Let’s stop acting like Romanians

A few days ago, I heard Marius Bărăgan (the famous Romanian photographer) saying this phrase, as an answer to the question “What would you like to change in Romania?” at the Radio21 morning show.

First of all, I was bothered by the negation in his answer.

When you want something, it’s a good idea to say what you want, in order to create an action inside your mind as well as your interlocutor’s mind. If you express it through a negation, you channel the conversation/thought/energy in the wrong direction.

Second, it’s impossible (and improbable) not to act as what we are.

We get what Mr. Bărăgan was trying to say, he was referring to the faults that Romanians have in general. But, just as well, Sir Elton John could’ve said “let’s stop acting like Brits”, or Brad Pitt could’ve said “let’s stop acting like Americans”. If we heard there phrases from them (altough there are small chances that a foreigner who’s a public person would slander their own country), we realise how wrong it is to think like that.

It’s wrong because it’s illogical: we will always be Romanians who live in Romania and we will always think in the Romanian way. Whether we like it or not.

It’s wrong because underneath it lies a frustration: the shame of being Romanian. A people has both qualities and faults, you cannot define a people only through a single feature. If I were to choose a single feature for a people, i would choose a positive one.

Let’s say that, starting tomorrow, all Romanians will stop acting Romanian.

We’ll all be German all of a sudden. Is that what we want? Do we want to forget everything that defines us as a nation (traditions, temperament, history, talent, ambition) and be like someone else?

I, personally, don’t want to be like others. I just want to be myself, just a bit better each day.

And Marius Bărăgan is a talented ROMANIAN photographer, he’s not German or an American. And I am proud of him, BECAUSE he’s Romanian.

Read also: the article about the American that knows and loves Romania more than Romanians themselves (It’s in Romanian)