Thursday, 8 May 2014

Why is Romania different? Religion has a lot to do with it

I realised only now that Romania's intense religiosity is not an Orthodox or Balkan thing. Serbia, Bulgaria and Russia are much less religious. About Greece I don't know. Quite unconsciously it is one of the reasons why Romania is so much more more attractive a country than her neighbours.

People go to India for spirituality - but I do not find India or the East very spiritual. They should come to Romania, especially Bucovina or the monasteries in Moldavia. Or for a very spiritual pre-Christian place, Sinca Veche.

On the subject of Eastern spirituality, I want to quote again Edward Norman, my favourite living historian, religious commentator and favourite Englishman:
"Through contact with liberal and Christian values the other world religions were sanitised and made acceptable to Western sensibilities: widows were no longer incinerated alive on their husbands funeral pyres, and the way was opened for that late-20th-century phenomenon, the Western idealising of Oriental religiosity, beads and mantras in Californian condominiums."


  1. I found Greek Easter pretty but tame, nothing intense about it a la roumaine. Alison

    1. I loved the two Easters I spent on Hydra.

    2. Mine was on Thassos. The midnight service was pretty but there was none of the awe and expectation you feel in the days before Resurrection night.

    3. You should go to Georgia - wonderful country - the one country I like more than Romania..