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Dec 1 2021

Romania's National Day

Great Union Day (Romanian: Ziua Marii Uniri, also called Unification Day or National Day) is a national holiday in Romania, celebrated on December 1, marking the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918, something that is known as the Great Union. This holiday was declared after the Romanian Revolution and commemorates the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia, who declared the Union of Transylvania with Romania.

Meet Inspector Lieutenant Colonel Doina Ilie from SHAPE Cyber J6. We asked her a few questions about her country and about Great Union Day.

Read her answers below:



Lieutenant Colonel Doina Ilie

Romanian Liaison Officer in Federated Mission Networking Secretariat (SHAPE CYBER J6)

1. What do you miss most about home?

Family and friends... And, of course, I miss the long hours of sunshine. In Bucharest, where I live, it rains 117 days per year, while the rest are sunny and clear. Due to Romania's position on the globe - halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, my country has four distinct seasons and, usually, the sky is clear from April all the way until October.

2. What have you found rewarding about working in such a multinational environment as SHAPE?

SHAPE is a unique and wonderful experience. I am fortunate enough to work in the Federated Mission Networking Secretariat, an environment were 35 different Affiliates are represented, which gives me the opportunity to work with different nationalities every day. Meeting people from all over the world and learning about their cultures is amazing. My life was enriched by the new friendships that I made while working here. I have heard new languages, tried new food and been involved in other nations' celebrations. If you ever watched any of the Star Trek television shows, you could say that been here feels like your part of the Federation: many different, unique and sometimes strange cultures that work together towards a common goal.

3. What is something unique about Romania that others might not know?

The Romanian language is 1,300 years old and it is the only Latin language spoken in Eastern Europe. Although there are a few similarities between it and other Latin languages, Romanian is quite different sounding and more difficult to understand and to learn. The Romanian words "dor" (a feeling of lounging, nostalgia and mellowness towards a place and/or its people) and "doina" (a type of folk music related to said feeling; also the inspiration for my given name) are difficult to translate and are a unique particularity of the Romanian language.

4. During normal non COVID times how would you usually celebrate this national day?

We celebrate it with a military parade. Military parades are organised in Bucharest and also in the country's larger cities. In Bucharest, the military parade known officially as the National Military Parade of the Romanian Armed Forces, has as its focal point the Arch of Triumph (in Romanian "Arcul de Triumf"), and includes various troops and military vehicles and weapons marching beneath the arch (a landmark monument, modeled after the famous one in Paris, erected to celebrate Romania's victory in World War I). This is a very popular event in Romania and it is broadcast on national television. If I am not taking part in the parade I am part of the spectators, proudly applauding my colleagues.

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