Friday, October 31, 2008

Rostire (Ro)

There are words that simply do not have equivalents in other languages - either because the meanings are multiple and another combination of letters in a different language did not reach the same level of sophistication, or the concept might be missing altogether from the second language.

Romanian language has a wealth of words that run deeper than the concrete level. One first example I particularly like is rostire (from Lat. rostrum, rostra - mouth) having multiple meanings: language, speech, discourse, order, arrangement, lifestyle, meaning, story, aim, purpose,justification, reason.

A rosti something means "two things at the same time: to utter a thing and to put another one in order." (C. Noica)

There is no doubt that a whole life philosophy can rest behind only five letters. Are there any other examples you might know in your own language?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tudor Gheorghe: Poetry of the Spirit

Mr.Tudor Gheorghe is one of the musicians who sings about love and death, grief and sorrow, awe and exhilaration, picking up on the very essence of the culture expressed for centuries traditionally on these lands. His most memorable songs include "Toamna/ Autumn", "Primavara / Spring", "Au innebunit salcamii / The Acacia Trees Have Gone Mad" - such a joy for the ear and heart!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Song About Bucovina", by Grigore Lese: Song about Togetherness

For many times we might wonder what holds nations and people together. The answers are so difficult to find but I think it all comes down to the local Spirit. "Cantec despre Bucovina"/"Song About Bucovina", by Grigore Lese is a song which comes out of the spirit of a place - a holy one for so many - Bucovina, in northern Romania.
Mr. Lese is one of the authentic musicians who revives old traditional music by preserving it in its original forms... simply magical!

Frankfurt Book Fair 2008: What Global Postmodernist Communication Means.

This year's edition of the Frankfurt Book Fair, held from 15th to 19th October, meant - for me - a complex demonstration of the global power of communication. Never have I seen a more elaborate display of forces in terms of publications and publishers, new idea trials, representatives of various cultures, etc. My friends and I took part on the 18th which coincided with the largest number of visitors in the history of the fair.
What struck me most, apart from the huge areas designed to cover all suppliers, was the great energy of the eagerness to clinch new deals and share successful stories of various products. I particularly appreciated the Educational Publishing Pavilion and AAEP and the international publisher's hall. One day did not seem enough to cover everything and we came back from a truly post-modernist 'zone' while our face skins still felt dehydratedly imprinted.

"Trees Without Forest", by Tatiana Stepa: Quintessential Contempopary Emotions

"Copaci fara padure/ Trees Without Forest", by Tatiana Stepa is a token of folk music which is timeless and space-less...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Romanian Rhapsody, by George Enescu: The Story of a Nation

Romanian Rhapsody (1901) is the story of the past, present and future of a whole nation situated at the crossroads of big European empires, which with a lot of faith managed to survive the greatest of the tragedies along the centuries and has contributed with Christian humbleness to the creation of the world.

The performance at the Classical Music Concert Hall (Filarmonica Mihail Jora) in Bacau on 10th October, led brilliantly by the renowned conductor Ovidiu Balan, left the audience breathless and in awe at the miraculous discovery and encounter with multiple cultural truths - an eye opening experience!

Hanu Ancutei - Where Endless Time Meets Contemporary Hospitality

This is a Medieval story Inn - officially opened in the 18th century but going back as far as the age of Romanian Medieval Kings, according to local legends. Hanu Ancutei bears the name of the lady Ancuta, the owner of the place who used to enchant merchants with stories and legends and encourage them to reveal their own. Its present day version manages to capture this extraordinary mix of atmosphere: old and new, traditional and contemporary sophistication, because of the great variety of traditional organic foods and the wonderfully warm and highly-trained staff who live in the villages nearby. Whenever I go there, I can culturally re-connect with my most distant ancestors and roots and I am always delighted to discover yet another new old recipe of a delicious pie for my journey home...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Under Spiderman's Tragic and Fatal Spell: What Do We Teach Our Children?!?

An 8-year-old boy, Leonard R, from Targu Ocna (Romania) dies after he hangs himself while playing Spiderman ("Desteptarea", august 2008, nr 5588,p.4) - the tragedy shocked people in the local community. Leonard, after watching a cartoon at his aunt's place, returns home and plays with a rope tied by a beam and jumps,like "Spiderman", into the void - can this be the repeated tragedy of many of our children? Is it just a matter of time?
When are we going to be responsible and reevaluate and rethink our values and attitudes towards ourselves and the ones around us? How can we stop the destructive consumerist power of money-making and establish a harmonious balance? In an age when we talk about Millennium Development Goals (UNESCO)and establish Education as one of the most important aspects in our local and global society, we should go beyond, much more beyond words and theoretical ideas...we need attitudes and action plans on the part of governments and civil society!

Oxford Blackwell's - Much More than a Bookshop

The best bookshop I have ever seen must be Blackwell's in Oxford, UK. Situated in the very heart of dear old Oxford, on Broad Street, and first opened in 1879, every minute inside is a journey into multiple worlds. Blackwell's has charm and character and it is a magical place where you can easily find yourself through books that are ready for you to open...So far away from the typical capitalist chain bookstores, Blackwell's is perfectly integrated into the spirit of Oxford - inspiring, warm, essentially deep...a great spiritual journey and such a pleasure for book lovers.

"La Abuela Maruchi" - Fantastic Spanish Atmosphere in Andalusia

If we go to the south of Spain, in Andalusia to see the impressive mix of European and Arabic cultures, there is one other magical place to go to - La Abuela Maruchi. It is a non-touristic place, only for the connaiseures who want to taste the best sangria , specially made by the warmest and most generous man in Spain: Tony's best friend.
My friends and I spent a most memorable last evening in Spain in a very humane and hospitable atmosphere, enjoying traditional food and the extra-bonuses we were showered with, impeding us to leave this place. The spirit of Abuela (the grandma) was very much there together with Antonio Banderras's Spanish smile... Simply emotionally Great!

"Old Parsonage" - a Unique Place in Oxford, UK

This 17th century home and garden is full of character which makes it a perfect place for you and your closest friends and family members to get together and enjoy the authentic peacefulness of summer evenings and the charm of artistic design in the heart of Oxford.
When I went to Oxford, I spent time with my closest friends here and we fully enjoyed our lovely talks, while sipping from the cups of the best tea ever, tasting the delicious unique home-made scones and clutted cream, with a unanimous "mmmmm..." My girl friends and I left the place with regret, only to promise to come back with our mums, too - Simply emotionally Great!