15th of January 2018 is a day that has a double meaning for Romania’s literary culture and history: the celebration of 168 years since the birth of the poet Mihai Eminescu, and the National Culture’s Day.
To celebrate the event, shows, symposiums, book launches and openings of exhibitions took place on Monday across the country and in the Romanian communities in Diaspora.
The celebration was related to the fact that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Union of 1918, and national identity and unity have been a constant concern in Eminescu’s journalistic work.
The Memorial House, which was recently renovated and consolidated, could be visited in Ipotesti, Botosani County, the village where the pot was born, the manager of the Memorial, Ana Sainenco, stated for Rador. A “Te Deum” was also held at the Sfintii Arhangheli “Mihai si Gavril” Church in the locality, and the 30th edition of the awarding ceremony of the “Mihai Eminescu” National Prize Opus Primum, took place later, as well as a classical music recital.
The poet Mihai Eminescu was mentioned on Monday at the patriarchal Cathedral, on the occasion of the 169th anniversary of the birth of the one whom Patriarch Daniel called “a great Romanian patriot and a universal man”. The great national poet was commemorated on Sunday at the Putna Monastery in a religious service held by the monastery’s abbot, who honored the poet’s personality and his love for “the country, Church and Romanian language”.
In the context of the centenary of the Great Union, quoting Eminescu’s creation “Ce-ti doresc eu tie, dulce Romanie”, the abbot rhetorically asked: “I am wondering for how many of Romania’s sons of today, the country, Romania, is still the beloved country?”
Several cultural events dedicated to the birth of Mihai Eminescu have been also scheduled in Chisinau, since the 15th of January is the National Culture’s Day on the both parts of the Prut River.
“George Enescu” Philharmonic, which celebrates, in 2018, 150 years since its foundation, has been decorated by the Presidency on the occasion of the Culture’s Day
The Minister of Culture and National Identity, Lucian Romascanu, proposed to the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis to decorate the “George Enescu” Philharmonic with “The Cultural Merit” Order, on the occasion of the 15th January 2018 – the National Culture’s Day.
The proposal was made because in 2018, the “George Enescu” Philharmonic celebrates 150 years since its foundation. Founded in April 1868, “The Romanian Philharmonic Society”, leaded by Eduard Wachmann, was aiming at organizing a standing symphonic orchestra, in order to propagate musical culture and to popularize the masterpieces of the classical music. The first concert was held on December 15, in the same year, under the baton of its founder. After George Enescu’s death, in 1955, the Philharmonic will bear his name. “’George Enescu’ Philharmonic is for sure one of the fundamental institutions of the national culture, whose prodigious and long activity is significantly marking the Romanian performing arts. Being a generous host for personalities of the international lyric art, and being the honorary guest on the most famous stages of the world, the ‘George Enescu’ Philharmonic performs each time at the level of excellence” reads the decoration proposal sent by Minister Lucian Romascanu.
On the National Culture’s Day, Master Horia Andreescu conducted a concert at the Romanian Athenaeum on Monday evening; the program of the concert included works by Enescu, Silvestri, Wagner, Verdi, Ivanovici, Negrea, Bizet, Dinicu.
The Madrigal Choir performed concerts on Mihai Eminescu’s birthday
The national Chamber Choir “Madrigal – Marin Constantin”, conducted by Anna Ungureanu, performed a concert at the National Library of Romania at noon, and another one in the evening, at the Union Hall of the Cotroceni Palace.
The National Chamber Choir “Madrigal – Marin Constantin”, one of the most appreciated professional choral ensembles, is a landmark of the Romanian and universal musical life, and in the 54 years of artistic existence, its name represented many times Romania’s image in the world, becoming a real country brand. It was founded in 1963 by conductor Marin Constantin, the members of the ensemble being exclusively selected among the students of the Bucharest Conservatory.
President Iohannis: One third of Romanians don’t read even a book per year
President Klaus Iohannis on Monday stated that there is need of a better clarification of the contribution of public policies in capitalizing on the human potential, mainly in terms of education and cultural development, while showing that “one third of Romanians don’t read even a book per year, while the Romanian language is the eternal victim of public discourse.”
“We are marking the National Culture Day in the year of the Centenary and one year before the year when Romania will take over the Presidency of the European Union. This is an excellent opportunity for us to establish our priorities, by supporting each other in our options for the values that unite us. This is also a good opportunity for us to wonder what place should culture occupy in our society? What role it should play in our future as a rule of law and democratic state, as a full member of a strong European Union, but which also remained close to the citizens? Regardless of what role we will establish that our culture should play in this process, one this is certain: the continuation of our country’s European track does not marginalize our national cultural identity. On the contrary, I firmly believe that there is need of a better clarification of the public policies’s contribution in capitalizing on our human potential, mainly in the education and cultural development areas. Let’s not delude ourselves: one third of Romanians don’t read even a book per year, our country remained without cinema halls and the Romanian language is the eternal victim of public discourse,” said Iohannis, before the concert performed at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace by the National Chamber Choir “Madrigal – Marin Constantin” on the occasion of the National Culture Day.
He underscored that, on the occasion of the Centenary, Romania should also aim to achieve a great union around its culture.
“The great bilateral cultural projects will mark the years 2018 and 2019, the same as the Presidency of the European Union to be taken over by Romania, for which we need to prepare ourselves, for these are good opportunities for us to engage on such a path. This is not an easy task, but putting this into practice will prove Romania’s capacity to lead, through culture the value added of the European project,” said Iohannis.
The head of the state also said that “in what concerns Romania’s development of tomorrow, there is need of capitalization on culture and of a more adequate definition of the role of the artists.”
“It is the duty of our political class to, in dialogue with the cultural environment, to make so that the cultural works of value to be born in an open, free, tolerant and creative society,” he underscored.
He also remarked that the celebration of a century of unity of all Romanians is a historic achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without the fundamental contribution of the culture to the edification of the national consciousness.
The head of the state reiterated that the Romanian nation was and it is excellently represented din Europe and in the world through “its vitality, originality and diversity of its culture.”
He congratulated all the artists and those involved in the cultural act.
President Iohannis specified that the project “The Educated Romania” aims at maintaining education in a priority area and offering a vision and a long-term strategy.
PM Tudose, on Culture’s Day: Throughout centuries, culture brings people together and shapes national identity
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose on Monday sent a message on National Culture’s Day stating that throughout centuries, “culture has brought people together and has shaped national identity.”
“We celebrate today National Culture’s Day, an auspicious moment to reflect on the enduring contribution culture has to the state’s and to each and every one of us evolution. Throughout centuries, culture has brought people together and has shaped national identity. It has helped us tear down the barriers of prejudices and, during hardship, it has brought out spirituality. Culture empowers citizens with feelings of pride and dignity and grants the state with an aura of uniqueness,” premier Tudose wrote on Facebook.
At the same time, the head of the Executive specified that Culture’s Day, by no means fortuitously, coincides with the birth date of Romania’s greatest poet, Mihai Eminescu.
“As many as 168 years from his birth, Eminescu endures as an example of how to harmonise tradition with modernity, while at the same time being the utmost expression of Romanian culture. We have the duty to pass on culture to future generations, the culture borrowed from all those who have strengthened it. The Centenary Year represents the best occasion to show culture the due respect and to carry on the Romanian conscience and identity,” PM Tudose further wrote.
National Culture’s Day for the Romanians abroad
In the opening of the series of events dedicated to the National Culture’s Day, in the Centenary Year, the Ministry for the Romanians abroad (MRP) marks the 168th anniversary of the birth of the National Poet Mihai Eminescu by launching the Masterclass literature and poetry project in the Romanian schools abroad, which will be run throughout the year 2018.
Within this initiative based on a consistent cultural dialogue, proposed for the first time by our institution, a series of creative writing workshops supported by Romanian writers will take place, thus encouraging young people abroad to discover the landmarks of the national literature in a modern and interactive way.
The presence of the teachers and students at the Romanian Language, Culture and Civilization classes and at the weekend schools, will bring added value and authenticity to the Literature and Poetry Masterclass.
In a symbolic moment for the national culture, MRP invites the Romanians abroad in an extended partnership format, together with governmental and non-governmental organizations, to mark together the cultural stature and unique work of the National poet, in the year of the Great Union, with creative suggestions assumed by the young generation, with concerns for maintaining and promoting the Romanian identity in all its valences.
Messages of Foreign Ambassadors to Bucharest dedicated to the National Culture Day
French Ambassador Ramis plays “Romanian serenade” on piano next to violonist Marin Cazacu
France’s Ambassador in Bucharest Michele Ramis, played the piano, alongside violonist Marin Cazacu, the “Romanian serenade,” in order to mark the National Culture Day.
The video was posted on the official Facebook page of France’s Embassy in Bucharest.
“I wish you all a Day of National Culture as beautiful as possible with the “Romanian serenade” by Constantin Dimitrescu,” the French diplomat spoke in Romanian, thanking violonist Marin Cazacu and President of the Romanian Cultural Institute Liliana Turoiu for “their friendship.”
Ramis also mentioned the future Romania-France Cultural Season, which will be launched at the end of 2018.
“Long live the Romanian-French friendship and much success to the Romania-France Season,” Michele Ramis stated before playing the “Romanian serenade” on piano.
German Ambassdor pays hommage to Eminescu’s “Luceafarul:” No translations can convey perfectly Eminescu’s poem charm
Germany’s Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt paid a homage on Monday, the National Culture Day, to Eminescu’s poem called “Luceafarul,” also bringing to mind the German-Romanian artistic projects.
“Dear friends, I believe we all agree that no translation can convey perfectly the charm of the most important poem of Mihai Eminescu, ‘Luceafarul,'” Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt stated in a video recording posted by on the official Facebook page of Germany’s Embassy in Bucharest, after reciting some verses of the poem.
“I assure you that this version, in my mother tongue, German, truly reflects its subtlety and beauty. This is why I recite today these verses, as a small and modest token of appreciation on the occasion of the poet’s birthday and the National Culture Day,” the Ambassador highlighted.
The diplomat talked about the Romanian-German cultural ties, underscoring that they have been maintained including by the German community of Romania.
“I believe that it’s the perfect example to also underscore the level of our Romanian-German bilateral relations in the culture area, relations in which the German autochthonous traditions in the country have played and continue to play for years an extremely important role. This year, the important year, the Centennial Year will also be full of extremely important events on a bilateral level,” Cord Meier-Klodt points out.
Thus, the German official brings to mind that in spring, Romania will be the main guest of the Book Fair in Leipzig.
“We are talking about the guest country, where Romania will present its entire contemporary literature. I suggest you, let us see each other in Lipscani in Germany, in spring. Many happy returns Romania, many happy returns to the Romanian culture,” the German Ambassador concluded his message.
Turkey’s Ambassador wishes Romanian friends a year full of peace, understanding and solidarity
Turkey’s Ambassador in Bucharest Osman Koray Ertas wishes Romanians, at the beginning of the Greater Union Centennial, “a year full of peace, understanding and solidarity.”
“Today is a special day for Romanians abroad who are celebrating the Romanian culture and its priceless values, also marking poet Mihai Eminescu’s birthday, an emblematic poetic voice for the Romanian and international literature,” Osman Koray Ertas points out in his message released on the National Culture Day.
He added that Turkey and Romania, allies and strategic partners, “enjoy special relationships, based on powerful cultural ties, developed throughout history and strengthened through a tight dialogue on an educational, cultural and social level, and not only.”
“The numerous projects carried out by the cultural representations abroad of our countries and the excellent dialogue among our institutions are proof [of the excellent relationship],” the Ambassador mentioned.
Osman Koray Ertas concluded his message by underscoring that 2018 is the year when Romania celebrates the Greater Union Centennial.
“In the context of launching the Centennial Year, I wish to our Romanian friends a year full of peace, understanding and solidarity,” the diplomat stated.
British Ambassador Brummell recites “The Lake” by Mihai Eminescu near Ipotesti, on National Culture Day
British Ambassador Paul Brummell recited “The Lake” poem by Mihai Eminescu near Ipotesti, on Monday, in celebration of the National Culture Day.
In a video recording that the British Embassy in Bucharest posted, Brummell explained where he is: near the village of Ipotesti, the place where Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu spent part of his childhood, near the lake which is said to have inspired this poem.
“It’s a romantic poetry, it’s a poem about a young man who daydreams besides a lake, he dreams of a beautiful young woman appearing to him from out of the lake,” explained Paul Brummell in the video recording, before reading the poem “The Lake” (“Lacul” in Romanian – editor’s note) in Romanian language.