As we enter the last weeks of the CEE Spring contest, another set of countries is here. This time there is one from the Baltics, one from the Balkans (an exercise left to the readers to find the difference) and then there are two countries where Romanian is the official language.
As always, the goal of our weekly focus posts is to bring the best from the article lists prepared by volunteers to you.
This year the neighboring countries have created a common list to demonstrate their shared language and culture. Speaking of culture, how about a wooden church from 17th century? There is one from Hirișeni, it was restored and relocated to Chișinău. A more entertaining part of culture is local humor with Mitică, a fictional character created by writer Ion Luca Caragiale. A more recent part of Romanian culture is the movie La limita de jos a cerului (“The Unsaved”), a recent Romanian nomination for the Academy Awards.
Each country has interesting parts in their military history, Romanians had their Volunteer Corps during World War I, which fought along the army of the Russian Empire. Another page is devoted to Ecaterina Teodoroiu, a war heroine, who started as a nurse and later joining the combat.
From the past to the future, the energy of the future is wind — the Fântânele-Cogealac Wind Farm is the biggest wind farm in Europe with 600 MW capacity, more than many hydroelectric power stations put out.
For some time Latvia was promoted internationally with the motto “The Land That Sings”, referring to a well established choir tradition which culminates with a Song and Dance Festival every five years.
Trains! Who does not love trains? There is a producer of these in Latvia, too. Rīgas Vagonbūves Rūpnīca (RVR), for many years was the largest producer of electric and diesel trains in the former Soviet Union. While the heavy industry has declined, electronic industry is on the rise with MikroTik network routers being one of the success stories in recent times.
Latvia has a long standing basketball traditions, having won the first European Championships in 1935. During Soviet times, players from the country were regulars in the USSR squad. Jānis Krūmiņš won three European gold and three Olympic silver medals, but even he was overshadowed by Uljana Semjonova, who won 2 Olympic gold, 3 World gold and 10 European gold medals. Only the 1984 Olympic boycott stopped her from claiming more medals as she never lost a game in an official international competition. In addition to that, she now runs a charity foundation which supports Olympic veterans.
Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and this is the article you need to start with if you want to have a better understanding of its current issues. Article too long to read? Have some snacks from the Kosovan cuisine then.
It took just three years from the independence declaration for a woman to become a president — Atifete Jahjaga did it in 2011, serving for five years.
Happy reading and writing in Week #8 of the CEE Spring contest!