Romanians, analyzed in detail by a psychologist from the end of the Earth. “Some Turks acting like Italians” |

A young woman originally from the Middle East, married to a Romanian, describes her experience in Romania and the culture shock she suffered when she decided to settle here. She lived most of her life in Malaysia, away from her homeland.

Timișoara is in the top 5 cities in Romania. PHOTO by Pixabay

Exotica Yelna is half Iranian, half Bengali, and has been living in Romania for some time, where she married a Romanian. He likes the country, he likes the Romanians, but he talks about an explainable culture shock. He talked about all this in a clip posted on You Tube, which later went viral.

“My name is Yelna, I am originally from Iran, half Iranian, half Bengali. I lived all my life in Malaysia, I married a Romanian and now I am here in Romania. It's been two years since I've been in Romania and I thought it was a good time to talk about what my life is like here. It's so different from what you hear outside and the things you've heard about Romania compared to living here”says the woman.

She divided her clip into two different categories. First she talked about things she likes a lot, about the things she learned after moving to Romania and which she claims she is in love with. Then he talked about the things I still have a hard time adjusting to.

The first impression I made in Romania when I moved here – I didn't know the language, I didn't know anything about the people, so I was looking at them carefully and I told my husband Alex that it was as if some Turks trying to act like Italians. That was simply my first impression. Because Romanians look a lot like those from the Middle East. I'm not talking about being blonde or not. Because even in the Middle East we have people with blond hair, but the facial features, the eyes, the nose, the eyebrows, they all looked like those from the Middle East, but the spoken language sounds more like Spanish or Italian.” she says.

A good mix between two different worlds

Moreover, she claims that even the body language, the way Romanians move their bodies seems to her to be similar to Italians.

So maybe it's a good mix between the two different worlds, because Romania is full of history, a mix of cultures, traditions and races. There is a history of Turks and Arab people here, so you see that Middle Eastern aspect there, and also being part of the European Union there are a lot of European things that you see here in Romania. So you live in a country that is full of culture, full of traditions, and you can somehow find something that you can relate to because it has everything here. You will never feel strange in Romania, you will always find something that you will feel connected to”is his testimony.

A second thing he likes about Romania is that it is a European country, where you can find a lot of characteristics specific to certain parts of Europe.

Yelna fell hopelessly in love with everything Romania means.  PHOTO: Video capture

Yelna fell hopelessly in love with everything Romania means. PHOTO: Video capture

“You go through the villages or through different cities in the country and you come across constructions, buildings with German or British architecture, even though you live in Romania. So you can see different parts of the world, different parts of Europe in one country, but in a much more accessible context”she says.

If she had initially thought of moving here to be able to later visit Western Europe, she ended up falling in love with Romania.

“What I really liked about Romania was how much beauty this country has. Initially I was thinking that I would move to Romania and from there I would be able to visit Italy, Spain or other areas in Europe very easily. But I've been here for two years and I'm not done visiting Romania yet. I'm not going anywhere else until I've seen everything there is to see here in Romania. Everything is beautiful and it would be a shame if you came here and didn't visit all the places. And that brings me to another thing that I love very much and fell in love with on the spot, namely the simplicity and calmness of this country”, are her beautiful words.

“The grass is greener on the other side of the road”

Yelna also knows that many Romanians not only do not love their country, but even despise it and laugh at everything Romanian. For her, however, everything is wonderful here.

“I know that many Romanians will not necessarily agree with this because the grass is always greener on the other side of the road. As soon as I got here it was as if the noise disappeared and so did that Kuala Lumpur crowd, the pollution and the thousands of modes of transport and the tall buildings. That noise has faded slightly here and in the last two years, Alex and I have felt much better compared to how our life was in a country like Malaysia”the young woman explains.

The simplicity of life makes it much easier to live, she says, noting that Timisoara, the city where she lives, only has malls and is underdeveloped compared to Kuala Lumpur, a metropolis with almost two million inhabitants, with skyscrapers and with a hectic life. Besides that, the city of Banat is more like a small provincial town. He doesn't dislike this, he even appreciates the tranquility of Timișoara: “I'll give you an example. I live in Timisoara. There are only two big shopping centers, malls, so if you need something, you know in advance where you have to go and buy it. Compared to Malaysia, with 12 huge malls it becomes very complicated, with so much variety, so many options and so much materialism and capitalism.”

In Romania it's more about the quality of things, the quality of life – rather than how much you have or how much you do, she adds.

“Even when it comes to simple things to buy, the perspectives are so different here. Romanians, if they want to buy shoes, say: . In Asian countries you find cheap Chinese goods everywhere. I love, I adore the simplicity of life in Romania”she declares her love for Romania.

Romania seems safer than the USA

Yelma also says that Romania seems to her, as well as to other foreigners, a much safer country compared even to the United States of America.

I also talked to other expats here from Romania and we all agreed that Romania is safer than any other country I've lived in or heard of. Just thinking about the crimes that happen in big countries like the United States, for example, here you can see people enjoying the fact that a child is laughing and playing outside. Girls, women walk the street late at night safely. As a foreigner, I don't feel like I have to always be careful about my bag or the places I go. Because it's not like in Thailand or other places where you go and you always have to watch out for people who might rip your bag off your shoulder”she also shows.

However, there are also things that make it more difficult to adapt in Romania, and one of them is the language. Romanian is totally different from the languages ​​she spoke, so learning it takes time and is difficult.

“One thing that made my adjustment here more difficult was the language. Although I must say that it is not absolutely necessary to learn the language, it depends on how long you stay here and where you work. If you work in a modern environment and with a younger generation of people, and if you've only come here to stay for a few years, you don't necessarily need to learn the language. If you came here to stay, I think it is necessary to learn the language. And eventually you will learn it, but the Romanian language is very difficult. I stopped language classes and tried to naturally feel and understand the language, so it's less stressful for me.” Yelna confesses.

“They are so humble”

Fortunately, she says, Romanians are very understanding and don't laugh at her when she makes mistakes in the Romanian language. Moreover, those who do not know English are embarrassed.

I keep meeting people who don't speak English and then I find it a little more difficult to communicate, miscommunication occurs. But Romanians are not the kind of people who will do their best to make you feel stupid for not knowing how to speak Romanian. This has happened to me in every other country I've been to. If you go somewhere and they don't speak English, they make you feel stupid for coming to my country and not speaking my language. In Romania it is not like that at all. If you don't speak their language and they don't know English, they feel bad. They are so humble,” says the stranger.

The grammar of the Romanian language seems especially difficult to him and he says that it has something in common even with German, only that it seems even more difficult.

“The Romanian language is very difficult. If you don't have a Latin background, as I do, it will be difficult to understand the language. Because even the body language is so different here. Something I still struggle with is grammar. They are feminine, masculine in words, a little like German, but a little more difficult.” she remarked.

Another thing that is a little more difficult for Yelna is the fact that it does not find products from the Middle East or Asia in Timișoara.

“If you're coming from an Asian country, I really recommend that you bring lots of spices and things that you'd like to eat because here, especially if you're going to small towns, there aren't many restaurants or supermarkets with products from other countries, especially Asian. There are some Vietnamese or Japanese restaurants, but it's not the same, it doesn't taste the same as home food. But you have to prepare to indulge in Romanian food and Eastern European food, because you won't find the original version of Asian or Middle Eastern food“, she warns.

Between generation Z and older Romanians

As a psychologist, Yelna had interesting and different experiences in Romania. She also noted the so-called generation Z: “Another difficult thing for me. I am a psychologist and for me mental health is very important, it is also my job. Here mental health is still a taboo subject, not many people are aware of it. Even though Gen Zs are very open, they're very educated and they're pro-self-development, the older you get, like in any other country, they're not as open about health mental.”

Next, the young woman spoke about two different experiences. She says that in Romania the LGBT community is discriminated against in Western countries.

“I went to a women's center here in Timisoara and there were a lot of girls there who were very open and we talked about our feelings, about emotions and how important mental health is, but at the same time I also met people here in Romania to whom, when I told them I was a psychologist, they said: or . So there is a lack of understanding. For example, the LGBT community is more discriminated against here and given less chance to express themselves, so these are things you have to be aware of when you come here, because it's a very conservative and mostly religious country. Because of this it is still difficult for me to talk about my job, what I do, the kind of people I support“, she revealed.

At the end, Yelna also explains that Romania is a country worth visiting. It is a developing country, but it is moving with sure steps towards a new era.

“If you come to Europe and are thinking of moving to Romania, please come and give it a try for a few months, at least visit it. Because in my opinion, for those who run away from a hectic life, are followers of quiet living, self-sustainability and peaceful, normal life, Romania is a perfect option for them. Romania is a developing country and is moving towards being more modern, maybe not as fast as other countries, but for me the simplicity and quiet life is what wins me over and I like that people settle here and build their a simple life for themselves”she concludes.