Alina Giorgiana Neag, founder of OneGiraphe, a branding & design studio
Proud to be Romanian!
Because I grew up in a traditional family, with my grandparents living right in the heart of Bucovina County. They taught me to appreciate the smell of the fresh homemade bread baked in the oven by my grandma (she still prepares it every time I go visit). I also remember the times my grandfather dressed as Santa Claus for all his grandchildren, the times we went out to sing carols to our neighbours, family and friends on Christmas Eve, the times we dressed as goats and bears (local winter tradition) and all the times we used to take the sleigh and ride it in the snow. The all so familiar smell of cinnamon and orange that was in the air around Christmas.
I am proud for having inherited strong moral values, for being encouraged to honour and respect them even when there is no one there to see me.
I am proud of our history, our architecture,our beautiful landscapes and nature, our high mountains (the Carpathians), the Danube Delta, the seaside, our beautiful virgin forests, the endangered bears that still inhabit them and I could go on like this for days.
I am proud of the Romanian peasants who still grow plants the same old-fashioned way their ancestors used to do, avoiding GMO. I am proud of the peasant Romanian woman who still wears ”ia” (the Romanian traditional blouse), who milks the cow herself and has fresh milk, cream and cheese. I am proud of all those who maintain the local traditions alive and pass them on to the next generations. I am proud of their children who are eager to learn how to sew, crochet and live their lives as proud Romanians, always remembering where they come from.
I am proud of our great personalities: Aurel Vlaicu (our famous man of the skies), Nadia Comăneci (the first gymnast to have a straight A/10 in an Olympic Competition), Vlad Țepeș (or Dracula as you probably know him). Them and many others who make our country’s name famous all around the world even today.
I am proud to be “Bănățeancă” (originary from the Banat County), with Transylvanian (by my father’s side) and Bucovinean (by my mother’s side) influences and heritage. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter from which specific region I come from : I am Romanian and I will never forget that!
And most of all, I am proud to be a honorable human being!
*Alina is wearing a traditional costume typical of the Bucovina region: the skirt was made by her grandmother and the “ia” (the traditional Romanian blouse) was sewed by her mother’s hands.