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ROMANIA, ROMANIANISM, EUROPE

Stnioara stream, Retezat National Park

Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea the south. The name of Romania, Romnia, comes from romn (previously rumn), "Romanian", which in turn is a derivative of the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome". The fact that Romanians call themselves a derivative of romanus is first mentioned in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia. Romania, in southeast Europe, is mountainous in the north while the main feature in the south is the vast Danube valley. Ethnically, the population is 90% Romanian and 7% Hungarian. The Romanian language, like a number of others in southern Europe, is directly descended from Latin, although Romania is separated from other Romance-language countries by Slav speakers. Romania has considerable natural resources oil, natural gas, coal, iron, copper and bauxite. Metal-working, petrochemicals and mechanical engineering are the main industries. The spine-chilling tale of Dracula was inspired by the 15 th century Romanian Count Vlad Dracul whose son was famous in wartime for impaling captured enemies. Less notorious Romanians include the writer Eugene Ionesco, the gymnast Nadia Comneci and the composer George Enescu. The worldwide fame of Sapnta is due to the unique cemetery that has become an important tourist attraction. Some days the throngs of tourists that assault the cemetery with their cameras ready make one wonder if it really is possible to rest in peace here! The river Danube forms a delta as it approaches the Black Sea, which is a wildlife reserve for countless native and migratory birds. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania (Tulcea county). Romania has its place in Europe. Some of the Europeans see us as hard working, smart and beautiful, with high records in several areas like gymnastics, literature, movies (Festival of Cannes 2012). But most of them see us as gipsy, drug dealers and thieves, homeless people, runaways.

It has this ugly side too but we can say to forget the ugly face and explore Romania's gentle, warm and beautiful soul. Lets close the eyes and the miracle will happen. We should dare to explore the inside of Romania and we'll have a story to tell our children. I love my country because it has many places to go and visit, mountains to climb and rivers to cross, glades to have barbeques and beaches to have fun and get a tan. I love my country, especially the places I grew, the countryside where my beloved grandparents lived and the seaside resort Cap Aurora where my parents used to work during summer time. BUT I also dislike my country, some places more than others because of the people. There are cities in Romania where people dont know the Romanian language, there are places that you cant enter because of the dirt, the smell and so on, offices you cant go in if you dont have money or know the right person. And we strongly think that we are on the same level with some other European countries like Austria, Hungary or Italy. There is a long way to get there but eventually we will, someday. English literature professor Andrei Codrescu's guide to how to bring the spirit of dada into our life was inspired by an imagined 1916 game of chess in a Zurich caf between ur-dadaist Tristan Tzara and VI Lenin. For Codrescu they embody two paths of human development in the 20th century: one the taboo-breaking, Dionysian pranksterism of dada, the other the soullessly efficient techno-rationalism of communism-cum-late-capitalism. The bad news is that Lenin's ruthless worldview (sans communism) has won and we are now all posthuman, a condition in which our "meat-body" - augmented by technology (iPhone, iPod) and drugs - becomes a denatured "e-body". The good news is that the inspired madness of dada (pure "counterswoosh") can set us free. Codrescu's wonderfully surreal and subversive guide tells the story of dada and puts us back in touch with our inner avant gardist. Behind the archly ironic playfulness is a serious-minded plea for creativity and a revitalised language. The Posthuman Dada Guide is an impractical handbook for practical living in our posthuman world--all by way of examining the imagined 1916 chess game between Tristan Tzara, the daddy of Dada, and V. I. Lenin, the daddy of communism.

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