Articles avec #romanian tradition tag

Publié le 27 Octobre 2019

Hello all!

This is a short entry, and I want to talk about a cultural shock I had last year, regarding the use of the word "Hallelujah!"

In English, you'd say "Hallelujah!" when something good happened, or when something you hoped for turned out the way you wanted. 

You'd sometimes say "Hallelujah!" to perhaps mean 'Finally!"

In Romanian, though, "Hallelujah!" is used to mean "What's done is done."

It is usually said in bad situations - when you lose or break something, especially something expensive or that you cared about, for instance. 

So, last year, I shook the sheet on the window. Below, at the ground floor there is a commercial space and they have some sort of shades, made of metal, that stand out and away from the building, in a horizontal position. 

If things fall there, they can't be easily retrieved. 

My sweatpants were wrapped in the sheet, and I grabbed everything. 

Before I could do anything, my pants fell from inside the sheet and onto the shade-thing of the commercial space. 

A told their mother, and her reply was "Hallelujah!" 

The shock! the horror! I was wondering, why is she so happy about my misfortune?!? 

It appears she wasn't: she was just telling me to forget about my pants. 

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Publié le 17 Avril 2019

Hello everyone!

The Great Lent started in Romania - this is the lent before Pascha (or Easter). It lasts for 7 weeks and is the longest of them all, hence the name. OK, now it's close to the end, as I kept on delaying editing pictures and writing. The article is finally here!

During any Lent, Romanians are supposed to fast by eating a vegan diet - so no meats including fish, no eggs and no dairy products. (hmm, I actually don't know if honey is forbidden or allowed.) This page explains better the rules of fasting. It also makes no mention of honey, and thus I think it's allowed.

In any case, when buying premade foods in Romania, we should pay attention to the packaging to say "de post" - this means the product is vegan-friendly.  If you don't want to eat honey, search for the word "miere" (=honey) in the ingredients. Fish is allowed for consumption on certain days during the Lent (fasting period). 

  • Romanians don't celebrate Fat Tuesday nor Ash Wednesday. Good Friday is not a public holiday either, but the 2nd day of Pascha (Monday) is a bank holiday, and only hospitals, police, public transportation, and a few shops still stay in business. 

I already have a few vegan-friendly recipes posted, and I want to share with you the recipe for Roasted Potatoes as well - this is an important recipe to know how to make if you love potatoes because they're awesome when roasted. 

Recipe for Roasted Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 larger potatoes, preferably suited for baking
  • salt
  • oil
  • powder black pepper
  • other herbs or condiments you like
  • also, a baking tray

METHOD:

Peel and slice your potatoes. Make sure to have rather thick slices and not thin. If they're thin, reduce the cooking time by 15 minutes to avoid burning them. 

Take a baking tray, smear it with cooking oil, place your potato slices in it. 

Smear your potato slices with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and all the condiments and herbs. 

Let bake in the oven for some 45 minutes, on medium heat, preferably on the middle rack of the oven. 

You can now serve!

I made this recipe over and over, and I didn't always take pictures. This is why some of them are dated "December 2018." The light is bad because I usually cook in the evening and therefore the artificial light is not great.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #Cooking, #advice, #baking, #customs, #food, #recipe, #romanian tradition, #tips, #vegan

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Publié le 7 Décembre 2018

As you already know I like doing things with my hands. I like coloring, or I like "improving" my clothes like I did these pants

The jacket I decided to embroider is off white, and from H&M, but from at least 2 years back. I doubt you'll still find it - when i bought it, it was sales season. I also haven't seen anything similar anymore. This jacket is pretty long, as it reaches below my butt. Its fabric also feels sturdy, and doesn't really let the wind through. I wish it had a hoodie - maybe I can MAKE one in the future? LOL. 

So the jacket has 4 large pockets on the front. The 2 on the chest have a flap, while the ones on the lower part have a bit of a different shape. I thought the jacket looks too plain and that I needed to do something to cheer it up, give it a bit of a fresh air. What better way to do this if not with some embroidery? And not just any type of embroidery, but specifically Romanian.

I embroidered my jeans jacket

So i searched for something in the book with Romanian embroidery I own and I also searched online. And I found the above design, completely black, originating from the Moldova area. 

I can only remember finding it on a Romanian online book store, and they were showing pictures of a few pages from inside the books they had listed. And U copied the model on paper. 

I embroidered my jeans jacket

I had no idea to start to embroider the design. It looks easy enough, especially if only one color is used. Another problem was the fabric as it is woven, but it uses a special type of weaving that makes it hard to count the threads. And if there's one thing to know about Romanian embroidery, is that it counts the threads in order to make a pretty, even design.

I decided to put the paper on the pocket, and to proceed with sewing through the paper. I didn't want to break the paper, at first, but i really had no idea or indication anywhere, on how to do it. 

As you can tell from the image above, it worked pretty well. Except for when i was done,and i had to break the paper. Can you guess what happened? The thread was loose. If you'll look carefully at the next 2 pictures, you'll see what I mean.

I embroidered my jeans jacket

Since I already embroidered one pocket, I had a better idea on how to proceed with the design, on the next ones. I didn't take pictures, but I'll try my best to explain if you want to reproduce it - but please give credit to the Romanian people.

If you'll use a fabric on which counting the threads is easy, it's even better. You basically need a 20 * 20 grid, as there are 20 rows and 20 columns.

If you use 2 colors:

Start with any of the red squares, but not the middle one. You embroider 2 rows of 2 crosses, then jump to the design in the corner that would be above it, and embroider in the same direction. When done, jump to another square, then another corner, then another square, then the 3rd corner, another square, then the one in the middle, and then the last corner.

You'd have to turn the fabric almost with each jump from the corner to the square. A lot of turning would happen when working on the second color as well. 

If you look closely, you'll notice 2 rectangles that intersect one another. I found it easier to work on them if I stat with the longer section, then the edge, then the shorter section, then jump to the next longer section, and so on. 

   the final look :)

the final look :)

If you use a single color:

I suppose that for when embroidering in a single color, the design would be easier, since you'd have to work on rows. I didn't want to work it all in black because I thought it would look too austere in a way. 

As you can see, i managed to finish the embroidery. It was pretty easy too, once I got used to it. But of course I also cheated a little bit. With the design copied on a different paper, i poked holes with a pencil, to mark the fabric with a visual guide. 

I didn't cheat perfectly, as you can probably tell. The crosses are not all the same size and are not perfectly aligned either. It took me 4 days in total to complete, with just a few hours per day. I'm pretty happy with the design, i think it's cute and cheerful, and that it looks quite authentic. I have nothing to compare it to, so i'll just stop here.

See you guys!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Publié le 8 Juillet 2018

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share with you my newest interest - cross-stitching. WooHoo! /throws confetti/ oh, i'll clean that ... later...

 

freestyle vs patternfreestyle vs pattern

freestyle vs pattern

Cross stitching is something I didn't think i'd get into. But somehow it happened. The story is a bit longer than this. Back in 2015 I received this gigantic sheet for the inter blanket -duvet? I thought I can't possibly use it as it is, and i thought I could turn it into pillow cases. And therefore I started measuring, cutting and sewing -everything by hand. 

If you don't have a lot of resources, and you need to hem your cloth, you can use some hair pins to keep the fabric in place. I found this method easy to use and not to ruin the material. On top of this, you can simply slide the pin as you need to advance. 

As a curiosity, i used a running stitch on the fabric i folded twice, and the stitch didn't get ruined in the laundry machine. 

my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101

my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101

I wanted to use traditional motifs, so i asked people i knew if they had something to help out. I needed both patterns and thread. Of course they did and they gave me a book with traditional patterns and a lot of thread as well. 

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

I flipped through the book to find a design that wasn't too complicated to replicate since I'm a beginner. And i found some that did looked easy, in a single color.

The one i decided on was all black and seemed easy enough. I copied it on paper using colored pencils, because i wanted some more colors on my pillow. 

The next step was to make sure the colors looked ok together. They weren't bad and they look better in real life.

i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]

i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]

The design i chose is the one in the lower right corner, in the book. I also show you how you're supposed to embroider it, if you like it. It makes a really nice edge on stuff, if positioned right.

I thought that an all black design would look too rough, though it would have been easier to stitch.

Did you know that Romanians traditionally sew with red and black thread, on white cloth? White means purity, red means joy and black means life.

I wanted to have at least 1 traditional color in my traditional motif. And this is why i choose red.

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

Since the cloth i decided to sew on in not easy to count the threads, i needed more visual help. I used a fountain pen. If you want to use the same method, make sure it's blue ink: red and black are staining the fabric and are more difficult to remove.

Of course, i sometimes messed up the guide. But it's ok as some of the errors got covered by some of the later stitches. 

None of these patterns have instructions on how or where to start from, so I had to figure these aspects myself. I figured that stitching the wave first would be easier later when i decide to add the other elements in other colors. 

However, drawing the guide [here the dots], then crossing the location of each stitch made my work even more easy. This allowed me to embroider whatever element I wanted first. 

Refer to the 1st picture in the beginning and the 3rd picture above, if you want to see what happens when you don't count the thread of your fabric, when you're supposed to do so.

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

And above you can see the end result. I decided to embroider a hen eating grass as well. For that design i decided to use a piece of etamin fabric to trace a counted guide. it made my life quite easy, but for the size, i needed thinner thread. 

I like what everything looks like. I will continue practicing my embroidering skills though.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Publié le 24 Décembre 2017

Today, as I type this, is Friday (1 week before Christmas. but I finished the blog entry on the 24th - call me lazy). I decided that today I'd decorate our "Christmas tree." Well, we don't have a proper tree, just the one my partner bought last year.

Christmas is here ... again!

I was a bit sad that we don't have any Christmas lights nor decorations, nothing. :( and I was storming my brains for ideas of how to make something more Christmas-y without spending too much money [because we need it for 1001 other things]. And all of a sudden the idea popped! :D

All I had to do was to find an alternative to all the decorations. I first came up with the idea to put under it a few items we haven't opened yet, even though we knew what they were - some nice tea, an orange, an unused candle, a pair of Christmas socks my partner got as a gift, and 2 pine cones. And then, I remembered I had these blue plastic beads from a necklace that broke. I thought I could paint them red or golden and then hang them on the branches.

The only thing I could use to paint these beads was some nail polish ... except it didn't work as planned.

Christmas is here ... again!

As a result, I decided to just leave them as they were. Then I proceeded to place each bead on some piece of string and hang them on the tree. I thought at first it would be nice to use the same string color for all the beads, but then I changed my mind.

I also used some extra string I had to wrap it around the tree like some sort of tinsel. I also used some other old jewelry - a shiny bracelet, another blue necklace, and a silver heart locket [in the back, barely seen in the picture]. The decor is 'original' I think, it's something that anyone can do, I believe, regardless of their budget and skills.

Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 
Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 

Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 

And because we got into the Christmas spirit - at least a bit, we decided to take a walk and go see the Christmas Market set up in the square in front on the infamous Palace of the Parliament. The boulevard got decorated for Christmas. The decorations are nicer from the Unirii Square towards the Palace.

bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"
bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"

bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"

The market has a big tree - that can actually be seen from downstairs, a stage, a nativity scene - the animals were even animated with sounds at least, there was a merry-go-round but just for kids, as well as an ice skating rink that was still designed for kids and children, but parents were skating with those that were too young.

Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!

If you know how Christmas markets work, you probably know what to expect when you get in. There are stalls with food, drinks, clothes, traditional crafts, and several sellers with almost identical merchandise. But that's OK because you have options - if you don't like the person selling, right?

Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!
Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!
Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!

These were the stuff we liked the most at this year's Christmas Market. I wish you a Merry Christmas [and if you don't celebrate it, Happy Holidays]! I hope you can be surrounded by your loved ones and that good luck and health will always be by your side!

Do you have a Christmas Market in your city or in your country? If Christmas is not a thing for you, please share some traditional stuff from where you are, even if they happen at other times of the year!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Rédigé par Charly Cross

Publié dans #bucharest, #romanian tradition, #shopping, #traditions, #christmas

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Publié le 2 Avril 2017

In my previous post I mentioned I would make an entry related to etiquette in Romania. So, here it is! These are stuff I either saw myself or was told.

1. Shoes - on or off?

these are my shoes. my picture.

these are my shoes. my picture.

In Romania, you take your shoes off when entering your own home, or the home of those close to you - friends and family, unless told otherwise. It helps with keeping the house clean(er).

 

You keep your shoes on when you go visit people you're not very close to - say, if you meet the parents of your partner for the first time. Some of these people you don't know very well, might ask you to take your shoes off when entering their home.

 

  • why should I take my shoes off? If it rained, chances are your shoes are dirty and your host doesn't want their floors or carpets to get dirty, especially if the house looks as clean as a 5 star hotel room.

 

2. Bring something when you visit someone

In the past, when paying a visit, it was a sign of good manners not to go empty handed. People were usually bringing something symbolic, like flowers, something sweet, or something to drink. The "something sweet" was something home made, but bought stuff were also OK. A casserole of home cooked food also works well - remember this is something symbolic. If the younger generations do this these days, it must be because they grew up seeing their parents do it.

 

While this habit might seem weird for some, consider that Romania used to be a communist country and during the regime the living conditions were harsh. For some people it would have been a financial burden to receive and entertain guests, so the guests were considerate towards this effort by bringing something to the "party."

 

3. Greet your neighbors when meeting them

5 Romanian etiquette rules

This applies for when meeting them in the common areas of the apartment building, as many Romanians still live in apartment buildings. If you happen to meet any of your neighbors, they will say "hello" and the polite thing to do is to reply. Easy, right?

 

When visiting friends, you might encounter their neighbors and they might say "hello" even if they don't know you. It costs nothing to reply back with a "hello." Greeting random people they see waiting around their building is not that weird since many Romanians are renting out their apartments. Your friend's neighbors might think you're renting a place there and you're new.

 

4. Greet your cashier

All cashiers I went to, would say "hello" to all their customers, me included. They would also say "bye bye" after giving them their change and receipt. The client is supposed to answer to both greetings. This gesture sure doesn't cost nor time nor money. I generally say "thanks" before leaving. I sometimes add "have a nice day" as well.

 

5. Speaking of the change... Don't expect it in full

this is my picture

this is my picture

Let' assume you're supposed to receive 7.37 ... well, let's just say you'll receive 7.35 instead, and demanding the extra 0.02 is nowadays considered a bit weird, if not quite rude. The cases when you'll receive your full change is rare (I only saw it happening at one supermarket- Kaufland) The coins of the 0.01 value (1 ban) are generally disregarded by most people. I don't think the 0.05 coins (5 bani) are too popular either.

 

Don't ask me how much money I lost this way. However, you'll be surprised to learn or see just how many Romanians simply leave all the coins in their change to the cashier. They might take the 0.5 coin (50 bani) but not the 0.1 coins (10 bani).

 


disclaimer: i don't own the pictures in this post, they belong to their respective creators. i just found them online.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly Cross

Publié dans #advice, #bucharest, #customs, #friends, #people, #romanian tradition, #tips, #traditions

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Publié le 25 Mars 2017

This is not a sad story, but rather one that might make your blood boil to the point where you want to smash something. But let's start with the beginning.

 

Back in November I was coming back from buying some groceries. As I was opening the door to the apartment building where I live, this little [mostly black] cat dashed right in with me. I have no idea where it came from, but it sure wasn't shy. This little fellow simply followed me home. So I took her in... Lucky that my two 7 and 6 year old male cats didn't try to kill her, but she wasn't happy with their presence either.

In the end, it all worked out just fine. see below:

In the end, it all worked out just fine. see below:

Please think twice before adopting a pet!

This black furry thing wasn't shy nor scared of being touched or even handled. I quickly discovered this was a female cat. "Sweet! I never had a female cat before" I thought to myself. Of course, I talked to my friend about it, and we decided to keep her for a while, until we find a more suitable furrever home. The little cat went in heat in about 2 - 3 weeks after finding her. Her screaming sounded as if someone was torturing her to death. I waited till it passed, and then got her spayed. Quietness returned.

sleepy Milky <3

sleepy Milky <3

There are more reasons I need a new home for Milky - this is what I named her. Ironic given her color, right? but it's mostly because she likes to nurse on tshirts and pants of a certain texture. She also LOVES milk, so now the name seems more fitting.. The most important reason is that we will be leaving the country this year [hopefully soon], and there is no way to accommodate 3 cat at the new place [with some relatives until we find a job, and a place of our own].

So we posted a few "up for adoption ads" for Milky.  A few nights ago I received this phone call from an older lady showing interest in Milky [the female cat]. We decided to meet the next day, with me bringing the cat to her place. Said and done.

I wrapped the cat in a blanket as there was no need for a cat carrier, and off we went to meet the lady. Luckily, she lived some 3 bus stops away, and this means easily reachable by foot as well. As soon as the lady saw the cat, she melted -"a good sign" I thought to myself.

Please think twice before adopting a pet!

She led us to her place - some 5 minutes by foot away from the bus stop, on a quiet street. When we entered, I was requested to take off my shoes. She had a good point for it: that place was SO clean and everything nicely arranged. [I will most likely address etiquette rules regarding wearing shoes indoors, in the next post. Let's just say it is not really polite to ask your quests to remove them.]

I told the lady everything she needed to know about the cat, I showed the cat where the litter was, and I was ready to leave. Right before leaving, the lady informed me it is customary to give a little something in exchange for the cat, so she had prepared some bananas and a box of chocolates.  I took that, my blanket, and I returned home.

Later in the evening, she called however I couldn't pick up the phone. I called her back the next morning... The lady informed me she wanted to return the cat! Yes, you read that right - to return the cat after she promised she would take good care of her and all! She complained that Milky cried, that she went on the opened window, and that the cat wanted to suck her pajamas at night. Apparently she couldn't sleep because of all these! Other than the clothes sucking, all the cats go on open windows and cry in a new house!

1. if you're going to adopt a cat, expect her to cry at least the first night if she's sociable, or to hide if she's less sociable. dogs and puppies also cry the first night or two.

2. your new cat or dog is an ALIVE CREATURE! it is definitely NOT a toy, piece of clothing or some other thing you can just return the next day because you changed your mind!

3. having a pet is NEARLY identical to having a human baby! it requires your attention and it needs you!

Do expect your new companion to give you some headaches, but seriously, children are no different.

Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way... or in what he thinks is HER place.Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way... or in what he thinks is HER place.

Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way... or in what he thinks is HER place.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Publié le 5 Février 2017

You probably wondered what I have been up to during my long absence.. Or not. If you do, I'll present you with the short version. It's not like I've been able to do much anyways.
 
 
First off, unlike most of the previous years, this time around we managed to get a Christmas tree. It was a small potted one because we felt bad to bring in a big one that was cut. plus it would have been troublesome and we have cats too.
December adventures in Bucharest

Among the many things that happened, there were some fun moments too. For starters, we went to a well known Christmas Market before New Years. The Market opens every Christmas for about a week before Christmas, and this year we actually went there too early - the Market preparations were still underway and the place was sorta deserted. Except for the workers, of course, who were suffering the cold to make the place pleasant for the future visitors.

 

Because of this, we ended in a cafe that was selling mulled wine as well. That was some really good mulled wine. See a pic below. We could sit outside because despite the cold, it didn't snow. The place, like many others that left their terraces open through autumn and winter, had special heaters that also gave off a red light. It was really cozy as we also had blankets to cover with.

December adventures in Bucharest

Next, you can see a snapshot video of another Christmas market .. again at closing time.

The second time we went we were more lucky, and we got to see most of the attractions we were there for. During this period farmers from all corners of the country bring local products, which include a big variety of cold meats and cheese. Along with that we also saw some of the popular Spanish Churros, fish and chips booths, as well as pretzels shops. Almost each seller also offered mulled wine of different flavors at a price for about $2 euro a cup.

 

The weather was terribly cold, below 0 C but that didn't stop us from enjoying the show for about 20 minutes (we didn't last for longer haha). In the meanwhile we decided to get some fish and chips and enjoy the hot food and mulled wine... along with a "freebie" cup that stays filled with Pepsi these days. "freebie" because the price for the mulled wine was double. 

 

December adventures in Bucharest

A stage was placed in the center of the Market where a traditional performance was taking place. This is a popular Romanian celebration that happens every New Years Eve. Called ''capra'' or ''ursul'', which literally means ''the goat'' and ''the bear," respectively. The event features people dressed in bear and goat outfits dancing around and putting up a show. We even saw a ''baby bear'' this year! The "baby bear" was just a kid dressed in a bear costume, but he was really adorable! See below a bit of footage from the Bear Dance performance:

People don't only put on the outfits for this festival, but also walk around the street beating the drums and singing for days before the New Year. A few groups came downstairs on our street and almost stopped the traffic while they were performing haha.
 

What we really went there for wasn't available - some Hungarian treats called Kurtos Kalacs which are amazing!! These sweet rolls are topped with all sort of nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and even chocolate. Last year we waited in a huge line just to get 2 of these, but this year none of the sellers were there. Such a pity! :(

 

After we finally had enough of the cold weather we headed over to Second Cup - a Canadian coffee chain for some coffee. We got there about 20 minutes before they closed so I guess that was totally lucky.

 

mulled wine and disappointing coffeesmulled wine and disappointing coffees

mulled wine and disappointing coffees

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly Cross

Publié dans #life experience, #love, #bucharest, #adventures, #customs, #romanian tradition

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Publié le 22 Février 2015

Everyone is searching for love. We all need more love in our lives. Love is celebrated in many different ways around the world, however one day in particular stands out: lover's day.

This day may or may not be celebrated everywhere. Lover's day may not be observed on the same day all over the world. For instance, USA has the famous Valentine's Day on February 14th. Similarly South Korea recently marked November 11th as Pepero Day, when people gift Pepero snacks to their loved ones as a symbol of affection.  Japan has transformed Christmas into a holiday dedicated to couples.

pic by unica.md [found on instagram]

pic by unica.md [found on instagram]

Romanians also have a holiday dedicated to love and couples. This is the Dragobete on February 24th. I will not copy and paste anything in my post, you can read the short Wikipage about it.

pic by @floorscastle on instagram

pic by @floorscastle on instagram

The article says that we should go collect snowdrops flowers and to give them to the person we love. Luckily, these days, if we want to do this, all we have to do is to buy them from people selling them on the streets. Walking through Downtown Bucharest is very easy to see old ladies selling snowdrops planted in tiny baskets.

What I would like to point out is the fact that this is a very old tradition, of about 2000 years. This aspect makes me think that humanity was always in search for true and long lasting romantic love. This thought of mine is reinforced by the many legends from various nations involving lovers who have to pass through some tests to prove their love.

What are your thoughts on love? should we all have a single day in which to show and reinforce our feelings for a special someone, or is it better to have different days spread throughout the year for more love in the year?

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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