ROMÂNIA 

      Romania - România is a country located at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe, bordering on the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south. At 238,400 square kilometers (92,000 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with more than 19 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the tenth largest city in the EU.

       Romania joined NATO on 29 March 2004, and the European Union on 1 January 2007. It is also a member of the: Latin Union, Francophonie, OSCE, WTO, BSEC, United Nation,etc. Today, Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic, in which the executive branch consists of the President and the Government.

TOURISM

   Over the past few years, Romania has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of the foreign visitors in 2007 were from EU countries), thus attempting to compete with Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Spain. Destinations such as Mangalia, Saturn, Venus, Neptun, Constanta and Mamaia (sometimes called the Romanian Riviera) are among the most popular attractions during summer. During winter, the skiing resorts along the Valea Prahovei and Poiana Brasov are popular with foreign visitors. For their medieval atmosphere and castles, Transylvanian cities such as Sibiu, Brasov, Sighisoara have become major tourist attractions for foreigners. Rural tourism, focusing on folklore and traditions, has become an important alternative recently, and is targeted to promote such sites as Bran and its Dracula's Castle, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, the Wooden churches of Maramures and Sălaj, or Sapanta.

Other major natural attractions, such as the Danube Delta, the Iron Gates (Danube Gorge), Scarisoara Cave and several other caves in the Apuseni Mountains have yet to receive great attention.

RELIGION

   Romania is a secular state and has no state religion. However, an overwhelming majority of the country's citizens identify themselves as Christians. 86.7% of the country's population identified as Orthodox Christian according to the 2002 census, the vast majority of which belongs to the Romanian Orthodox Church. Other major Christian denomination include Protestantism (5.2%), Roman Catholicism (4.7%) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church (0.9%). The latter two religious organizations suffered most severely under the Communist regime. The Greek-Catholic Church was outlawed by the Communist government in 1948;later, under the Ceausescu regime, several churches in Transylvania were demolished. Protestants and Roman Catholics are also concentrated in Transylvania.Romania also has a Muslim minority concentrated in Dobruja, mostly of Turkish and Tatar ethnicity.

Customs, traditions 

    

   The Romanian folkloric costumes characterize own attributes of the Romanian people and contribute essentially at the definition of ethnic specificity. Closely related to human existence, the folkloric costume reflected over time, mentality and artistic conception of the people.

    The folkloric costume has been developed with history, being a genuine expression of coherent traditions throughout centuries. Distinct clothing ornamentation, traditional methods used for sewing and tailoring the pieces of clothing, and wide variety of costumes from one region to another customize the defining spirit of the Romanian people. For women, one of the most important parts of the celebration costume is a kerchief called maramă. A maramă is made from a special fabric called borangic, which resembles silk, so the texture of the material is really nice and soft.