I was born in Romania and have lived there until two years ago, when I decided to move to aiming to pursue a higher education. After one and a half years I decided to withdraw from university and travelled the world in order to find my real values and beliefs. The cultures that had a great impact on me were the Romanian, British, Asian, Australian and Central-American cultures, in the areas of religious beliefs, gender, cuisine, behavior, dress code and social aspects.
Romanian culture is based on simplicity, politeness, strong religious beliefs and identity. My culture taught me what modesty and simplicity means. In Romania we use something called ‘politeness pronouns’ with everybody who is older than us. Being polite is a very important norm and I always respect this.
Most Romanians are Christian Orthodox. They have a strong faith in this type of religion and are also quite narrow-minded towards other religions, even if they differ in the slightest (Catholicism). Nowadays, things have changed and people in my generation tend to be more open minded when it comes to this subject. I discovered that Asians are similar with regard to their religion (usually Buddhism or Hinduism), but I understand their loyalty better than I understand the Romanian one as the principles they follow serve a simple purpose and do not lose themselves into too much detail. I do not follow the Romanian religious beliefs as other religions I came in contact with, such as Buddhism, have had a greater impact on me. I took part in a meditation course based on Buddhist principles, which, although simple, they changed my way of thinking and behavior in a very positive way.
Romanians are usually very proud about their past (but also present) achievements. We have a strong educational system and we usually learn twice as much than other nationalities. We are also known amongst other nations as being hard workers. When it comes to work, Romanians work hard but they are more focused on the task other than the connections which are also extremely important. Romanians can also be quite egocentric and can do a lot of things (not necessarily moral) only for their benefit. Being able to see all of these things, I believe I grew up as very hard working individual but I can say that, even if I think connections are more important, I tend to focus more on the task.
A low point Romanians have are connected to gender issues. They can be quite close minded when it comes to relationships between the same sex. Moreover, they are quite misogynist when it comes to women; we do have the same rights but are always considered less capable than men. I never agreed with this matter and I will always think that people should be able to make their own choices and that the other should respect this. In Britain however, people are more open minded regarding gender or religion. They do not impose a specific one and they are not usually judgmental when it comes to any of these matters.
In England I have discovered that people tend to be very superficial and they are extremely unfriendly and also quite hypocrite. Moreover, they usually say things they do not actually believe. I had quite a hard time to understand why they are so cold and I reached to the conclusion that they just consider themselves too important to waste time with other nationalities. This fact made me stronger but it also affected me a great deal. In my first university year I did not speak with anybody in my class for 11 weeks; they were all English. And I did try hard to establish some connections at the beginning but without result.
The English cuisine is besides almost non-existent, quite poor. I have noticed that English people do not usually cook, and when they do, the usually choose recipes from other cuisines. They are fans of fast food, frozen food and takeaways. Maybe it is because good food here is extremely expensive. Everybody who is new to England usually complains about…