat it” songs.

They are not all amateurs: A number of 150 are professional dancers, members of the Boemdance band from Cluj.  The previous night, they had the first rehearsal, and are planning another one on Monday afternoon. A similar, 200 people flash mob took place on 29th August, 2009 in capital Bucharest.
Participants danced then on Michael Jackson's “beat it.”

And then came the …thriller!!!


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