|Imposing: Romania's Palace of Parliament. — Photo courtesy of Romanian Embassy in Ha Noi
On the 96th anniversary of the National Day of Romania (December 1*), Charge d'Affaires of the Romanian Embassy, Valeriu Arteni, recounts the nation's post-1989 transformations.
Most Romanians strongly relate to the freedom achieved in the 1989 Romanian Revolution. They see it as the main benefit created by the sacrifice of their compatriots 25 years ago. Freedom has fed the aspirations, dreams, development plans and the creativity of the Romanian people.
Deep structural transformation has taken place, turning the nation into an open society. Romania is now a democracy, with a free-market economy attracting investments. It observes human rights.
As an European Union and NATO member, it is gradually increasing its role in the Asian region. All of this modernising is fed by a huge thinking and behaviour. It is 10 years since our country became a NATO member in 2004.
Romanian agriculture has the potential for sustainable activity and can quickly respond to challenges. Romanian exports have contributed to economic growth in recent years and are the pillars for a sound economic future in the medium and long term.
Moreover, our country offers many opportunities for foreign investments. The tourism industry thrives in a country full of fairy-tale landscapes.
Romania is now acknowledged worldwide for its elite professionals, from people working in the IT industry who develop technologies and software, to a young generation of movie directors who created the new, award winning Romanian cinema defined as "hyper-realistic".
Bucharest, the capital, is a big attraction with its wide boulevards, beautiful museums, a vast Palace of Parliament, and many other great buildings.
Bucharest opera house was designed by French architects out to improve on Paris - the reason the city is known as "little Paris".
It is where George Enescu first played his magic violin and where Constantin Brancusi went from carving wood to sculpture.
Famous in the day as the "fun city" of Central Europe, Bucharest today boasts a dynamic cafe, club and arts scene. Romanian movies have impressed international juries and audiences.
In 2012, director Cristian Mungiu with the film Beyond the Hills, won the prize for best screenplay at Cannes International Film Festival. The movie also earned best-actress award for its leading actresses, Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur at the festival.
These prizes were followed by others at FEDEORA, Haifa, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the Argentine, Gijon International Film Festival, Spain).
Calin Peter Netzer's The Child's Pose won the Golden Bear at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
A number of beautifully preserved Romanian architectural monuments have been included by UNESCO in the World Cultural Heritage. They include the Churches of Moldavia, the Dacian fortresses of the Orastie Mountains; and the historic centre of Sighisoara – Mures County.
The world list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity contains three Romanian items: Doina – a folk song, the ritual dance of Calusul, and Horezu pottery.
The Danube Delta Reservation is the third-richest biosphere reservation in the world in terms of biodiversity – a paradise for birds, fish and rare flowers – and it has become part of UNESCO's World Culture and Natural Heritage since 1990.
The wonderful and mysterious wetland covers 3,510 square kilometers in eastern Romania as the Danube flows into the Black Sea.
The Danube Delta's fame comes mainly from its bird population, comprising 341 species. It is also home to huge colonies of pelicans, a bird that is one of the closest living relative of the dinosaurs. — VNS
* This holiday was set after the 1989 Romanian Revolution and marks the unification of Transylvaniabut also of the provinces of Bessarabiaand Bukovinawith the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.