The birthday of national poet Mihai Eminescu (January 15, 1850 – June 15, 1889), officially declared the National Culture Day, occasioned also this year several commemorative manifestations both in Romania and elsewhere.
Why Eminescu’s birthday has been chosen as the National Culture Day? Are his lyrics that reached all the parts of the world, still read, and do they still please somebody? And how present are his political writings? The universality of his poetic work has been also recognized by UNESCO, the poem called “The Vesper” has entered Guiness Book of records, and the name of the poet has been assigned to a crater on Mars and to a small planet, according to tvr.ro.
Hundreds of poetry pages, prose, drama projects, translations, processing an adaptations, even a draft of a Sanskrit grammar or a dictionary of rhymes, form a wide and original, lyrical, nihilistic, heroic, fantastic, cosmogonic, didactic and polemic opera, indicating an inquiring mind, a good philosophical education and a huge will to master many areas.
Eminescu’s publishing activity – a few thousands of articles speaking about state, social progress, civilization and culture – was subject to controversy, and politicians, ideologists or sociologists have cultivated or rejected it, depending on their interest.
The complete man of the Romanian culture… a culture conscience open to everything” Constantin Noica wrote about Mihai Eminescu.
The whole Eminescu’s opera has been influenced by the great philosophical systems of his era, as well as by the ancient philosophy, from Heraclites to Plato, by the systems of thinking of the Romanticism, by the theories belonging to Arthur Schopenhauer, Immanuel Kant or Hegel, and even by the Buddhist philosophy.
“He would have deserved a Nobel for literature, but this award is not granted posthumously”, stated Academician Eugen Simion, the former President of the Romanian Academy, who pleaded and managed to turn January 15 into National Culture Day, with the Academy’s support.
Parliament has approved this law in 2010, and the explanatory memorandum of the law’s initiators reads:
“National Culture Day will be, in our view, not only a day in which we celebrate a great creator, but also a day of reflection on the Romanian culture, in general, and of the cultural projects of national interest”.
There are precedents for this celebration also in other European countries, in Spain, the Culture Day has been established on the day of Miguel de Cervantes’s death, while in Portugal, it coincides with Luis de Camoes’s birthday. Moreover, Moldovan authorities have also decided that Mihai Eminescu’s birthday will become National Culture Day.
Academician Ionel-Valentin Vlad: Romanian Academy has permanently promoted national culture in its widest meaning, and its role is to defend the national identity
Romanian Academy has permanently promoted national culture in its widest meaning, and its role is to defend the national identity, stated on Sunday the President of the Romanian Academy, Ionel-Valentin Vlad in the solemn Scientific Session entitled “Around the Romanian Identity”, held on the occasion of the National Culture Day.
“Being established for the cultivation of the Romanian language, for the study of the national history, sciences and arts, Romanian Academy has permanently promoted national culture in its widest meaning”, stated Ionel-Valentin Vlad in the solemn session “Around the Romanian Identity”, organized by the Romanian Academy and the National Foundation for Science and Art, on the occasion of the National Culture Day and of the poet Mihai Eminescu’s Birthday.
He also mentioned that Romanian Academy’s role is to fairly mediate between the trend of integration and the national identity.
“In a globalizing world, a European national academy, as Romanian Academy is, has an urgent mission of a high responsibility today: to fairly mediate between the trend of integration and the national identity. The role of the Academy is to defend national identity, to bring its profound, priceless values, also taking into account the current trends of the humanity’s development”, he added.
Ionel-Valentin Vlad drew attention on the school manuals, mentioning that some tenders are favorable to certain publishing houses and interests, as well as the fact that the high school manuals on the scientific part contain little data related to great discoveries made by Romanian scientists.
“Romanian Academy took positions and gave messages to the decision-makers in education and culture. But are we doing everything we should, according to the Academy Law, in the matter of the Romanian language and history? Are we doing everything related to the matter of manuals, by a correction of the legislation providing tenders for manuals that are favorable to certain publishing houses and interests, but with a poor control of their content? Long terms for the bureaucratic expensive processes and short terms for coordinating the content and approving it by the specialized departments of the Academy, as it should be”, he added.
He underlined that high school manuals contain too little data about the discoveries made by Romanian scientists, having, instead of this, “the ephemeral names of some women that are TV presenters or moderators”.
“High school manuals from the scientific part contain too little data on great discoveries made by Romanian scientists, real heroes of our nation, Carol Davila, Victor Babeș, Ioan Cantacuzino, Gheorghe Marinescu, Nicolae Paulescu, Grigore Antipa, Emil Racovita, Anghel Saligni, Aurel Vlaicu, Traian Vuia, Henri Coanda and many others, some of them being even Presidents of the Romanian Academy. Many young people (…) don’t have any clue about these personalities, about what they left in the universal heritage, but they know from the high school manuals the ephemeral names of some TV presenters or moderators”, he added.
Ionel-Valentin Vlad also stated that, according to a top of the most spoken languages in the world, Romanian language is on the 40th place in this ranking, with approx. 23.4 millions of speakers, after Chinese, Spanish, English, etc. “the important thing is that Romanian language, in all of its dialects, is spoken in 20 countries. This is our language, it’s not a minor language, it’s a widely spread language”, said the academician.
“National Culture Day is a time to look at what has been achieved and to think at what we have to achieve to strengthen national culture and unity. These are based on faith, in family and school education of Romanian language, of the Romanian history”, he also said.
On this occasion, academician Eugen Simion, President of the Department of Philology and literature, stated that National Culture Day is celebrated on Mihai Eminescu’s birthday, which represents “a symbolic alliance” and “a fruitful meeting”.
“Today, we celebrate Eminescu’s birthday. For several years, at the Academy’s proposal, Parliament voted that this day will also be the National Culture Day. An appropriate, fruitful meeting, a symbolic alliance for us, Romanian people, and for all those who appreciate that, among world’s values, culture is and remains essential. It is essential because it expresses the values of the national spirit and our way of being, a nation in the world, to receive and express relations with others, namely our identity”, academician Eugen Simion said.
At the solemn session, messages have been sent from: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, His Beatitude Daniel – the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, His Eminence Monsignor Ioan Robu – Archbishop, and Metropolitan of the Catholic Archiepiscopate. Ministers of Culture and Education Ioan Vulpescu and Pavel Nastase, Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea, and PSD Senator Ecaterina Andronescu have been present to the event.
President Iohannis: Respect for our country is mostly built on its culture, artist’s international appreciation
Respect for Romania is worldwide built on the international appreciation of the Romanian culture and artists, on Sunday said President Klaus Iohannis on behalf of the National Culture Day.
“Every time I had the opportunity to bestow on the Romanians’ behalf the highest titles to those who have dedicated their entire lives to the cultural creation, I felt honoured. Their masterpieces have brought joy to our hearts and made us spiritually richer. Under the sun, the respect for our country is built to a great extent on the international appreciation of its culture and artists. Our cultural heritage continues to be the most silver-tongued and ambassador of the Romanian nation,” president Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page.
PM Grindeanu: National Culture Day reconnects us to our cultural identity roots
The National Culture Day that is ‘happily overlapping the name of Mihai Eminescu’ is meant to reconnect us from the very first days of the New Year to our cultural identity roots, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu says in a message on Sunday.
“I’ve joyfully learned that the first important secular holiday of the year is this very day, the National Culture Day, something that is happily overlapping the name of Mihai Eminescu. As the month of January of the religious calendar starts with the Epiphany, the same is today meant to reconnect us from the very first days of the New Year to our cultural identity roots,” reads the Premier’s message on the National Culture Day.
Sorin Grindeanu says that this day reminded him of the times the grandparents were teaching their grandchildren Eminescu’s lyrics and at the same time he stresses that in the hardest days of the Romanian people, culture has always brought joy and freedom.
“Culture is alive and it is Life. Culture has always stayed at the gates of the Spirit and brought us Joy and Freedom, even in this people’s hardest times. Which is why we shouldn’t let pass one single day without allowing the Beauty to please us, be it through books, theatre, music, film, painting, sculpture or any other artistic form of expression created in this cultural space! Let’s celebrate and love our people of culture, for the way they have chosen to fulfill their mission on earth!” stresses the Premier in his message.