A country steeped in folklore and tradition, Romania is now more than two decades out of the shadows of the Ceausescu regime and has indeed established itself as a strong cultural producer in the southeastern corner of Europe. Romania has a vibrant and unique culture that reflects where the country has been and where it is heading.
Romania may be mostly famous to foreigners as the backdrop of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but this country has a long and proud cultural history that is definitely reflected in its literature.
Moldavia-born Mihai Eminescu wrote his poetry in the mid-19th century and may rightfully be considered as Romania's national poet. Marin Sorescu won a number of prestigious awards for his poetry both within the country and internationally. More recently Romanian literature has even received a Nobel Prize for Literature through the works of German-Romanian writer Herta Muller.
Tristan Tzara, who was one of the founding members of Dadaism in the 1910s was born and grew up in Romania. His contribution to Dada and later Surrealism linked his home nation with the avant-garde movements of the interwar period and he is often seen as a legendary figure within both ‘isms’.
Romanian cinema has in the last decade placed itself soundly on the European scene. Especially through the works of talented filmmakers like, Cristi Puiu, Cristian Nemescu and Cristian Mungiu. The latter was the first Romanian director to win the coveted Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. More recently Mungiu has received critical acclaim for his comedic collection of stories in the film Tales From the Golden Age, which deals with Romania during the last decade of the Ceausescu regime.
George Enescu was a composer highly influenced by Romanian traditional folk music and the effects of this are clearly shown in what is probably his most famous work, Romanian Rhapsodies. Modern Romania is an avid producer of music of all genres. From the pop of Nico to the gypsy-styled blues rock of Cluj-formed band Nightlosers, through to hip-hop artist Parazitii and Balkan-beats Fanfare Ciocarlia, Romania offers a unique experience that spans over its entire cultural produce and paints a picture of a nation that needs and deserves to be experienced.