September 21, 2011
Romanians have sung “Deșteaptă-te, române” at revolutionary events since the 1848 revolution against the Habsburg empire. It aided them in their fight against the Nazis and served as a symbol of the former way of life during decades of dictatorship.
The song, which translates “Awaken Thee, Romanian,” was outlawed under Communism and became a call to arms for protestors and rebels in 1989. Shortly after the fall of Communism, it became the national anthem.
Read the lyrics with English translation here, and listen to the song below:
June 9, 2010
Arguments over the death of Romania’s most infamous dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, will soon be put to rest.
On Sunday the Austrian Times reported that Ceausescu’s son Valentin has won a four-year court battle for the right to exhume his father’s body in order to answer questions about his parents’ fate.
Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena ran Romania with an iron fist from 1965-1989. Following a violent coup in December of 1989, the couple was arrested and tried. They were executed on Christmas Day, and their bodies were dragged through the streets on national television.
Regardless, rumors have persisted that the couple actually escaped and that two other bodies were buried in their place in Bucharest. Valentin Ceausescu hopes to solve this matter by exhuming his father’s body.
The Grave of Nicolae Ceausescu – Ghencea Civil Cemetery, Bucharest
The first time I traveled to Romania, I was shocked by the aftermath of this powerful couple. It was 2005, over 15 years after the fall of communism, and yet people still referred to events as “before Ceausescu” and “after Ceausescu.”
The revolution, which was in many ways similar to a bloody coup, took the life of Mia’s brother and became a catalyst to her and Costel becoming Christians and starting Mia’s Children.
Indeed, many people’s histories are tied to Nicolae Ceausescu and his assumed death. If for some unlikely reason the myths of his and his wife’s survival are found to be true, the country will need some way to regain the closure they should have had in 1989 – a closure that, in many ways, Romanians would still like to experience fully today.
- Joanna Miller