Fooled by first impression?
I was flying back home to Bucharest, Romania, from a short vacation in Sweden. Next to me I saw a lady that seems to be nice, and open to a conversation. I am a sociable person, I love to talk and find out more about other people but I cannot do that every time I fly because not everybody is as sociable as me, but at that time…I had been lucky so I decided to introduce myself to the passenger sitting next to me. That was the beginning of 3 hours conversation I will never forget. I have to thank for this to you Isabell and to you Micke. It was a great pleasure to meet you.
Most of the time when I am telling people that I am Romanian, I can see a mixture of feelings glittering in their eyes. Mercy, hate, disappointment, but I could never feel what I wanted and what I deserve to feel. My brand as a Romanian needs some changes. I am Canadian as well. Telling people I am Canadian their mixture of feelings seems to be different and is all about appreciation, curiosity, enjoyment. I am wondering why. I am the same person. Considering the time I spent in each country I can say that I am Romanian first and Canadian afterwards.
In this case, most of people judgments comes from the image they have formed about a culture, a nation. And how can people create this image…??? Watching TV, reading newspapers and counting the “Romanian citizens” that use to bag on the streets of their countries. And here we go: a nation of criminals, a bunch of dangerous people, poor, etc.
I am addressing this letter to everybody and mostly to people that work in media. Please turn your TV on and watch the news…Now tell me please did you find in media any story about GOOD RESULTS, about people that make Romanians proud?? I can mostly see “VIP ‘s” or what is now considered to be VIP. I would translate a Romanian VIP as a “siliconated” person, able to attract man’s attention using everything but brain. Dear journalists as long as we keep promoting silicon instead of brain, we will never get the result we deserve as a nation. Our brand as Romanians is not perceived at its real value. You can change this perception better and faster that we can do as citizens. All you have to do is to concentrate on good things as well. Please try ! I would like to feel great telling people I am Romanian. And only because we worth it. We are a great nation, with valuable people, with wonderful results unfortunately this wonderful people we can use as examples in our life, are less promoted or not promoted at all and in this case unfortunately “what you see is what you get”. While I was in Sweden I saw a few “Romanians” making me feel ashamed. I can tell about them because the others, that make our nation proud, I couldn’t see. They work or study and you cannot find them on the street. So…. You can change what people should see about Romanians and get to know us better. You have this power. Please have a look at this material and you will understand how important is for all of us to change this image created all over the world : Head to Head at Oxford Union, Margot Parker from UKIP is ridiculous !
Well, coming back to my story in the aircraft….I started to tell my “neighbor” what should she expect to find in Romania (it was the first or second time to come but only for business meetings so she has no “contact with Romanian life”). After a few minutes she invited her colleague to have a sit next to us and listen to my stories and bag of “tips. In 3 hours telling only real things about Romania and its inhabitants I felt that I was able to commute a campus from North to South without changing its position, I felt I was able to change their perception with 180 degrees. And that makes me feel so happy and if you wonder why makes me so happy, well…is just because I am proud to be Romanian and I would like everybody to understand the reasons.