The Romanian Cultural Background

Romanian culture sets itself apart from other cultures in the East European region just as it shares some elements with them. Romania’s Dracula legend and its Dacian history are two examples of how Romania’s culture is unique. On the other hand, Romania’s Easter egg traditions and its folk costumes bear some similarities with those of nearby countries.

Romanians are formal and reserved with a strong need for privacy. Most do not trust strangers readily. They are generally shy and quiet when you first meet and admire modesty and humility in themselves and others.  Once you develop a personal relationship Romanians will open up slightly. Although always polite, they seldom move to a first-name basis with people outside their extended family or very close friends.

Gift Giving Etiquette
. If you are invited to a Romanian’s home, bring flowers, chocolates, or imported liquor to the hosts.
. Give an odd number of flowers. Even numbers are used for funerals.
. Roses and carnations are always well received.
. A gift for the children is always appreciated.
. Gifts are generally opened when received.

Business Meeting Etiquette

. Appointments are necessary and should be scheduled 2 to 3 weeks in advance, preferably by letter.
. It is often difficult to schedule meetings in July and August, which is a common vacation time.
. Punctuality is common in entrepreneurial companies or those that frequently do business in the international arena.
. When dealing with state-run companies, you will most likely be kept waiting.
. Meetings are generally formal and follow old-world rules of courtesy.
. Do not remove your suit jacket without permission or until the most senior ranking Romanian does.
. Expect to spend time getting to know people before delving into the business purpose of your visit.
. Avoid hyperbole or making exaggerated claims.

Food: Romania has had influence from both invaders and neighbors where its traditional cuisine is concerned. Romania’s traditional food sees touches of Turkish, Hungarian, Austrian, and other cuisines, but over the years, these dishes have become just as traditional as the oldest Romanian traditional foods.