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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.
How people live today in any location is based on thousands of events from their
past and this is no different in Moldova. Moldovan culture begins with their land
and 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 then 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.
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 time. Despite the growth of these cities,
Moldova is still primarily rural, however farms tend to be small so the country
is still fairly densely populated.
Moldova's flag has
three vertical stripes of blue, yellow, and red to symbolize the country's past
ties with Romania. On the center bar is Moldova's 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
Currency: Moldovan Leu
Ethnicity: Moldovan, Romania, Russian, Ukrainian
Religion: Eastern Orthodox
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 region. 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 was fairly successful.
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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