Love of Nation

Statue of St. Stephen the Great, Chișinău, Moldova

I was fortunate to feel love for my nation from the first years of kindergarten, helped by the stories recounted by the kindergarten teacher and by what our parents and grandfather managed to tell us at home. I still have a vivid memory of the fact that when I played with my brother, neither of us wanted to be the Roman soldier, both of us preferring to be Dacians. We associated the image of the Roman soldier with the image of the invader. Also, when looking for tree branches to make swords, we always avoided those that had a certain curvature, so as not to be associated with the Ottoman yatagans. Over time, once I learned to read, this special feeling of love for our ancestors and for the very being of our Romanian nation burned ever so strongly. I realized in time that just as I felt attached to my contemporaries, I also felt a connection to those from times past; but to strengthen that connection, I had to research history. During my childhood and adolescence, I was saddened to read that the Romanians did not have as many spectacular military victories, vast territorial conquests as other nations, but over time I realized that, in fact, such things did not move me as did the blood sacrifice and unity evidenced by so many generations of Romanians. I love this Romanian land not because we conquered it, but because of the blood spilled by martyrs and soldiers defending it, because of the tears that bathed it when it was lost to other nations, and because of the sweat of those who worked to build, in part, what we are today. All this would have remained foreign if I had not researched the past. I realized that at certain moments in history, the Romanians had providential people, such as Stephen the Great and Michael the Brave, people who aroused the surprise and admiration of the whole of Europe.

Cross of the Union of the Romanian Nation,
Putna Monastery, dedicated as a gift in 2018 by the city of Soroca in Bessarabia

If the trend among the youth during the Pașoptist period [1] was to express their nationalist feeling, today, nationalism is misunderstood, being associated with xenophobia, most likely due to a lack of knowledge of history. Yet, everything I read shows that, throughout history, Romanian nationalism can be reduced to the idea of ​​unity, the desire of all Romanians to live in the same state, not to despise other peoples or to cultivate a sense of national superiority. We have always felt that we can learn useful things from other nations, keeping our specificity.

At the beginning of high school, I was surprised to learn that, presently, the Romanians do not live in the same state. If the Romanians from northern Bukovina cannot effectively decide the future of this territory, the Romanians from across the Prut River live in another Romanian state, which can decide its future, almost identical to the one on the right bank. Although all the clues were there, the same colors of the flag, the same language, the same traditions, the same faith, the same national dress, the same history, I was amazed that, until then, I had not realized all this, that Romanians do not know much about their brothers on the other side of the Prut River. The reunification of Bessarabia with Romania is a goal that all Romanians, from all social strata, should assume and promote, given the sacrifices that entire generations have made before us to achieve national unity. Also, the current historical conditions are much more favorable than those in the past. For in the end “Behold now, what is so good or so pleasant as for brothers to dwell together in unity?” (Psalm 132.1)

Let us combine the love of foreigners with the love of our country and strive to transmit the beauty of this nation!

Petru Andrei Juravlea


[1] Pașoptism (“Forty-Eight-ism”) was the ideology of the Revolution of 1848 in the Romanian Lands, characterized by an accentuated militant character put in the service of national and social freedom, of the struggle for the unification of the Romanian Lands, and the creation of the modern Romanian national state.