Thursday, July 15, 2010

We don’t need no education… sorry but I’m giving you some anyway.

The Republic of Moldova is a small country situated in the Southeast part of Europe.  Ukraine borders Moldova to the north, east and south and Romania is situated on the western border.  This place, that I know call home, boasts a rich history abundant in dramatic and agitated events. 
From the XIV century it was a part of the Moldova Principality, situated between Oriental Carpathians and the Nistru River, in the north bounded by Hotin, and in the south – by the Low Danube and the Black Sea. 
Following the Peace concluded in Bucharest, in 1812, a part of this territory was assigned to Czarist in Russia, which called it Basarabia – an older name, earlier attributed to the southern part.  The aim was to identify this territory as a separate geographic entity from the Moldova Principality.
The Independence of the Democratic Republic of Moldova was proclaimed in January 1918.  And later, on March 27 1918 it was decided to re-unite it with Romania.  The next annexure process took place in 1940, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop summit.  According to this Bassarabia became part of the USSR and was proclaimed as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia.  It comprised only nine Basarabian counties and six districts from the left bank of the Nistru River.  The present territory of Moldova is smaller compared to the area attributed to the Russian authorities in 1812, since the North Hotin, Acherman and the southern Ismail were given up in 1940 by the Soviet authorities to Ukraine. 
Due to the restructuring process that started in Central and Eastern Europe, in June 1990 Moldova proclaimed its sovereignty, and on August 27, 1991 – it’s State Independence in March 2, 1992, the Republic of Moldova became a member of the United Nations.

As you may have gathered from this very short history, the concept of nationalism has been difficult to manifest in a country that has been annexed, claimed, re-annexed and then within the last 20 years claimed its independence.  The juxtaposition between the young and the old people in this country is very interesting.  The young people cling to the ways of the western world.  10 year olds toting cell phones with songs in English as their ring tones, and the elderly clinging to traditions and the culture of their past.  The inhabitants of this country come from many different backgrounds and are even from different parts of Europe.  There are many Russians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Roma (gypsies) and even some from other parts of the world.  History is so often written from the perspective of the winner and little is included about the people in Eastern Europe.  I would encourage you to learn about these people by browsing the web or picking up a book the next time you are at the library or in a bookstore.

Development is happening so fast here that you can taste it in every drop of sweat from the construction workers and in every drop of rain that waters the naturally produced crops.  These people, in their history have truly been through a lot and I only hope that at the end of my two years I will have given them as much knowledge, effort and know-how as they provide to me.

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