Moldova has about 3 million people, so there is plenty of room for guests! A lot of ethnic groups share our 33,843 square kilometers, including Romanians, Russians, Ukrainians, Gagauz, Bulgarians, Roma and Jews. We are a country that welcomes everyone. You will feel it when you’re here.
More than half of Moldovans speak Romanian and almost as many Russian. If you know how to say “Hello, thank you, cheers! and down the hatch!” you will be welcome in any home. And if you tell the host that our greatest poet is Mihai Eminescu, you will get aglass of wine the moment you enter his home.
These days the Romanian language is spoken only in Romania and Moldova. August 31 is an important Moldovan holiday — a day celebrating the Romanian language. Many international visitors say Romanian has the feel of a romance language like French. So enjoy the opportunity to be in a country with such a beautiful and rare language.
Russian is the second most widely used language in Moldova. The government has given it the status of a “language of interethnic communication,” along with the official language, Romanian. Other languages that Moldovans speak include Ukrainian, Gagauz and Bulgarian. Because of the many Ukrainian speakers in Transnistria, it has been declared an official language in that region. The same is true of Gagauz in the Gagauzia region.
Faith is a cornerstone of Moldovan life, and one sign of that is dozens of sumptuous churches on the streets of the capital, Chisinau. Most Moldovans are Christian. Many attend church regularly, observe religious holidays, and fast.
Christmas and Easter are the most important Moldovan holidays. To make the winter holiday season even more fun, we celebrate two Christmases and two New Year’s Eves — the early ones that Western Europe observes and the Orthodox ones. Why not? We love to party. We have a phrase for this happy-go-lucky approach to life: We’re not slowing down for anything!