Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Day 11: A Taste of Romanian Culture

Last night was Romanian Culture night, and after a brisk walk down the mountain the group arrived at a local Predeal hotel which seemed to specialize in tourist-friendly folksiness. It began with some chicken skewers and beef sausages grilled outdoors along with a full lamb carved up and served later on. Inside the restaurant we were treated to plates of Romanian cheeses and cold cuts, the traditional cabbage rolls, and some apple and cheese pastries.

While a culinary experience was to be expected, I don't think any of us anticipated the amount of exercise that would be involved--and I'm not even talking about the trek down the mountain. A band accompanied the meal and it was not long until debaters began dancing in circles and picking up new steps from each other. The room filled to the point where the waiters could barely approach the tables! I don't think still photos can quite do the experience justice, but here's a few moments from a very enjoyable evening:

Participants waste no time getting into the spirit of the evening, beginning a dance as soon as we arrived in the outdoor barbecue area. That smoke you see is from a blazing fire that more than once threatened the long braid in the foreground!

Debaters and staff members look down from the upper floor which encircles the large dining room. The beautiful wooden railing you see is echoed in every aspect of the decor right down to the light fixtures, which spring from the end of branches!

Debaters dance to a Romanian folk song in the center of the floor. Look out Kitsch Party! Romanian Culture Night may become the new favorite of the Forum!

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