Hi National Psyche

nil ,ill travellers are impressed with the general friendliness of the Kniiiiiuliins tlicy meet on the road. And after the few rounds of Tuica (p is) usually offered to guests, the level of friendliness increases expo-nentlully! Often freely giving of their time and energy (outside the capital, the concept of'rushing' is an alien one), Romanians tend to take kindly, even protectively, to travellers; especially to those who show an interest in, and some understanding of, Romania. In villages, it's common to be invited into someone's home.

Romanians tend to be down-to-earth, don't waste time on false niceties, and like people who are open but also pragmatic and forthright. They have a Latin temperament and are often strong-minded, charming, stubbornly proud and staunchly aware of their roots. Most take great pride in their country's rich natural heritage and folk culture. Befriend any Romanian and within hours an expedition to the mountains will be mapped out for you.

However, many Romanians may seem formal and initially stiff by North American or even European standards. They have a natural reserve and shyness which, when trespassed upon, can transform into brusque behaviour. Their natural cautiousness can impede openness and showing curiosity, and you might get the sense that they're 'checking you out' before deciding to open themselves up to friendship.

Moldovans, though they are ethnically related to Romanians, have almost none of the reserve, shyness or formality of their cousins, thanks to generations of Slavic influence under Soviet and Russian rule. Highly approachable people, they will happily enter into conversation, extend genuine offers of help and show unbounded curiosity about you. Moldovans like to mix being productive with having a good time and will easily throw away plans to enjoy time with newfound friends. With a keen intelligence leaning towards the philosophical, they have no illusions about where their country stands in relation to the world but aren't self-pitying about it.

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