January 15th is Romania's National Culture Day.
Romania's National Culture Day was celebrated for the first time on January 15th, 2011. Since then, the birthday of poet Mihai Eminescu - January 15, 1850 - has also been the day when culture as a whole is celebrated in this country.
Academician Eugen Simion was among those who, 13 years ago, supported the setting up of this day. He spoke on Radio Romania about the role of culture in the contemporary world:
"Let's remember culture, let's talk about the shortcomings of the Romanian culture, especially the written culture, the printed culture. It's no secret that books are hard to sell today. A strange phenomenon is happening everywhere: television, the internet, all these forms of higher technology have confiscated literature and writing. To my dismay, the Romanian Culture Day is not only the day of literature or the arts, it is also the day of science. Science is part of culture, science today is perhaps the spearhead, the vanguard of culture all over the world. The scientist is the forma mentis of our time."
The world-renowned panpipe player Gheorghe Zamfir and the State Theatre in Constanta were among those that the president of the country, Klaus Iohannis, decorated during a special ceremony devoted to this day. It was an opportunity for the head of state to stress the importance of culture in Romania's history:
"On the National Culture Day, we recognize the role of the Romanian cultural personalities in the modernization and democratization of Romania, in getting in line with the European values. The exemplary involvement of thinkers, artists, promoters and founders of cultural institutions in asserting the identity, statehood and national unity of Romania will remain inscribed in capital letters in the chronicles. This day of celebration is also an opportunity to express our society's gratitude for the contribution of contemporary artists to enhancing our cultural heritage."
Messages of congratulations on National Culture Day have been conveyed by politicians, religious denominations, trade unions or ordinary people. The string of events dedicated to this day includes a special session in the Hall of the Romanian Academy, concerts, recitals, exhibitions, open doors to museums.
Radio Romania too has prepared a special weekend to mark this day. All stations of the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation have scheduled special shows. Also, Radio Romania has invited private radio stations to join this awareness-raising process on the importance and value of the national cultural heritage, by broadcasting two songs from the Golden Tape Library of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation, as a symbolic gesture, a gesture of unity, celebration and reflection. (MI)