Independence Day of Moldova: the wine flows, the music plays.
When? On August 27.
Where? The Republic of Moldova.
The meaning and history. Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe with a population of 3.5 million people, bordered by Romania and Ukraine; the capital city is Chișinău. The national holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union on 27 August 1991.
The path of Moldova to becoming a sovereign state was long and hard. For six hundred years Moldova (known also as Bessarabia) belonged to the Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire, Romania, and since 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, to the Soviet Union.
Only on 27 August 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it declared independence and took the name “Moldova”. The current Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994.
Moldova is known also as the least visited country in Europe by tourists. But it has a lot to show to a traveler. Independence Day is one of the biggest national holidays and a good time to visit Moldova.
How it is celebrated. Diana Glavan moved to Velden from Moldova’s village four years ago. Love brought her to Austria; her daughter Adelina (2 years old) was born in Carinthia. “I was 7 years old when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. As I remember from childhood, Independence Day was always a big holiday. A lot of women wore national clothes, concerts and different events took place around the country. As for me, I often took part in the school concerts, devoted to this official day,” Diana told.
Of course, a military parade takes place every year on the main square of Chișinău (Kishinev).
Family traditions. For every Moldavian family Independence Day means also a good occasion to get together and to have a feast dinner. “The blood, soul and the national symbol of Moldova is wine. Grapevines cover every inch of our land. Do you know about wine cellars of Cricova, the biggest ones in the world?” Diana asked.
“There is 120 km of an underground maze, with streets named after wines, and people riding electro-mobiles. No wonder that any feast doesn’t run without wine. If you ever visit Moldova, I recommend you to try meat chorba soup and zama with chicken, greens, and sour cream whipped with egg. Any meal in Moldova is served with vertuta — a roll of dough with various stuffing. There is a tradition to sing folk songs and to dance. In Austria, I miss first this special atmosphere of Moldavian holidays.”
Moldova is still terra incognita for an average European tourist. The country, however, has a lot to show. Cave monasteries and medieval fortified cathedrals belong to the main sights of the country. The capital of Moldova, Chișinău (Kishinev) has rich Jewish history; there's a synagogue, a yeshivah, and a Jewish ghetto memorial here. Besides, Moldova is said to be the second motherland of the gypsies; probably because the small city of Soroca, the gypsy capital, is located here. Diana Glavan cordially invites all to her small country to enjoy a taste of local wine. (August 2017)
Text: Vita Vitrenko