Bucharest Local Customs

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Best Rated Local Customs in Bucharest

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    Supermarket mania

    by codrutz Updated Jan 23, 2006

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    Another recent hobby for people - shopping at the Mall and the supermarkets. As you can see from this pictures, even married people with children can't help it :) This poor child is sleeping between the groceries :))

    Supermarkets are crowded mostly in weekends from 10 to 7pm. Weekdays are better to go there.

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    Car mania

    by codrutz Written Sep 27, 2004

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    Romanian people are crazy about cars. This is a reality - name any new manufactured car and sometimes before the official launch it is in Bucharest. This is not a thing to be proud of, I'm just telling you a fact of life. There are many young people who terribly wants to show off and even if they don't have money for anything else, if they have the latest Nokia model and a nice looking car, they are satisfied.

    So car manufacturers and dealers are happy and selling like crazy. Also, on years end, companies need more profit deduction, so they come to the dealers and ask for the latest, high priced models, whatever, just to spend some profit on something that "suits" their ego :)

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    Doughnut store "Gogoasa infuriata"

    by codrutz Updated Jan 23, 2006

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    "Gogoasa infuriata" means "The angry doughnut" :)) Seems like people are still eating doughnuts and preffer local brands than the bigger internationsl chain "Dunkin' Doughnuts", maybe because the local recipes are better or maybe because this are cheaper.

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    WHY questions.....

    by josephescu Written Aug 13, 2006

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    Questions that start with "why" are not very often worth asking in Bucharest. However, I’m asking them here, to share them with you.

    Why don't you let the passengers off the bus or tram first, before you try to barge on?

    Why cannot I buy bus tickets form the non-stop kiosks in the bus-stop, but only from a separate kiosk off the bus-stop, which sells only bus tickets from 6AM to 9 PM?

    Why is that car hooting at me while I cross the street when I have a green man?

    Why cannot I take pictures of the façade of certain palaces and villas which host public institutions or embassies?

    Why all restaurants serving traditional Romanian cuisine put noisy music?

    Why are most waiters sullen and reluctant to be polite?

    Why do churches have the national flag at the entrance?

    Why do you press up against my back when we're in a queue even though we have plenty of space?

    Why do I have to queue three separate times to buy a piece of cake or to make one single bank transaction?

    Why would the pretentious chap who has just left the trendy café get into his convertible, put on his hat and gloves because it is so cold, and then proceed to put the top down?

    Why put the fruit in the fridge but leave the fruit juice (marked ''store in refrigerator'') out of the fridge?

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    Customer Service

    by josephescu Written Aug 13, 2006

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    Forget all notions that you have of customer service. Otherwise, after 90 per cent of your dealings with waiters, shopkeepers and members of the public you will be left wondering what you had done to offend the person to make them so curt and rude to you.
    Of course you have done nothing wrong: the ostensible hostile way Romanians behave with each other is just normal conduct in Bucharest.
    The illogical situation I struggle the most with is the service in restaurants, which is often sullen and reluctant. I just cannot fathom the logic of the miserable waiter. The better I’m served, the larger the tip. Even if I’m served ineptly but with a smile and good humour I’ll most probably tip the waiter. Pleasantness equals money for him. What purpose serves his surliness? Maybe his miserable salary?
    Friends tell me I'm being too “British” about it if I expect "please" and "thank you" to accompany every transaction. But dealings in shops, stations and restaurants are a necessary part of both my and the employees' lives. A smile transcends culture - why not make the exchange nicer for both of us? But then, that's a question that starts with why…..

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    Cinemas

    by josephescu Updated Aug 13, 2006

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    Cinemas broadcast films in their original language with sub-titles. While most stick to Hollywood drivel, some honourable exceptions show an impressive range of classic, challenging and foreign films, some dating from the early twentieth century. There are frequent film festivals.

    There are several cinemas on Magheru blv. - Studio, Patria, Scala, CinemaPro. Old movies are usually on screen at Cinemateca - there are two of them, one on Eforie street and the other behind Sala Palatului, near Novotel.

    Shopping malls in Vitan, the Plaza in Militari and CityMall in Brancoveanu, all have several cinema halls.

    Movies on screen every week are listed online at the link below

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    Particular traffic system

    by josephescu Written Aug 13, 2006

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    Drivers have assumed right of way on both road and pavement and routinely park right across the latter, forcing pedestrians into the street where they will then be hooted at by passing cars.

    Bucharest suffers from a surfeit of cars in a city designed for few. Parking is practically non-existent and drivers stop almost anywhere they spot a space, regardless of pedestrian access. Driving is often characterised by relentless hooting, aggression, gesticulating and hazardous moves.

    rush hour traffic jam
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    Peddlers in the Old Bucharest

    by ovidiu_nan Updated May 3, 2003

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    The Municipal Museum of Bucharest has recently opened a distinguishing exhibition that is unique for its theme and atmosphere: peddlers and trades on the streets of former Bucharest.
    Being in general an easy occupation and rather profitable, the trade was in the hands of people who had come from abroad: Greeks, Turkeys, Armenians, Bulgarians and Jews.
    Between 1868 and 1885, Bucharest used to have only two markets: one situated in the area of nowadays Unirii Plaza (“The Big Market”) and one around Amzei church (“The Small Market”), near today’s Romana Plaza. Besides, lots of small shops and grocer shops used to sell their products in the central area. Only the rich inhabitants could afford sending their servants to the market or to the grocer’s or to command products to the stable peddler. They were delivered at their door by the special employees of the shops, generally young boys. Thus, the ambulant commerce used to be at hand of most of the citizens of Bucharest.
    Each ambulant seller was specialized in certain types of products. Generally, they were selling food: meat, vegetables, cheese, fruits, sweets, soft drinks and lots of haberdashery items. They also had measurement instruments for the merchandise they were selling. In Bucharest, the control and the marking of these instruments was done yearly by the authorities who also used to come for a fortuitously control.
    From morning till late in the evening, Bucharest was rustling with the steps, the yells and the bargains of those earning their living by selling products in the streets. Step by step, after the First World War, the authorities decided that the image of the capital should be a modern one and tried to decrease the size of the ambulant commerce. Despite their decisions, this kind of trade has lasted until these days, reminding of the times when it was one of the most picturesque aspects of Bucharest.

    Old Bucharest Market
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    Ceausecu's final public moment

    by Dabs Written Dec 3, 2007

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    I'd highly encourage visitors to Romania to read up on Nicolae Ceausescu, the leader of Romania from 1965 until December 1989, as it will give you an idea of some of the history of the country and explain a lot of what you will still see in Bucharest and Romania.

    On December 22, 1989, Ceausescu would give his final speech from the balcony of the Central Committee Building in the Piata Republica (Republican Square), since renamed Piata Revolutiei (Revolution Square). Minutes into the speech the crowd had turned on him and he sought refuge inside the building until the following day when the protestors stormed the building and Ceausescu escaped with his wife via a helicopter, a fateful decision. Within days they were both tried and executed by a firing squad, on Christmas Day, 1989.

    Central Committee Building Piata Revolutieti

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    Candle cabinets at Stavropoleos Church

    by gosiaPL Updated May 2, 2004

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    A completely different idea for candle lighting just outside the Stavropoleos Church.

    I've never seen such little cabinets, good protection from wind and rain. Just as at the Patriarchal Cathedral, also here people were coming in to light a candle and say a little prayer in the church.

    Nice idea for candle lighting
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    Romanians friendly people

    by draguza Updated Nov 23, 2005

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    Romanians are some of the most hospitable and friendly people in Europe and this was obvious throughout my stay and many visits to Bucharest. They are really nice, especially with foreigners. Romanians are a quiet, earthy, smiling people who have suffered much but have never been broken.

    Me & Romanian friend
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    Candles outside Patriarhia Romana

    by gosiaPL Updated May 1, 2004

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    This candle lighting place is just outside the Patriarchal Cathedral. Very nice!

    I saw people coming in to light candles all the time I spent in the Patriarchal complex. It sure is a special place because the whole complex is off the main road and up the hill, but it doesn't stop Romanians from visiting it :-)

    Candle lighting place
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    Martisor!

    by draguza Written Apr 3, 2006

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    The old name of March, ”martisor”, reminds the traditional custom of celebrating the spring by wearing red and white colored braids. The Romanian word “martisor” comes from “matisor” (the buds which appear in spring time). On March 1: “Martisor” (little March)people share martisors; red and white ribbon handmade flowers, which symbolize love and purity. The martisors are attached to the clothes on the chest and are worn the whole March month. Thus, people show they are happy for nature's rebirth. It is also said that martisors bring luck for the entire year ahead.

    Martisors
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    George Enescu

    by iwys Updated Nov 26, 2007

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    Until you have visited Romania, it is hard to imagine how important a figure George Enescu is to Romanian culture. He was the country's greatest composer and probably the most famous Romanian ever in the field of the arts. He is to Romania as Shakespeare is to England or Sibelius is to Finland. The annual George Enescu International Festival held every September is the country's most prestigious music festival, attracting great musicians and orchestras from all over the world.

    There is a George Enescu Museum, a street named after him and several statues of the composer dotted around the city, the most important of which is the one in front of the opera house. Romania's principal orchestra was renamed the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra after his death.

    Enescu was born in Liveni in 1881 and died in Paris in 1955. In 1939 he married Princess Cantacuzino and lived in the Cantacazino Palace in Calea Victoriei. He composed five symphonies, but his most famous works are his two Romanian Rhapsodies and his opera Oedipe. His music was heavily influenced by Romanian folk music.

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    Giving flowers

    by lchelle Written Oct 7, 2003

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    If you choose to thank someone by saying it with flowers, you should be aware that certain customs surround this!!

    ALWAYS give an odd number of stems, an even number is only given at funerals.

    Romanians dont ever send flowers, they are always GIVEN.

    It is only acceptable to give women flowers. Men will be offended!

    Follow these and you cant go wrong!!

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Bucharest Local Customs

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