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is named after the Moldova River, which is located in present day Romania. Legend
has it that the river was named after one of Prince Dragos's hunting dogs, "Molda,"
who drowned in the river on an auroch (bull) hunt.
Moldovan culture begins with their land, but it has been continuously altered due
to historical events and the people who settled, left, or just passed through. Moldova's
way of life begins with their relatively flat landscape and location in what is
today Eastern Europe. This land, and the weather provided great conditions for growing
various crops as the land naturally grew fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and
other plant life, like trees. As a result of this land the people naturally became
farmers as they settled the area permanently.
Just as the land was ideal for growing crops and became a destination for people,
it also made an ideal home for numerous animals. These animals were first hunted
by the people for food, but later the animals were domesticated and the people's
economy and well-being grew as they could sustain life on both plants and the domesticated
animals, which provided meats and byproducts like eggs, milk, and cheese. Despite
the time that has passed since these animals were first domesticated, farming and
animal husbandry are still two of the most common occupations in Moldova today.
Moldova's flag has three vertical
stripes of blue, yellow, and red to symbolize the country's past ties with Romania.
The flag of Romania is modeled after France's flag and the colors are red and
yellow for the Principality of Walachia and red and blue for the Principality of
Moldavia (which is different from the country of Moldova), two regions that make
up modern day Romania. On the center bar of Moldova's flag is their coat of
The coat of arms is an eagle holding a shield, an olive branch to symbolize peace,
a scepter, and an Orthodox cross in its beak. On the shield is an aurochs' head
(a bull), perhaps a reference to the animal that caused the death of the prince's
favorite hunting dog, Molda, after whom the Moldova River, the region, and the country
are supposedly named.
Name: Republic of Moldova
Independence: August 27, 1991
Currency: Moldovan Leu
Population: 3,619,925 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Moldovan, Romania, Russian, Ukrainian
Religion: Eastern Orthodox
As farming and animal husbandry became the most common occupations, and since land
is needed for these occupations, the people became spread out throughout the land,
but cities failed to develop until recent times. Despite the growth of these cities,
Moldova is still primarily rural, however farms tend to be small so the country
is fairly densely populated.
Over time numerous people passed through or settled the region of Moldova today.
Over thousands of years some people pushed others out, while on other occasions
the people intermarried and new ethnicities or variations on ethnicities were created.
Despite these numerous people, the result from all these influences, were the Vlachs,
or Romanian people. The Romanians in what is today Moldova maintained their occupations
as farmers and herders until about the 1800s.
In the 1800s the Russians gained more influence in the region as ethnic Russians,
Ukrainians, and Jews settled the lands. At this time though the people, for the
most part, stopped intermarrying and ethnic tensions began. These tensions were
never overly violent as much as they were the people simply maintaining their own
cultures and only interacting when needed. This however changed in the early 1900s
with riots focused on pushing Jews out of the country, a move that left a void in
the population as most Jews departed.
Also during this time, in the late 1800s the industrial revolution made its way
to Moldova and these technological advancements changed the culture in Moldova.
With new technology, there was a shift in occupations as factories were built and
an urbanization occurred as people moved to the cities. Although this didn't
leave a gap in the countryside, it did create larger cities. Advancements in medicine
during this time also extended life spans and prevented many early deaths, creating
a huge population surge. Although this increasing population settled primarily in
the cities, the culture changed little as the cities still remained relatively small
and most of the people remained in the countryside.
Although under the rule of the Soviet Union industrialization and urbanization expanded,
the culture and way of life for the Moldovan people didn't change drastically.
One reason for this is because many ethnic Russians and Ukrainians settled the cities
and took these new jobs, so the ethnic Moldovans, for the most part, remained in
their fields and continued their rural way of life.
Today the way of life in Moldova is still based on their past as rural farmers who
hard work and work long hours. Moldovans live their lives much as they have in the
past, with a focus on family, friends, neighbors, and their livelihood, which for
many is agriculture and farming.
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