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Wrapped in Myth: People, Customs and Landmarks in Traditional Romania

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

Special Event

Photo by Sorin Onișor

The National Day of Romania, feted on December the 1 st, ushers in a season of celebrations at the RCI, bringing forth time-honored traditions, iconic landmarks, and breathtaking landscapes. The month opens with "Winter in the Villages", Sorin Onișor’s photographic documentation of the miraculous survival of a world of immemorial customs and pristine natural sanctuaries in the Carpathians, and peaks with an evening which conjures the magic winters of traditional Romania and some of the country’s most cherished historical treasures. On December 16, you are invited to join us for "Dracula's Landlord" by Mark A. Meyer, a presentation of the famous Bran Castle beyond myth and popular imagination. As the event concludes our program in 2022, the jubilee year of the Romania-United States Strategic Partnership, we crown our journey through Romanian culture old and new with a special gift - the launching of "The Free Zone", a special vinyl marking the anniversary of this major diplomatic landmark.


Special Event: Winter Stories / Celebrating Romanian traditions and culture in New York

December 16, 6-9 PM, 2022

Photographic Exhibition | Sorin Onișor, "Winter in the Villages" | On view: December 1-16 (later edit: extended through January 20, 2023)

Exhibition Finissage & Christmas Party I December 16, 6-9 PM

Presentation & Talk | Mark A. Meyer, "Dracula’s Landlord" I December 16, 7:30 PM

Please RSVP here.

About SORIN ONIȘOR and "Winter in the Villages"

A former history and geography teacher who abandoned the lectern for the camera, Sorin Onișor, known as "the photographer of the villages", is the undisputable master of ethnographic photography in Romania. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including "Photographer of the Year" at AAFR Salon in 2010. Onișor is the founding member and Vice President of the photographic group "F5,6" of Timișoara and a sought-after instructor of photographic masterclasses. An astute observer of a traditional way of life defined by ancient rituals and customs that is shrinking day by day under the unarresting assault of modernity, he is the author of a superb visual depiction of the characters, gestures and landscapes of a fading world.

To me, the Romanian village means almost everything, because I grew up until the age of 14 in the village of Ghilad, in the Banat region, close to Timişoara. There I nourished myself with everything that the Romanian village could offer to a child, to an adolescent: simple things and rhythms yet so full of flavor. I remember that we lived everything with maximum intensity, with the carelessness of that age, without anyone or anything to distract us. Life seemed like a game. Everything had a special meaning, things had substance and everything was a real ritual done with maximum seriousness and experience.” - Sorin Onișor

About MARK A. MEYER and "Dracula's Landlord"

"Dracula’s Landlord" is an exhaustively-documented and engaging audio-visual presentation of Bran Castle beyond myth and popular imagination, offered by a respected international lawyer and Romanian cultural enthusiast, Mark A. Meyer, one of the visionaries responsible for transforming this historical landmark into Romania’s biggest attraction.

Mark A. Meyer is the Chairman of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, the largest bilateral trade organization in the United States devoted to Romania, with chapters in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Florida, Arizona, Iasi and Bucharest, and an International IT chapter. He also is the Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Council on International Affairs and a member of the law firm of Herzfeld & Rubin, PC. Mr. Meyer served as a special advisor for legal and economic matters to five European heads of state including the Presidents of Romania, the Republic of Moldova, and the Republic of Montenegro. He is the recipient of the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, awarded by St. John’s University School of Law in 2007, which described him as "a pioneer in promoting the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990." Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2011 awarded him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, lauding him for "embracing the promise of other cultures, working tirelessly to promote the rule of law in a developing region and building international relationships based on mutual cooperation." He was named a Harvard Law School Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus for his "great skill in the economic, legal and political transformation of a developing region." Mr. Meyer is an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law where he teaches Transactions in Emerging Markets. He is the recipient of Romania’s National Order of Merit at the Rank of Commander and the Republic of Moldova’s Medal of Civic Merit. He is also the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Moldova for the State of New York.



1 Comment

Zak Andrews
Zak Andrews
Apr 25

This is great info!

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