Vintilă Mihăilescu: New waves of migration started to change the life of Bucharest

According to the 1930 census, the ethnic groups represented 22.39% of the population of Bucharest: in 2011, they represented only 2.36%. In a way, one can say that present-day Bucharest is ten times less multi-ethnic than the interwar one. On the other hand, the massive Romanian emigration prevented us from observing the first waves of migration and, all the more so, to understand its nature. Bucharest is currently a city with an unstable, but increasing number of foreigners, which often represent new ethnic minorities.

Cities are alive, their social and cultural identity being permanently created and reinvented

This aspect is so naturally outlined that it can easily be overlooked during a simple stroll in Bucharest. Here, it is not out of the ordinary to watch a movie at a French cinema, to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant, to buy Shakespeare from an English bookstore, to have an Italian expresso, to enjoy a narghileh with your friends or go to yoga classes taught by Indian masters.

Migration influences and contributes to cultural creativity

Christian Sørhaug is a norwegian anthropologist, part of the Telemarksforking team in Olso, partner of New minorities in Bucharest. You can read, below, his views about cultural diversity from Romania to Norway and back: Migration provides challenges and opportunities: As fortress Europa seeks to solidify its borders further as migrants are pressing on, understanding how these new minorities find strategies to exist in relation to a majority population has become even more important.

Cultural Diversity, in Pencils Lines and Brush Strokes

Dana and Cătălina are our trainers for the visual arts workshop in project “New Minorities in Bucharest.” With brushes, pencils and even wire, they give shape to the idea of cultural diversities in the minds of our high schoolers who attend this workshop. After the first weekend, they answered a few of our questions about their interactions with the children, as well as their expectations from the workshops.

Why are(n't) the citizens of Moldova a minority in Romania?

Moldovan citizens are the third most numerous community in Bucharest coming from third party states. According to General Immigrations Office data, in 2012, 2,098 foreign citizens were Moldovans, the most numerous foreign communities being the Chinese (4,121) and the Turks (3,425). In total, in 2012, 30,941 persons were registered by the General Immigrations Office. Among them, 19,288 came from third party states, while 11,653 came from EU member states or the EEA Area / Swiss Confederacy.

“Travel People,” the Play on Cultural Diversity Created by High Schoolers

“The Travel-People” crowns the efforts of our participants to the cultural diversity workshop, which is part of the “New Minorities of Bucharest” project. The high school students, working under the helpful guidance of trainers Amalia, Cristina and Andrei, took monologues based on their own experiences and interactions with persons from different cultures. But how did the work go? Here are the trainers’ answers:

The protagonists of documentary “Sounds of Bucharest” include a classically trained baritone and a translator

The “Sounds of Bucharest” documentary, directed by Mihai Grecea, takes a musical approach to presenting life in Bucharest, as seen through the eyes of eight characters coming from different worlds, and who have chosen Bucharest as their home. Among them, Fanny Chartres, a French translator, and Fan Shuang, baritone at the Children’s Comedy Opera, Chineze citizen.

The Chinese Community of Bucharest Welcomes the Year of the Fire Monkey

The Buddhist Temple in Colentina was the host of yesterday’s Chinese New Year celebrations, where members of the Chinese community – joined by a few of their Romanian friends – greeted the Year of the Fire Monkey. The festivities started out with a religious ceremony, the priestess and the worshipers praying for peace, prosperity and health, followed by a celebratory vegetarian dinner. Romanian guests gifted pineapples, pomelos, mangoes and other fruit to their hosts at the temple and were invited to take part in the New Year ceremony.

The Recommencement of the Creative Workshops for High School Students in Bucharest

In partnership with “Traian” Academic High School, “A.D. Xenopol” National High School, “George Coșbuc” Bilingual National High School and the Telecommunications High School of Bucharest, project “The New Minorities of Bucharest” continues its series of creative workshops aimed at 15 to 18-year-old students living in the capital city, pertaining to the majority population or to various minority cultures. The overarching objective is to raise awareness on matters of cultural diversity among the youths of Bucharest.

From the backstage of research. Monica Stroe: Bucharest belongs to all who live in it

Monica Stroe coordinates the students involved in the anthropological research, the basis of the project “The new minorities in Bucharest municipality”. Their stake is to find out more about life in Bucharest of some members of each minority and fight against the monochrome representations that are circulating. Monica explains us what to expect from this research and how it will help at “normalizing the idea that Bucharest belongs to all who live in it”.

Vintilă Mihăilescu: Contemporary Bucharest is less multicultural than the interwar one

Vintilă Mihăilescu is an anthropologist, professor at the National School of Political and Administrative Sciences and he coordinates the research within the project “The new minorities in Bucharest county”. In his opinion, the new minorities are “invisible” in Bucharest and their impact only amounts to the sphere of corporations and restaurants.

A Syrian refugee, adopted by French

The crisis of refugees from countries destroyed by war is the main subject in the international media. Desperate families looking for a peaceful and quiet life are facing the European resistance which builds fences against them. There are also positive examples of people who give refugees a hand. This is the case of Linda and Yves from Calais who housed Sayid when he needed a shelter. Their story is told by The Guardian.

Impressions on site. The site of new minorities

Why did Indian, Lebanese, British or Italian people settle in Bucharest? Where do they spend their time? How did they hallmark the city? The students of the Anthropology Master and Visual Studies and Society Masters within SNSPA went on site looking for new minorities in Bucharest. The results of their research will be available at large in this autumn but until then let’s find out their impressions on their first visits on site.

From the backstage of research. Bogdan Iancu: New minorities mean more than traditional restaurants

Bogdan Iancu is an anthropologist and one of the coordinators of the research team within the project “The new minorities in Bucharest county”, research that covers the lack of assessing the cultural impact of groups of migrants who settled in Bucharest in the last two decades.

Romania, the migrants’ country of origin

According to the report of Migration Policy Institute on the basis of the data provided by the Division for Population within the framework of the United Nations, Romania receives fewer citizens than it sends to other countries. Our country is on the 15th place in the world as the migrants’ country of origin and on the 108th place as country of destination…

Talking with a Norwegian anthropologist about Bucharest, minorities and bicycles

Christian Sørhaug is an anthropologist within the framework of Telemark Research Institute of Oslo, Norway, an independent institute with expertise in the research of cultural politics. Telemark is the partnership institution within the project “The New Minorities of Bucharest Municipality”, offering support in the research on site of the cultural diversity from the capital of Romania…

The migrants on the theatre scene

The play “We were not born in the right place” twists together the life stories of five people who lived the experience of the refuge, with excerpts of The Guide of Obtaining the Romanian Citizenship for Foreign Citizens

The new minorities, invisible in Bucharest

The Association Movement for European Action and Initiative launches the project ¨The New Minorities of Bucharest Municipality¨, whose purpose is to support the intercultural dialogue between the citizens of Bucharest and the minority groups formed in Bucharest within the last two decades. The project takes place in between April 2015-April 2016, in partnership with Telemark Research Institute Norway…

Protocol signed for the mosque in Bucharest

The protocol through which the Muslim Community of Romania receives under concession a land where to build a mosque in Bucharest was signed on Tuesday, the 28th of July. The document states that the Muftiat of the Muslim Cult must report the activities related to the construction each trimester…


The emigrant condition, the theme of the exhibition “Never alone”

“Never alone” is an exhibition which reunites multiple Romanian artists established outside the country and who are approaching, as a theme, the condition of emigrant. The exhibition argument starts from a work of the artist Ioana Cojocariu (“Never Walk Alone”) and diversely reflects, through various artistic practices, the condition of emigrant…

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