On 1 December, Romania celebrates its Great Union Day which marks the country’s unification in 1918. This is when Moldova and Wallachia (at the time) – were united with Transylvania, Crisana, Banat and the Maramures area. Since the fall of the Communist Party, from 1990 Romania has been celebrating its national day on this day, and it is marked as a national holiday.
I take pride in considering our lovely Jersey as home, where I am enthusiastic about showcasing local traditions and places. Simultaneously, I cherish my Romanian heritage, always eager to assist others in discovering the beauty of Romania—its traditions, arts, culture, locations, people, and language.
Being part of the Jersey International Cultural Centre Steering Group, I find joy in witnessing the diverse tapestry of cultures and nationalities present in Jersey. I appreciate how each migrant community, while integrating into island life and adopting local traditions, contributes by preserving and sharing their unique cultural practices, adding to the vibrancy and distinctiveness of Jersey.
The significance of the Great Union Day extends beyond the historical unification and independence of Romanian territories on December 1, 1918. I believe it symbolizes a broader unity among those who share common sentiments and a sense of belonging, transcending territorial boundaries and nationality. This universal aspect is applicable and meaningful in any jurisdiction, including Jersey.
It is my pleasure, as the first Romanian elected States Member and Deputy of St. Saviour, and as former Chair of the Romanian Association in Jersey, to invite you to our national celebration at the Merton Hotel on 1 December between 17:00 – 20:00.
The event has been kindly funded by the Jersey International Culture Centre which supports a range of local and international cultures and linked projects, and aims to reach out to diverse communities to learn about the barriers to integration, and ways of overcoming them.
In Jersey, there are over 1800 Romanian-born nationals, representing the third largest minority group on the island. Romanians also constitute the fourth largest group of immigrants in the UK, of around 1 million people.
We have become a stronger presence on the Island in the last twenty years, and Romanians now work in diverse sectors across Jersey, contributing to the economy and the community in various ways.
Attending the 1st December event will be an opportunity for Islanders to immerse themselves in Romanian culture, traditions, music, dance, art, and cuisine. This will allow individuals from diverse backgrounds to come together, interact, and celebrate in a festive atmosphere, strengthening community bonds, and fostering a sense of unity.
The evening will showcase the Island’s commitment to embracing diversity and inclusivity and highlight the significance of acknowledging and appreciating different cultures within the local community.
One of Romania’s biggest supporters is His Majesty King Charles III, who is known to have connections to the Transylvanian region through his ancestral lineage, being a real life descendent of Vlad the Impaler, the Transylvanian Count based on whom the legend of Dracula was built. Interested in Romania’s history and culture, His Majesty is actively supporting conservation efforts in the country, and promoting the Transylvanian area internationally through eco-tourism. His own property in Viscri village is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and open as a guest house. The King’s first visit after the coronation was indeed, to Romania.
Talking about its unique places, Romania boasts nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites which encompass historic monuments and architecture, biodiversity, cultural heritage and traditions, as well as preservation and tourism.
Ia, the traditional Romanian blouse, it is also a valued UNESCO heritage, celebrated each year worldwide on 24th June. Romania is an extraordinary place to visit which I strongly recommend.
I hope that everyone attending the Romanian Great Union Day event on 1st December will find it a rewarding experience that promotes cultural awareness, community integration, and unity among diverse populations on the island.