Archives November 2014

Sibiu Salami may be included among EU’s protected products

Romania’s famous Sibiu Salami could get European protection after the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture has submitted the necessary documentation to do so, reports local

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New residential complex in northern Bucharest, ready next spring

Real-estate developer De Silva has finished about 70% of Park Residences 5, a 160-apartment residential complex in northern Bucharest, which will be finished in April-May 2015, reports local

De Silva group is owned by Virgil Calina and his wife Meda de Silvania Calina, also owners of Ramada Bucharest North hotel, and the godparents of famous tennis player and businessman Ilie Nastase.

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Google glasses will be available on the Romanian market

Romanian online gadget shop QuickMobile announced it will bring the new Google Glass to the Romanian market. Google’s smart glasses are now available for pre-order in Romania, in all QuickMobile stores in the country and online at, for RON 6,999 (some EUR 1,600).

The glasses are available in five colour versions and deliveries will start in December, according to the retailer.

Google Glass Explorer Edition, produced by American giant Google, guides users with the help of Google Maps, helps them find the nearest restaurants and cafes with Google Search, but also allows them to take pictures or make videos.

Google Glass can exclusively be activated and used with the user’s voice command. For example, to take a picture, the user has to say the “OK Glass – take a picture” command.

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Debenhams reopens in Romania

British group Debenhams, which exited the Romanian market about a year ago, is looking for managers for new stores in Bucharest.

Debenhams first entered the Romanian market in 2007 as a franchise owned by Romanian businessman Octavian Radu. In 2013, Radu closed down the six Debenhams stores he operated. The last two units were in Plaza Romania and Bucuresti Mall shopping centers.

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Who is Klaus Iohannis? President profile

Klaus Iohannis, the winner of Romania’s presidential elections, has been serving as mayor of Sibiu, one of the largest cities in Romania, since 2000.

He is credited with turning his city into one of Romania’s most popular tourist destinations. He also contributed do having Sibiu named European Capital of Culture in 2007.

Iohannis, 55, was born in a family of Transylvanian Saxons. His parents emigrated to Germany in 1992 and got German citizenship.

Klaus Iohannis, however, stayed in Romania. He graduated the Faculty of Physics of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and then worked as a physics teacher until 1997. From 1997 to 2000, he served as deputy general school inspector and then general inspector of the Sibiu county, coordinating the public schools in the county.

In 2000, he was first elected mayor of Sibiu, representing the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. He got re-elected by a wide margin in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

In October 2009, a grand coalition made of the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR), who were at that time in opposition, proposed to President Traian Basescu to name Iohannis Prime Minister, but Basescu refused.

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Google Cultural Institute launches first Romanian art collections

Google will launch the first art collections in Romania on its Google Cultural Institute platform next week. This is a digital platform which allows access to historic and cultural patrimony throughout the world via the Internet. With 500 partner institutions in 60 countries in the world, Google Cultural Institute this makes its step in Romania as well.

The Internet giant will next week organize a conference at the Romanian Peasant Museum to announce the program for Romania.

With Google Cultural Institute, users can create their own galleries featuring their favorite art and share them with their friends

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Decathlon opens online shop in Romania

French sportswear retailer Decathlon opened an online store in Romania, where it sells more than 20,000 sports items, which is more than it has in the traditional stores. The site is however available only in Romanian for the time being.

There are currently 13 Decathlon stores in Romania, three of which in Bucharest.

More about Decathlon’s new online shop, on

Google Play Music now available in Romania

Good news for music lovers who live in Romania, as Google has opened its music service to the Romanian territory as well.

This means everyone in Romania (or with a Romanian IP) will be able to sign up to the Google Play Music service, buy songs and albums, and upload up to 20,000 songs in the cloud, and listen to them from any device, for free.

More about the recent Google Play Music in Romania from

The Merry Cemetery in Romania gets international attention

The famous Merry Cemetery in the village of Săpânţa, in the Northern part of Romania, in a region called Maramures, was recently presented in a documentary on French TV station TV5 Monde.

The documentary presented the life of several villagers in Săpânţa, who seem to have a special relationship with death. There, people save money their entire life to be able to order one of the colored crosses from artisan Dumitru Pop, and to be remembered by the funny epitaph written on the cross.

There is even a Merry Cemetery festival and this cemetery was rated among the most beautiful in the world by a French newspaper.

Maramureș, the art of savoring life at ease

How should Romania be promoted? Dracula vs Eminescu

Romania and Romanians have always been torn between using the myth of the Dracula vampire to sell their country as a tourism destination, and betting on more serious topics, like its arts and culture.

A recent statement by a tourism agency owner called that into question again – how many people abroad know about Dracula and connect it to Romania, and how many know about Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu?

Read more of the tourism agency owner’s statement on Romania –, and to find out more about Dracula, go here, while for Mihai Eminescu and other famous Romanian writers, check this page.

More about Dracula and Romania below.

The “Real” Dracula tour – Curtea de Arges (1 day)

Carpathian Mountains & Medieval Transylvania (2 days)

A worthwhile trip for any Dracula enthusiast

Corvin Castle – Transylvania’s standing legend

Brașov: Medieval heritage and gateway to mountain resorts

iPhone 6 launches in Romania – how much does it cost & where to buy it?

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially launched in Romania last week, at the main telecom operators Orange, Vodafone and Telekom, which sell the latest Apple gadget in its various versions together with mobile telephony subscriptions.

Telekom sells it unlocked, while the other two companies lock the phone to their network.

The phone can also be bought unlocked at online retailers and

More about iPhone 6 prices at the main telecom operators in Romania here.

New Vodafone shop in Bucharest’s Old Town

Telecom operator Vodafone is the first of the four operators in Romania to open shop in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town. Vodafone last week opened a shop in the core of the busy area, in a space which used to host a Gregory’s shop used to be located, but which had been empty for a while.

The Old Town in Bucharest is mostly known for its entertainment options, as it is an area of bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Shopping however slowly starts to make its way into the Old Town as well.

More about the new Vodafone shop in the Old Town here.

Romanians & online shopping – budgets & preferences

Romanians spend some EUR 106 online a month, and prefer to buy electronics, smartphones & gadgets, clothes and cosmetics, as well as some travel expenses.
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Superstitions, miracles & the power of dreams – do Romanians believe in them?

Most Romanians say they are not superstitious, but they read the horoscope and think that dreams can predict the future. Romanians also say they don’t trust witches, but that they fear curses and demons. These were the findings of a recent survey by IRES.

Half of Romanians think that dreams can predict the future, 44% say they’ve had such premonitory dreams, and 8 in 10 of these say those dreams became real.

Hint: black cats means bad luck for Romanians, whereas in other countries, such as the UK, a black cat signifies luck! Be aware of this cultural difference.

The more about what Romanians believe in on

Romanians and their status symbols

Romanians like their expensive cars, the latest gadgets, having their own houses, affording shopping abroad, but also hold family dear and like to talk about their children’s accomplishments.   Many of these are not unlike status symbols to be found elsewhere in the world, but their combination is uniquely Romanian.

In Romania, the first impression is always important, and a host of status symbols help create that good first impression. Below we list some of the most important status symbols for many Romanians – they either already have them, or strive to one day have them. (these are generalizations, they do apply to many people but not to all – so it is always safe to check, rather than presume, what values a person holds dear).

Expensive cars
Romanians love their cars. But not their old cars! They love new, shiny cars, the latest models, and some would spend a fortune on them. Some actually do spend a fortune on such cars. A trip downtown Bucharest, on Calea Dorobanti or on Dacia boulevard will reveal lots of expensive cars parked near cafes. Luxury cars sell well in Romania, even if, by EU standards, Romania is not a rich country.

Latest gadgets
Romanians are early adopters and the majority love technology (even in the countryside, where access to various amenities is sometimes poor, Romanians still have their mobile phones). So having the latest phone model is a status symbol, and so is being among the first who gets that model. Once everyone has it, it’s time to move to the next.

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