““I am Romanian, currently living in Romania. I traveled extensively and I lived abroad for a while. I read this kind of stories all the time or I hear them from Romanians. I had different experiences. I have always told people I am from Romania, without being ashamed. I have never, in my life, met someone that didn’t know Romania is in Europe. Maybe some didn’t know what the capital of Romania is, but no one ever said it is Budapest.
One doesn’t have to know the capitals of all European countries, Romania is not that important to the world . The only time I switched from Romanian to English was in a bus in London, when in the bus got about ten smelly Gypsy people. I didn’t do it because I was ashamed, but because I didn’t want the Gypsies to start a conversation with me. I was never looked down because I am Romanian and nobody lost enthusiasm when hearing I am Romanian.
Not in Italy, not in Spain, not in France, not in Canada… I made friends easily all over the world and I was always judged for who I am as a person. I talk about Romania a lot, I tell my foreigner friends about the good stuff and about the bad stuff. Yes, in Romania you get robbed if you don’t pay attention. It happens both to Romanians and to foreigners. And yes, people coming to Romania from countries where you can walk around with your bag open, like Canada for example, have to change their ways.
I don’t feel ashamed or offended if they do it or if their families are checking on them when traveling here. It is a reality. If you embrace your country and your origin, you embrace its reality also. I have seen Romanians treated bad abroad. But not because they were Romanians, but because they weren’t comfortable with being Romanians so they were always hunting for a hint of discrimination. When your self esteem is low and you look for offence in everything people say or do to you, your behavior changes, you are not yourself so people will avoid you. I am not saying there are not real victims of discrimination out there.
I am sure there are and I am sorry. What I am saying is that discrimination against Romanians is not something general and common. It depends on how the Romanians act abroad and with what kind of people they deal with. We all have choices, wherever we go and in life, it all starts with the choice…”