I came to this country nine years ago at the age of fifteen. In Romania, I had acquaintance with several girls, but there was no special girl. I have no siblings, and will not have any, since both my parents are 55. In Romania, families are generally large, because many children can ensure that the parents are cared for in their old age without being a burden on one child. Besides, many families are either Catholic or Orthodox and birth control beyond abstention is frowned upon or forbidden.
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My mom is the youngest of five siblings, they are all in Romania: Eugenia (one daughter Carmen, married and has two daughters herself), Michael (60+ bachelor), Marina (one daughter Simona), and John (the eldest, divorced, one son). My dad is the youngest of three: Rodica (65+ single woman), and Voicu (deceased, was married to Tia, they had one boy Cori, they live in Australia).
The rules of endogamy and exogamy are very similar to Canada, except that there are also some Muslims and Jews in our country, and Christians, Jews, and Muslims do not intermarry. (Slide page 27) In fact, it is seldom that Catholics and Orthodox intermarry, but that is not so difficult, because there is a similarity in the value system and core beliefs. As I understand it, Even the two types of Jew in our country (Orthodox and Hassidic) do not intermarry, because their lives and customs are so different.
While it is also difficult to intermarry between different economic classes, education can bridge that gap, and because of education, the class lines are very weak. As for the rules of marriage to kin, the same rules are applied as in Canada. People do not marry closer than the second cousin. It is taboo for good medical reasons as I understand biology and inheritance.
I have never heard of any conflict concerning the marriage of close kin, but there is a very rare occasion that a boy and girl, one Catholic and one Orthodox, fall in love, and this is never easy. Even rarer and potentially devastating is when one is Christian and the other is Muslim. Romania is still not very multicultural any other way, so color lines are neither a barrier nor not, because it just does not happen.
Kinship is very important in Romania, and it will be here within our family, provided I marry and have children. Most of our family is still in Romania, so they are far, but still important and we stay in touch with the Internet, telephone, and letters. One uncle is in Australia with my cousin, his son, Cori, and we all stay in touch with them also, but mostly via the Internet. Our society is mostly Patrilineal, though the mother’s name is often carried as a middle name for a male child. (Haviland ch 9 pg 10) Within the family, religion is shared.
Catholic families are the loosest, that is, they practice their religion, but it is not a way of life. Orthodox families practice their religion more seriously, and it affects more portions of their lives. The Muslims live their religion. It affects everything they do. For this reason, they generally do not socialize with the Christian community. However, Christians and Muslims attend school together and work together.
Some of the tribal societies which are still found in remote places in Romania practice Leverity and/ or Sorority. That is a widow or widower may marry the brother or sister of the dead spouse. It is more often a brother marries the widow, because our society is most concerned with the male line, so the children must be kept within the family and the wife must be cared for. The widow should not be forced to marry outside the family, and would not readily find a husband, since she already has another man’s children. So this system inures care for her and the children. It is most often nomadic and pastoral societies that still do this.
Romany families also roam the territories in Romania, and they keep to themselves. Marriages are arranged by the parents, and the father in the family rules the entire extended family. Romany never marry outside their culture. Their children do not go to school, and people do not mix into regular society. The only contact between the two cultures is on a business level, mostly not terribly pleasant contact as Romany lives by a different set of rules.
In Canada, our family is far from its roots, and here we are only three, so we have made ties with the community. In modern times, people travel and families become scattered, so we use technology to maintain our ties. However, we also create a new association with the community in order to fulfill the need we have for connection. In Canada, it is possible also to become a helping member of the community and either be a donor or a recipient of help in times of need. We like to participate in this.
Cultural Anthropology, Second Canadian Edition, William A. Haviland et al., Nelson Thomson Learning, 2005. / Lecture Module 6 – Chapter 9.
Haviland PowerPoint pg 27.