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Old 08-23-2002, 09:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Today, 13 years ago and before...

...People (men mostly) would gather and line up in orderly columns to march in front of the General Commander and the Party leaders. It was the Communist era National Day of Romania, the so-called 'celebration of the anti-imperialism and anti-fascism insurection'. In the meantime women would prepare a richer dinner than usually, because stores had been loaded with merchandise especially for the event. In the late '70s and early '80s, the stadium festivities had resembled the opening ceremony of the World Cup 2002 in Korea (Ceausescu had visited North Korea in '71 and returned determined to outdo them).

But the second day people would return to their normal life, with only Sunday for holiday, when cars were driven on the odd/even ID number basis, with ratios for sugar and cooking oil, with queues for meat, butter or exotic fruits, with only 2 hours of TV, from which one hour was the 'news bulletin', with rationalized running hot water, where available, with no foreign music to be heard on the radio, with 'under-the-counter' precious acquisitions like Fowles' 'The Magus' or Eco's 'The Name Of The Rose'. And all was still well, because it was summer and warm (sometimes hot). But then the winter came and temperature inside homes, schools and hospitals would drop to 59F for lack of proper heating... And there were many other things going these days, from demolished villages and churches to women dying from illegal abortions, because abortion was punished, not for religious reasons, but to increase population!

There are people now in Romania which regret such times and say that at least you had a secure job and something to eat, although not much. What would you tell to these people, if you were me?

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Old 08-23-2002, 11:12 AM   #2
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wow...romania...that's so cool!

this is a very difficult question for me to respond to. i am an american and therefore, have relatively very few limits set on my life.

however, this topic has been one that has facinated me since i went to the czech republic in 2000. there, communism was booted out with the aid of the UN. throughout the countryside there were "DIE AMERICANS DIE!" signs set up randomly in the fields. but once we arrived in prague, the people there were so friendly to us.

the agriculture society benefitted from communism, while those in the city were just oppressed.

i can't say which is better for real, although clearly i'd vote for democracy.

in answer to your question, i think that people who lived their whole life under communism have a rough transition because you become responsible for yourself again. you have to save the money you earn, and get educated, and get a good job. it just seems like that type of responsibility would be tough to learn after so many years of having that all decided for you.
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