International Handbook of Curriculum Research

By William F. Pinar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 30
Back To Itacka:
Curriculum Studies in Romania
Nicolae Sacalis
National University of Theater and Film
Popular University Ioan I. Dalles, Romania

After the 1990s, an influx of Americanism flooded Romanian language and culture. Management, curriculum, network, new look, weekend, lifestyle, event, and happening are only a few words that have slipped into Romanian language from the American language. If we add to these words McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Ford cars, and American movies, then we may talk about an American invasion. Yet to understand this phenomenon, we should go back a little bit in time.

Although World War II ended in 1945, and Soviet troops occupied the country, many Romanians continued to believe that the Americans would come to save Romanian democracy. Many of them were so deeply convinced that this would happen that they died, some in jail and some outside, hoping that one day, sooner or later, the Americans would show up to rescue Romania. In the despair that followed World War II, this was the only political hope. Although the Americans postponed their coming, more and more, this belief became, in time, a kind of myth and a kind of a fading gleaming light.

I remember being a child, far away, in a remote village from Transylvania, how one day a huge balloon showed up in the sky floating majestically and smoothly like some extraterrestrial object. Soon the whole village was caught in a fever and everybody was whispering: “The Americans are coming!”

The poor militia, the representative of police authority in the village, was running all over the fields and hills trying to catch one of those mysterious balloons. It was a great scene: tragic and comic at the same time.

The average poor Romanian did not hear about the Iron Curtain, about Churchill's speech at Fulton University. So, he or she continued to hope. As late as the 1960s, there were still a few remaining partisans fighting against communism, in some remote area in the Southern Carpathian, always waiting for Americans to come. Nobody was talking about this, but everybody knew. Susman and his sons were some of these last heroes. Only now has something been said about those people who, for more than 15 years, managed to defy one of the best-organized police force: the communist security.

I was privileged to live, as a child, in that area, and I remember that one of our colleagues was a Susman. Her presence in the class was for us, children, a mysterious link

-535-

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