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MoldovaMoldova 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.

Introduction:

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 arms.

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
Capital: Chisinau
Currency: Moldovan Leu
Population: 3,619,925 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Moldovan, Romania, Russian, Ukrainian
Language: Moldovan
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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Information for Moldova was last updated: December, 2013 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks