Orthodox high school students lay garland of red carnations on Eminescu’s shoulders to mark National Culture Day

The students of the Orthodox Pedagogical High School “Anastasia Popescu” in Bucharest continued this year the tradition of placing a garland of red carnations on the shoulders of the statue of Mihai Eminescu in front of the Romanian Athenaeum to mark Romania’s National Culture Day.

Prof. Monica Șerbănescu, the director of the high school, posted several photos, accompanied by verses from Eminescu’s poem “Călin (pages from a tale)”.

“The wonder of Eminescu’s poetry and the beauty of the Romanian language are found whole in these verses, which do not need precious labels or statements, because, like a prayer, they include both mind and heart,” Monica Serbanescu wrote on Facebook.

The high school director explained that the garland is “a symbol of a cultural stubbornness, taken from the pages of the writer Ana Blandiana”.

Poet Ana Blandiana wrote in the volume “False Treatise on Manipulation” (2013) that this gesture was like a breath of fresh air for writers in the 1980s, when January was marked by the anniversaries of the couple Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu.

On her personal Facebook account, Ioana Revnic, a professor at the Orthodox high school in Bucharest, explained how the little ritual of laying the garland in the last years of communism took place.

“In the ’80s, on January 15, the writer Geo Bogza ordered from the same flower shop in Kogălniceanu Square a Christmas tree woven with red carnations, at least five meters long, and it was placed on the shoulders of the statue. The ceremony was attended by a few, “friends of Eminescu”, most of them – writers. Among them was Ana Blandiana “, wrote the professor.

The statue of the national poet in front of the Romanian Athenaeum is the work of the sculptor Gheorghe Anghel.

Photography courtesy of the Orthodox Pedagogical High School “Anastasia Popescu”

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