April 29, 2009

Transylvania and Popular Culture in North America

Would you say that Transylvania in North America has a sort of negative following?
 
I would say no.  On one condition, that no one mentions Dracula.  Then there is a negative reaction as people don't truly know who he was.  Otherwise for most people in North America is really doesn't matter, they don't know where the land or its people are.
 
So, really to tell someone that Transylvania is located in Romania usually results in rather blank looks.  "Where is Romania?" is the next question.  It's hard to explain it, by telling them it's in central Europe.  "Is that where Dracula comes from?" is often the next question. To be fair, the most people know in North America about Europe is from the movies and the books that they read.
 
There are many clubs in the United States that promote the peoples of Transylvania.  One of them is the Alliance of the Transylvanian Saxons.  A big thank you to Jane for pointing that one out to me.  I'm not sure of others, mostly because it is hard to find them on Google.  Can anyone tell me?
 
So, what will help people know about Transylvania?
 
I think the first thing is to promote the idea that the land and all of its people are unique and it has a great history.  The people who live there are not only Romanians, but are also, Hungarians, Germans and Italians.  They are all proud of their heritage and promote them as often as they can.

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