Alternative dogs festival, a stray dog festival meant to encourage adoption of stray dogs

This weekend an alternative dogs festival was organised in Vlaha Village, Romania. The festival was organised by several NGO’s with the purpose of encouraging people to adopt alternative dogs, which means dogs with disabilities or just stray dogs without owners.

Around 55 dogs paraded in a competition that meant to show their qualities and impress the audience. The organisers stated that dogs are usually left without owners due to the fact that they are either abandoned on the streets of the city or in villages or they run away due to car accidents.

Here are some pictures from the event

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Free taxi rides for people in distress- a genius project by a Romanian young man

cars 2

Alex Bobes is a 23 Romanian young man from Bucharest, Romania, who came up with a really selfless idea- free taxi rides for people in distress. Now you might wonder why would he do such a thing and how does he have the time?

His idea came when finding himself in a distress and in need of a car, realised that nobody could help him with a free ride. Since then, he decided to help other people with issues that couldn’t afford to pay a taxi ride. Thus he started to drive people with health problems, such as disabilities or medical emergencies to hospitals or he transported people in need that lost their money ( such as students) and needed help.

The surprising thing is that this young man is paying from his own wage ( he’s working in the IT industry) and is driving his own car. Since his project started, he created a website and appeared on several television shows to spread the word around and to convince other people to join his project. He has also contacted several NGO’s but did not manage to get anyone to sponsor him yet. If he will manage to get sponsors the project could take off and many people in distress could get plenty of help. If you are interested in a donation or to join the project, or to start up something similar in your area, you can check his website – or send an e-mail to

Breaking stereotypes- Romanians

Romanian Festival of Toronto, 2004

Romanian Festival of Toronto, 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you live in Europe, you know Romanians do not have a good reputation. At least in the media. They are shown as thieves, murderers and every little negative thing that happens in relation to them is put with big letters in the papers.

Moreover, they are often confused with Romani gypsies, due to probably the similarity of their names. If there is any news relating to a honest, working Romanian, he or she is shown usually working in a low paid job, such as a cleaner, babysitter or in the construction or waitressing area of work.

Even more than that, whenever they are mentioned in the media, the photos related to the article show people( most of the pictures show Romani gypsy) living in poor conditions, such as tents.

However, if you look for positive coverage of Romanians in the European media, you will not find any.

This is the  typical of media stereotyping (just like Muslims, Africans and other social categories are shown), to show a category exaggerated, sketched, from a negative point of view. More than that, the stories are often presented  from one side of view, and rarely researched from different angles.

Here are some of the newspaper titles

1.Romanian gangs are ‘flooding London with pickpockets, prostitutes and beggars’ ahead of Olympic Games

2.Shanty town on a suburban London street: Romaniansscrape a living amid squalor of dump

3.We’re on our way to Britain: A year from now up to 29m Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to settle in Britain and claim benefits. And these gypsies in the slums of Sofia can hardly wait…

4.The Roma gipsy beggars of Park Lane: 30 Romanians camp out with soiled duvets and cardboard boxes in exclusive London street

5.Fury as Romanians who stole £50,000 church lead escape prison sentences

One of the titles of this articles claims also a ridiculous fact- the fact that 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians might move in the UK. So, they claim the population of two whole countries will get up, leave their houses and everything and move, leave two countries desert, in a time where there is no war or danger for them to move. The harm in this type of articles is that they provoke racism, hatred and perhaps even violent reactions.

In conclusion, this is how Romanians are shown in the media

1. Thieves

2. Immigrants who steal jobs

3. Poor and uneducated

However, if you do a bit of research you will find out that

1. Most of them are normal every day people, who enjoy their lives, like me and you.

If you think about any population of any country, you have to assume there are a certain number of honest hard working people, just like there will be a number of dishonest people. However, they can’t be all thieves and liars, can they?

2. Immigration is not a new fact.

In fact if you look into history, immigration was found to be as old as 70.000 years ago. People always immigrated in order to look for better lives, due to economical reasons, climate change and political reasons. Not only people from poor countries migrate, but also people from  highly developed countries migrate to study, for work, travel or experience new cultures.

3. Most Romanian immigrants have graduated from highschool and universities ( see this link for reference), though they will still choose lower paid jobs compared to the locals.

In conclusion, I would recommend to no get on the bandwagon of bad media and to try to search for more information, give people more credit and believe there is plenty of good in all people, no matter of race, nationality or gender.

Here’s a video about Romania, made by a British guy.

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