Anthem Day - symbol of national unity was celebrated for the first time in Chisinau
Romania's National Anthem Day, "Wake up, Romanian!", traditionally marked on 29 July, was celebrated for the first time in Chisinau. The event took place at the National Museum of History of Moldova and was organised by the YUFest Association from Iasi with the financial support of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova, in the framework of the project "The National Anthem, symbol of the unity of Romanians".
"An event of cultural value that brings together in Chisinau both sides of the Prut. We wanted to celebrate the history of the Anthem", said Lia Anton, president of the YUFest Association.
The history of anthems in Romania began in 1862 with a triumphal march, continued in 1884 with the first National Anthem "Long Live the King!", which was sung until 1947, when the socialist era began.
"The Communist era, when Romania changed three anthems. From 1948 to 1977, there were three anthems, and then in 1990, after the fall of the communist regime, a fourth one was rediscovered - "Wake up, Romanian!", said Adrian Cioroianu, director of the National Library of Romania.
"Deșteaptă-te, române!", the newest and also the oldest because it was sung during the Pasoptist period and here it accompanies all periods of Romanian history," said Andrei Fermeșanu, director of the Romanian National Opera in Iasi.
"Deșteaptă-te, române!" and other emblematic songs, performed by the "Corul Marii Uniri" from Iasi, brought the audience to its feet.
"Wake up, Romanian!" on verses by Andrei Mureșanu, music by Anton Pann, which became Romania's national anthem in 1991, was for three years also the national anthem of the Republic of Moldova.
"One of my great joys is that I voted on 27 August 1991 for the anthem "Wake up, Romanian!" and one of my great regrets is that those who came after us changed it", remarked Alecu Reniță, a member of the First Parliament.
"I remember that joy when I saw the Olympic champion Tudor Casapu climb to the highest position of Olympic champion and this Anthem was sung, I was proud!", said Petru Hadârcă, director of the National Theatre "Mihai Eminescu".
"It is important to remember these dates not only on very rare occasions. These things must be included in history textbooks, in civic education textbooks", said Monica Babuc, director of the Mihai Eminescu Romanian Cultural Institute.
"It is a reason to say Happy Birthday to all Romanians, wherever they are, and, of course, to look with optimism towards the common future, towards the European future", said Mihai Chirica, Mayor of Iasi.
With inspiration and dignity, the Choir of the Great Union also performed the anthem of the Republic of Moldova "Our Language".