Romania is a country in Eastern Europe, bordering Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Black Sea. As its name suggests, was once part of the Roman Empire (Romanian, being a Romance language, shares a great deal of vocabulary and grammatical points with Latin and has also been heavily influenced by French.) and as its location suggests, was once part of the Eastern Bloc. Romania is very heavy on vampires, werewolves, and sexy women. Vlad III Ţepeş, on whom the character of Dracula is based, was Romanian (Vlach).
Romanian history in the middle ages is mostly characterized by a never-ending battle against the Turks, broken up by occasional periods of living under the Turks, and the odd brutal civil war between various Boyars. Vlad Ţepeş (usually translated as "Vlad the Impaler" although "Vlad the Staker" or "Vlad Stakey" would be a more literal translation) also known as Dracula, made a name for himself in this period by leading merciless campaigns against the Turks, his brother Radu (who had allied with the Turks), and various rebellious internal elements. He was very fond of impaling his enemies, once confronting the invading Turks with a forest of screaming impaled prisoners. Although his methods were unspeakably nasty, he is generally regarded as a hero by modern day Romanians, since he was fairly good about enforcing the rule of law and fought unstintingly against foreign invaders. It is also really weird that a man who loved to stake dudes was later turned by Bram Stoker into a monster that could only be killed with a stake.
Romania also bears the dubious distinction of being the last European country to outlaw slavery, with gypsies being regularly enslaved until the institution was fully outlawed in 1856. The Romanian liberals responsible for this reform were heavily influenced by American abolitionists, and Uncle Tom's Cabin was the first English novel to be translated into Romanian. However, this was still nine years before the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Throughout the later half of the 20th century, Romania was ruled by an incompetent, horrible tyrant named Nicolae Ceauşescu, who was one of the worst human beings who ever lived. He destroyed the Romanian economy, uprooted farmers from lands they'd occupied for generations, and infected orphans with AIDS. (It was the policy of the Ceauşescu regime to inject the inmates of state orphanages with blood purchased from donors in the cities. Most of the people who ended up selling their blood were prostitutes and drug users, and the blood was not screened for disease before being distributed to the orphanages.) Eventually, even inner members of his party got pissed off at him, and he was shot dead on Christmas Day, 1989 after he being convicted in a hasty show trial. It is unknown whether Romanians have somehow integrated a celebration of the death of Ceauşescu into their Christmas festivities, but if they have, it's probably pretty badass. Ceauşescu also served as the model for Tim LaHaye's antichrist in the Left Behind series (his is named Nicolae Carpathia, a name roughly equivalent to someone in Alaska naming their kid Joe DeNali, but whatever).
There is often talk of Romania absorbing its eastern neighbor Moldova (since most Moldovans are actually Romanian), but standing in the way is a thin strip of land occupied by Russian forces that wants to be either a (completely non-functional) independent country or part of Russia.
In 2008, the theory of evolution was removed from the curriculum, sparking protest by teachers and various interest groups. The acting Minister of Education replied that the theory of evolution is implicitly taught and that it was a technical decision to reduce the loading of biology classes. As of 2010, candidates to the high school graduation exam (Bacalaureat) are required to show competence on matters such as:
- Taxonomy underlining the evolution from simple to complex.
- Explaining biological processes and phenomenons and interrelations; Explaining structure and function of genetic material.
- Comparing modes of realization of fundamental requirements of biology in the living world. Diversity and unity in the living world, the evolution of the living world.
Romania is quite a religious country, and most Romanians are Orthodox. As such, it is politically advantageous to do things for religion. Case in point: An Orthodox cathedral called the Romanian People's Salvation Cathedral[wp] is currently being built, and Romania's government announced it would donate 30 million lei to its construction. The government later announced it would cover half the cost of its construction in addition to the 30 million lei.
 Vezi şi
- ZOMGitsCriss - Romanian atheist YouTuber of note, apparently
- Remus Cernea - Romanian agnostic, politician, advocate for the separation of church and state, and Satanist-Atheist-Homosexual (yes, he's actually been called that)