May 31, 2013

Transylvania, Romania: History, Opinions and Cultures


There is a lot of history in the country of Romania, specifically in Transylvania. Transylvania has a lot of connections with the Hungarians and Germans, not to mention the Holy Roman Emperor. History is a funny thing — it is always evolving. We are always learning something new about what happened in the past that could change the way we look at what we thought we already knew. When we look at history of Transylvania, or even Romania as a whole, there are many ways to look at it. Cultures of a country are a lot like the histories of a country, always changing.

For one thing, we can look at Vlad Dracul as an incompetent man. He swore an oath to serve the Holy Roman Emperor in order to gain the throne of Wallachia. He gave up two of his sons to the Turkish King in order to keep the throne of Wallachia. He made connections with both the Turkish and Austrian kingdoms in order to keep power. This did not stop people from rising up and assassinating him and his eldest son. For this reason Vlad Dracul could be called an incompetent fool who had power but was unable to hold on to it. Or, he could be called a smart man. He could be called smart for realizing that he never would have ruled over Wallachia for any given amount of time if he had not sworn to serve the Holy Roman Emperor. Vlad Dracul could be called smart because he sent his two younger sons away to live in the Turkish court. If they had been with him when he and his eldest son were assassinated there would have been a very good chance that they would have been assassinated as well. 

There is something to be said, though, for a country that was constantly being invaded, yet still ended up being independent. Sure, they still have good contacts on the international scene, but they are their own people. Actually, when going over some of the history, it is as if they have always been their own people. They were definitely influenced by the other cultures that invaded them, like Germany and Hungary. Transylvania is an extremely diverse country due to the amount of influence from the other cultures. There are many different basic cultures, religions, etc. 

The country that had the most influence in the culture was Hungary. There are also a lot of Roma (Gypsies) in Transylvania who made up the rest of the culture of Transylvania. Austria and Germany had less of an influence on the culture in Transylvania, but both countries were still able to influence Transylvania. Their influences can be seen more in the architecture and art of the area. This shows that Transylvania was a kind of sponge when it came to its culture, soaking up everything that it could but still retaining its shape. 


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