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Romanian humour, like many other Romanian cultural aspects, has many affinities with four other groups: the Latins (namely the French and Italians), the Balkan people (Greeks, the Slavs, and Turks), the Germans and the Hungarians.
The earliest Romanian character found in anecdotes is Păcală.[ citation needed ] His name is derived from a (se) păcăli ('to fool oneself/somebody') and, since this word cannot be found in any other related language, we can safely assume that his name is part of the pure Romanian humour.
The Ottoman influence brought the Balkan spirit and with it, other characters and situations. Anton Pann's character, Nastratin Hogea, is a classic example of an urban tradesman. As Jewish people settled in many Romanian regions, two other characters joined Romanian humour: Iţic and Ştrul, a pair of cunning Jews, mainly seen as ingenious, but avaricious shopkeepers.
With modernization and urbanization, especially during the Communist regime, Romanians needed a new character, different from the traditional Păcală, and he was found in Bulă, the tragicomic absolute idiot. In 2006 Bulă was voted the 59th greatest Romanian.
With the fall of communism and facing capitalism, a new kind of joke became popular: that of Alinuţa, a sadistic and stupid 10-year-old girl. Example: Alinuţa: "Mum, I don't like grandma." Mum: "Shut up, we eat what we have!"
Other popular characters are Ion and Maria, a pair of young married or engaged innocent peasants, sometimes depicted as gypsies. Almost all jokes including them are sexually oriented. Another well-known character is Badea Gheorghe, mainly depicted as an old shepherd with a very simplistic view of life, death and material possessions. The newest character is Dorel, the archetype of a careless construction worker, engineer or electrician. Originally the name of a clumsy and ill-experienced worker from a series of TV adverts, Dorel is often depicted as the sole author of weird construction works as door-less balconies or even stairs leading to nowhere or as the cause of blunders leading to comic incidents.
Jokes about Ţigani (Gypsy) ethnic minority in Romania. Recurring themes are: stealing, refusing to work, having too many children, atrocious personal hygiene and bad personal finance management – essentially, the major stereotypes about Roma in Romania.
A common joke about Romanian people is that they tend to be very gullible.[ dubious ]
Scotsmen are presented as stingy, mean, dumb and feisty kilt-wearing skulks, who act against common sense just to save a small amount of money.
Somalis are seen as underweight and hungry.
Albanians are seen as very technologically impaired.
Hungarians are seen as proud, but naive. The stereotypical Hungarian is called Janos and usually is accompanied by a Romanian named Ion.
One feature of Romanian humour is that, apart from the ethnic jokes, there are also jokes about people of different regions. They are usually told by using archaetypical or clichée expressions and dialect terms typical for the region. For instance Moldavians pronounce /tʃ/ as /ʃ/ and /e/ as /i/, Oltenians make use of the perfect simple (rarely used in other regions) and the Transylvanians use some words of Hungarian and German origin such as 'musai' (meaning must) or 'fain' (meaning nice), and start every other sentence with the interjection "No" (not as a negative answer, which would be nu, but meaning So or Well).
Policemen: Most Romanian people are not fond of the law enforcement institutions and try to avoid contact with constables. Romanian public opinion about policemen says that they are primitive, uneducated and totally corrupt. Some of these police jokes belong to the absurd genre.
Especially during the communist regime, political jokes were very popular, although they were illegal and dangerous to tell.In the democratic Romania, these jokes are still popular, although the themes changed: now the politicians are seen either, as hopelessly corrupt, greedy, or as nationalist madmen.
As Ben Lewis put it in his essay,"Communism was a humor-producing machine. Its economic theories and system of repression created inherently funny situations. There were jokes under fascism and Nazism too, but those systems did not create an absurd, laugh-a-minute reality like communism."
Radio Yerevan : just like in the most countries of the former Eastern bloc, Radio Yerevan jokes were popular during the communist times.
Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja or Mullah Nasreddin Hooja or Mullah Nasruddin (1208-1285) was a Seljuq satirist, born in Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskişehir Province, present-day Turkey and died in 13th century in Akşehir, near Konya, a capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in today's Turkey. He is considered a philosopher, Sufi, and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. He appears in thousands of stories, sometimes witty, sometimes wise, but often, too, a fool or the butt of a joke. A Nasreddin story usually has a subtle humour and a pedagogic nature. The International Nasreddin Hodja festival is celebrated between 5 and 10 July in his hometown every year.
Ion Iliescu is a Romanian politician and engineer who served as President of Romania from 1989 to 1996 and from 2000 until 2004. Between 1996 and 2000 and also from 2004 to 2008, year in which he retired, Iliescu was a senator for the Social Democratic Party (PSD), of which he is the founder and honorary president.
After the Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu was executed in the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, the National Salvation Front (FSN) took power, led by Ion Iliescu. The FSN transformed itself into a political party and overwhelmingly won the general election of May 1990, with Iliescu as president. These first months were marked by violent protests and counter-protests, involving among others the coal miners of the Jiu Valley.
The Romanian Revolution was a period of violent civil unrest in Romania during December 1989 as a part of the revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several countries around the world. The Romanian Revolution started in the city of Timișoara and soon spread throughout the country, ultimately culminating in the show trial and execution of longtime Communist Party (PCR) General Secretary Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena, and the end of 42 years of Communist rule in Romania. It was also the last removal of a Marxist-Leninist government in a Warsaw Pact country during the events of 1989, and the only one that violently overthrew a country's leadership and executed its leader.
Russian jokes, the most popular form of Russian humor, are short fictional stories or dialogs with a punch line.
The Mineriads were a series of protests and often violent altercations by Jiu Valley miners in Bucharest during the 1990s, particularly 1990–91. The term "Mineriad" is also used to refer to the most significant and violent of these encounters, which occurred June 13–15, 1990. During the 1990s, the Jiu Valley miners played a visible role in Romanian politics, and their protests reflected inter-political and societal struggles in post-Revolution Romania.
Avram Iancu was a Transylvanian Romanian lawyer who played an important role in the local chapter of the Austrian Empire Revolutions of 1848–1849. He was especially active in the Țara Moților region and the Apuseni Mountains. The rallying of peasants around him, as well as the allegiance he paid to the Habsburg got him the moniker Crăișorul Munților.
The Jiu Valley is a region in southwestern Transylvania, Romania, in Hunedoara county, situated in a valley of the Jiu River between the Retezat Mountains and the Parâng Mountains. The region was heavily industrialised and the main activity was coal mining, but due to low efficiency, most of the mines were closed down in the years following the collapse of Communism in Romania. For a long time the place was called Romania's biggest coalfield.
Academia Caţavencu is a Romanian satirical magazine founded in 1991 and made famous by its investigative journalism. Academia Caţavencu also owns Radio Guerrilla, an FM radio station with national coverage ; Tabu, a women's magazine, Superbebe, a magazine for new parents, Aventuri la pescuit, a magazine for fishermen, 24-FUN, a free magazine for teenagers, and Cotidianul, a daily newspaper.
The National Salvation Front is the name of a political organization that was the governing body of Romania in the first weeks after the Romanian Revolution in 1989. It subsequently became a political party, and won the 1990 election under the leadership of then-President Ion Iliescu.
Victor Rebengiuc is a Romanian film and stage actor, also known as a civil society activist.
The June 1990 Mineriad was the suppression of anti-National Salvation Front (FSN) rioting in Bucharest, Romania by the physical intervention of groups of industrial workers as well as coal miners from the Jiu Valley, brought to Bucharest by the government to counter the rising violence of the protesters. This event occurred several weeks after the FSN achieved a landslide victory in the May 1990 general election, the first elections after the fall of the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Many of the miners, factory workers, and other anti-protester groups, fought with the protesters and bystanders. The violence resulted in some deaths and many injuries on both sides of the confrontations. Official figures listed seven fatalities and hundreds of injured, although media estimates of the number killed and injured varied widely and were often much higher.
Vladimir Tismăneanu is a Romanian American political scientist, political analyst, sociologist, and professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. A specialist in political systems and comparative politics, he is director of the University of Maryland's Center for the Study of Post-Communist Societies, having served as chairman of the editorial committee (2004–2008) and editor (1998–2004) of the East European Politics and Societies academic review. Over the years, Tismăneanu has been a contributor to several periodicals, including Studia Politica, Journal of Democracy, Sfera Politicii, Revista 22, Evenimentul Zilei, Idei în Dialog and Cotidianul. He has also worked with the international radio stations Radio Free Europe and Deutsche Welle, and authored programs for the Romanian Television Company. As of 2009, he is Academic Council Chairman of the Institute for People's Studies, a think tank of the Romanian Democratic Liberal Party. Between February 2010 and May 2012, he was also President of the Scientific Council of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania.
In 2006, Romanian Television conducted a vote to determine whom the general public considered the 100 Greatest Romanians of all time, in a version of the British TV show 100 Greatest Britons. The resulting series, Great Romanians, included individual programmes on the top ten, with viewers having further opportunities to vote after each programme. It concluded with a debate. On 21 October, TVR announced that the "greatest Romanian of all time" according to the voting was Stephen the Great.
Russian political jokes are a part of Russian humour and can be grouped into the major time periods: Imperial Russia, Soviet Union and finally post-Soviet Russia. Quite a few political themes can be found among other standard categories of Russian joke, most notably Rabinovich jokes and Radio Yerevan.
The uprising of 1821 was a social and political rebellion in Wallachia, which was at the time a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire. It originated as a movement against the Phanariote administration, with backing from the more conservative boyars, but mutated into an attempted removal of the boyar class. Though not directed against Ottoman rule, the revolt espoused an early version of Romanian nationalism, and is described by historians as the first major event of a national awakening. The revolutionary force was centered on a group of Pandur irregulars, whose leader was Tudor Vladimirescu. Its nucleus was the Wallachian subregion of Oltenia, where Vladimirescu established his "Assembly of the People" in February.
Grigore Preoteasa was a Romanian communist activist, journalist, and politician, who served as Communist Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs between October 4, 1955 and the time of his death.
The events in Poland which led to the elimination of that country's Stalinist leadership and the rise to power of Władysław Gomułka on 19 October 1956 provoked unrest among university students in Eastern bloc countries. The state of unrest in Communist Poland began to spread into Hungary. As early as 16 October 1956, students from Szeged left the Communist-created students' union (DISZ), re-establishing the MEFESZ, a democratic organisation that the regime of Mátyás Rákosi had suppressed. Within a few days, students from Pécs, Miskolc and Sopron had done likewise. On 22 October 1956, students from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics compiled a list of sixteen points containing key national policy demands. When they found out about the intention of the Hungarian Writers' Union to express its solidarity with Poland by placing a crown near the statue of Polish general Józef Bem, a hero of the Hungarian revolution of 1848–49, the students decided to organise a parallel demonstration in support of the Poles. At the protest on the afternoon of 23 October 1956, the students read their proclamation, an act that marked the beginning of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
The Union of Communist Youth was the Romanian Communist Party's youth organisation. Like many Young Communist organisations, it was modelled after the Soviet Komsomol. It aimed to cultivate young cadres into the party, as well as to help create the "new man" envisioned by communist ideologues.
Vacanţa Mare, or The Great Holiday, is a Romanian humour group. The group was established in 1988 by Dan Sava, Mugur Mihăescu and Radu Pietreanu. In 2007 the group is formed by Mihăescu, Pietreanu and Florin Axinte Petrescu, but also includes some co-workers: Iulian Frankfurt Ilinca, Emil Mitică Rădinoiu, Mirela Lila Stoian and George Romică Robu.