20 strange (and less strange) facts about Moldovans by Irina Staver
Moldova, by definition, is a land of contrast. Foreigners visiting this country are pleasantly surprised by the beauty and picturesque locations, the hospitality of the locals, the tasty cuisine and the special wines. At the same time, we affirm with certainty that Moldova is also a land of contrast because every foreigner who comes here encounters at first sight the following paradoxes.
Although Moldova is considered to be a poor country, plenty are luxurious cars are to be seen at any time in Chisinau.
A foreigner will never fully comprehend the frivolity and sometimes exaggerated attention for traditions, holidays or parties (weddings, anniversaries, birthdays…) and so on.
Now about Moldovans. It is well known that every single nation on this globe is unique in its own way. Moldovans are no exception. We have selected some essential features of Moldovans, traits that define them so that when you meet Moldovans, you will know what to expect.
1. Most Moldovans worry about their children’s future and lack of money. 71% do not save for rainy days.
2. After finishing their homework, Moldovan children are at work – they cater for household affairs. And if there’s still some time left, they choose to spend it on the computer.
3. 53% of Moldovans have a computer and internet access. Some even have four computers at home.
4. The internet is used for Skype, Odnoklassniki and Facebook or to download content.
5. During leisure 85% choose to stay with the family in front of the TV. 15% of 16-29-year-olds, however, believe that in order to be healthy, you need to have an active lifestyle, eat properly, sleep at least 7 hours a night and not smoke.
6. The most popular means of public transport in Chisinau, though not convenient, is the minibus (rutiere).
7. Moldova is the country with the fastest decrease in population in the world. Everyday, the population diminishes by 106 inhabitants, mostly people in search for work abroad.
8. The problem faced by foreign investors is said to the shortage of skilled labour, although 90% of the employees of Moldovan companies are locals.
9. On average, a resident abroad sends around 500 dollars a month at home, with most remittances coming from Russia (40%). Money is mostly used for consumption. More than half of the country’s population lives off remittances.
10. “Problems” in Moldova are solved first and foremost by money, then through relationships, followed by gifts.
Sources of pride
11. Moldovans are extremely hospitable and at their home you will always be greeted by a lot of cooked dishes.
12. 87% are against cigarettes and support the law totally prohibiting smoking in public places.
13. The Struve geodetic arch located in the village of Rudi, North Moldova, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
14. Emil Racovitza cave, in Criva, is the third largest gypsum cave in the world and ranks eight worldwide for the giant underground caves.
15. In Moldova, you will find the largest bottle-shaped building building (28m), called the Hard Drinks Museum in Târnăuca.
16. Black soils (chernozem) in Moldova are among the most fertile soils in the world.
17. Moldova is the 7th producer of nuts in the world.
18. Cricova is the largest cellar in Europe, while Milestii Mici owns the largest wine collection in the world – over 1.5 million bottles of wine.
19. The traditional Moldovan “woman’s” blouse serves as inspiration for many internationally known fashion designers.
20. Moldova is a Christian Orthodox country but Moldovans are respectful of the traditions of the mosques.