“A group of students setting out to discover Italy first and then Romania: Timisoara, Baile Herculane, Orsova, Bucarest: a journey to overcome prejudice through curiosity and learning. Our collaborator Amanda Wilson’s travel book
Before my trip to Romania this summer – an epic journey from Bologna to Bucharest crossing 21 days and six different Romanian cities – an Italian friend, who lived and did research in Romania, said something I remembered often during my trip: “Salutami la mia Romania.” Say hello to my Romania for me.
My friend’s greeting to her Romania reminded me of the nostalgic longing of the Romanian word dor, a word Romanian-American novelist Domenica Radulescu evokes frequently in her debut novel Train to Trieste (which I carried with me on my journey), a coming of age and homeland exodus story set in the time of Ceausescu.
The word dor describes the feeling the main character, a young Romanian woman forced into exile, feels when she thinks of her childhood in the Carpathians from the distance of her new-found home in the United States. My friend’s dor, bittersweet longing, for Romania was that of an Italian who is fond of Romania, a country so many Italians mythologize, romanticize, and even fear…”
To continue reading this article, visit The Balkan and Caucasus Observer…