Chisinau hosts Romania’s National Anthem Day for first time

An event that brought together Romanians from both sides of the Prut - Romania’s National Anthem Day – was staged in Chisinau for the first time. The invitees could familiarize themselves with the history of the six anthems of Romania and to relish songs performed by the men’s choir of Iasi “Great Union Choir” led by master Andrei Fermeșanu. Besides Romanian songs, the choir also sang the state anthem of the Republic of Moldova, “Our Language”, IPN reports.

Andrei Fermeșanu, manager and soloist of the Romanian National Opera in Iasi, said the men’s choir of Iasi “Great Union Choir, which consists of 24 artists, for five years has built a career in the country and outside its borders. Artists’ costumes were stylized according to the uniforms worn by the Romanian army during World War I so as to add originality. Four of Romania’s anthems were related to Iasi as Eduard Hübsch, the German violinist who studied in Prague and Vienna and who composed the first two anthems, was hired at the orchestra of the Iasi National Theater. The composer was named the father of military music in Romania. “The newest anthem of Romania, “Wake up, Romanian”, is also the oldest one as it appeared during the pashoptist period and accompanied all the important moments in our history, either the Independence War or World War I and II. It was composed by Anton Pann who drew his inspiration from a church song,” stated Andrei Fermeșanu.

University lecturer Adrian Cioroianu, manager general of the National Library of Romania, said the history of the state anthem starts from the march dating from the times of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, when the country wasn’t yet independent and could not have a national anthem. It was a triumphant march to meet the Prince Ruler. The second anthem, “Long Live the King”, appeared when Romania became a kingdom and was already independent, under Carol I. Fatally, in 1947, under the Soviet influence, King Michael was forced to abdicate and the first Soviet inspiration anthem appeared, “Broken Handcuffs”. Another Soviet inspiration anthem, “We Glorify You, Romania”, had been played during 1953-1977. Nicolae Ceausescu in 1977 proposed the third anthem of the epoch of the Communist regime and the chosen song of the 19th century, “Three Colors”, was played until 1989. In 1990, the anthem “Wake up, Romanian” was restored. The fact that for a period Romania and the Republic of Moldova shared this anthem can be a fragment from the past and a sign for the future.

Mihai Chirica, mayor of the municipality of Iasi, noted that this event is an important moment for the common history of Romania and the Republic of Moldova. “Each time I cross the Prut, no matter where the crossing point is, I start to remember the absolutely natural origins of a nation born on these territories in a much more evident way than in other parts of our country and later managed to revive a great nation. Bessarabia is for me an independent country that has its symbols internationally recognized by all the entitled organizations. But for me Bessarabia is also a part of the Romanian soul,” said the mayor of Iasi municipality.

Lia Anton, president of the Association YUFest, which organized the event, said that Romania’s National Anthem Day is a very important cultural event that brings together in Chisinau the two sides of the Prut. “We met today to celebrate Romania’s anthem and the history of this. It is an anthem that incorporates six wonderful works that Romania glorified and praised and with which it went on along centuries. And to our big satisfaction, we also have an anthem that we shared during three years, since 1991 until 1993 - “Wake up, Romanian” – which is in our souls. “Wake up, Romanian” is the slogan with which we go on,” stated the president of YUFest.

The event was hosted by the National Museum of History of Moldova. Livia Sârbu, the Museum’s vice director, said that their institution is really a cultural bridge that connects the right and left sides of the Prut, connects the same values and ideals, brings closer the historical communities of the Republic of Moldova and Romania. In the second half of August, the Museum will host an exhibition of Romanian jewelry makers with the assistance of the Romanian Cultural Institute and Romania’s Embassy in the Republic of Moldova.

The event was organized by the Association YUFest with financial support from the Department for the Relationship with the Republic of Moldova within the framework of the project “National Anthem, Symbol of Romanian Unity!” with the aim of keeping, developing and affirming the Romanian ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of the Republic of Moldova and of strengthening ties between Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

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