Our two countries have a long history of cultural and educational exchanges that go back to the 18th century, two Greek Academies were founded in the Principalities, one in Bucharest (Academia Domneasca de la Bucuresti) and one in Iasi (Academia Domneasca din Iasi). Their fame was widespread all around Europe and important personalities, Romanian and Greeks, were included among their graduates. During the 19th century, especially after the Greek Revolution, Greek Schools operated in all Romanian cities where there were flourishing Greek Communities (Braila, Galati, Constanta, Tulcea, Iasi and Bucharest). In the 20th century, the famous Greek School “Ellinika Ekpaideftiria” was founded in Bucharest.
The first Greek Theatre of Diaspora, the “Theatre of the Red Fountain”, was founded in Bucharest by the Phanariot Princess Rallou Karadja. In 1819, it staged the outstanding Performance “Hecuba” by Euripidis, featuring Ion Heliade Radulescu, a renowned Romanian writer and linguist. At the same period, the Greek Theatre “Elpis” was well established in Constanta.
Furthermore, a centuries old tradition of publishing houses has promoted publications pertaining to Greek history, culture and politics to Romanian readers. Romania is the second country in Europe where Greek literature has been so popular, since more than 460 books have been translated from Greek to Romanian.
Nowadays, the Bucharest Branch of the Hellenic Foundation of Culture promotes Greek language, art and civilization to the Romanian and international public. It is an active member of EUNIC (“European Union National Institutes for Culture”) and participates in all its activities, such as the “The Night of the Cultural Institutes” and “The Night of European Literature”.
In 2016, the Hellenic Foundation of Culture (Bucharest Branch) has organized, among other events, a Concert of Sofia Avramidou (in cooperation with the Italian Institute of Culture), a Concert of Teti Kassioni and a Concert of MKlasica and Emanuela Mandrila. The Foundation also participated in the 20th European Film Festival, that took place in Bucharest, in May 2016, with the film “Mica Anglia”, which won the 1st Prize of the most popular film. During “The Night of the Cultural Institutes 2016”, a collection of “Traditional Greek Costumes” was presented in Arcub Theater by the “Benaki Museum” of Athens. Besides, during the “The Night of European Literature 2016”, a lecture of the famous academic Maurizio de Rossa was presented, in cooperation with the Italian Institute of Culture. Finally, the Hellenic Foundation of Culture in Bucharest, in cooperation with the Czech Center, presented the Dance Performance “Europium” of the group “Rootlessroot” with the support of the “Onassis Cultural Center” of Athens.
The Department of Classic Philology and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Bucharest is offering an undergraduate degree program, as well as a post-graduate degree program. An important number of scholarships is granted by the Greek business community in Romania. The said Department is a research center as well, organizing lectures, conferences and cultural events and publishing research works. In October 2015, the Department organized the “Third Conference of Modern Greek Studies in the Balkan Countries: Hellenism as a Cultural and Economic Factor in the Balkans (1453-2015). Language, Literature, Art and Society”.
The Lectorate of Greek Studies of the University “Al. I. Cuza” of Iasi, offers courses of Greek Language and Culture. In November 2016, the Lectorate of Greek Studies, in cooperation with the Department of Slavic Studies, organized the International Conference “The Greek Traditional Civilization in a European Framework: Relations with the Romanian and Slavic World. The Cultural Network Athos – Athina – Sofia – Bucharest – Iasi – Kiev – Moscow”.
In 2008, the Greek School of Bucharest “Athena” was founded and has a prominent role among the international schools in Bucharest. It offers courses in Greek, Romanian and English to mainly Greek but also to Romanian students. An important number of scholarships for this school is also granted by the Greek business community in Romania.
Last but not least, the Greek Diaspora in Romania is very active in many educational and cultural initiatives. At least 1.000 Greek students study at Romanian Universities. The Hellenic Union of Romania offers courses of Greek language and teaches dances in all its branches around the country, with the support of teachers seconded by the Greek Ministry of Education. At the same time, the Hellenic Union of Romania organizes every year the “Olympics of Modern Greek Language”, awarding the most brilliant students. Finally, the Greek Cultural Association “Nostos” offers free theatre and dance courses to Greeks and Romanians having presented already two theatre plays, the “Paramythi Horis Onoma” (2015) and the “Troades” (2016).
The above mentioned activities represent our common endeavour to make the Greek language, art and civilization popular among Romanians and among Greeks of our Diaspora, as well as to actively participate in the rich cultural and educational scene of Romania.