Romanians in Scandinavia. Tudor Mihailescu in Copenhagen and Ionel Cioca in Stockholm

As I am a Swede ( a Scandinavian) in Romania I was curious to hear from people who experience the opposite. Romanians in Scandinavia.

I met up with Tudor Mihailescu, who happened to be the 1300th follower on the Bucharest Lounge Facebook page. We met up in person in a café in Copenhagen.


This morning  I got an email from Ionel Cioca who travels in Sweden and is spending time in Stockholm. He shared his experiences with me in a mail.

With an open heart , the Bucharest Lounge style, hear what they said.

TUDOR MIHAILESCU, Copenhagen, Denmark

Here is what he says about his experience in Denmark.
Facts are facts, and Romania is the second poorest country in the EU, while Denmark is one of the richest, according to official statistics. So, regarding my stay in Denmark, coming here first as a student and afterwards getting hired here (even though part time at the moment) it is a huge privilege. It is a very hard decision to make this step, and from a financial point of view few people can do it. Danish (and Scandinavian) society is so different than ours, and in most aspects in a much more positive way.
We Romanians have so many things to learn from the people here, starting from the more stable democracy, going through responsibility of Danish citizens towards their work, and the society they live in, openness towards different habits of their fellow citizens, positive way of thinking, lack of irresponsible and non-constructive criticism, share of truth and civic responsibility and educating their children in the same manner.
I feel responsible, in a way, to take these qualities and try as much as I can to share them somehow. The fact is, Danish and Scandinavian society in general, is much more aware of their rights, much more responsible – in general – towards their work and the contribution of this work to the society, and less tolerant to everything that goes bad around them.
tudor 2
Tudor in Copenhagen. 
You could say, somehow, that we, Romanians, lost hope, to some degree. I would like to be well understood: I was born and raised in the economical, industrial and cultural main city of the country, Bucharest, where things tend to be a little different, in a better way, but I was talking earlier about the national situation. Also, this doesn’t mean that everything is lost.
I am interested, and I read daily about individual examples within the Romanian society of citizens who, against all opposition and revolting stories, succeed in the most heroic manner. Successful people, with national and international awards, sports champions, business men, Olympic students, doctors who save so many lives having no modern solutions or resources at hand, or who work double, and all the way down to the most simple citizen who fights everyday for a warm meal for his family. They all have my deep and sincere admiration. May all of them have a lighted path ahead

IONEL CIOCA, Stockholm, Sweden


I would  like to share with you some of my thoughts.
I am 30 years old, married, a Forest Engineer and working at a National Park in Sout-West Romania, but I don’t like the course that this country has taken. I guess there is a world experiment with countries such as Romania and if we stay and do nothing this nation has a grim future.
Romania and its’ people don’t deserve this. You came from Sweden, I  was also in Stockholm in 2010 and worked there about two months, and nothing stroke me more than the social protection you enjoy there. Everything is made for the people : to be healthy and happy.

Swedish government knows that a happy tax payer is the key for performance and development. Sadly Romania is the opposite way, here you have only the right to endure, the quality of life for  young Romanians is going down because social protection and education is deteriorating. I can not imagine how our goverment think that “it can get  better” if they neglect young people, the educational-  and health system.
My two months in Stockholm changed lots of my ideas. I wanted this experience for me. I have taken all my free time from the job here in Romania to work as a simple worker on a construction site in Stockholm.  You can imagine my mixed feelings, being an educated person and working with the shovel.

I love Stockholm, every weekend I was going alone with the bicycle to visit the city, to feel it, to smell it, to see  trees in the parks, to see ducks and deers who are not afraid of you! If I could take only a part of it  back to Romania and say: Look how they work! Look at their social protection! Look at their infrastructures ! Look how they protect the nature!
Yvette, you have to bring a little bit of Scandinavian mentality to Romania!

I was surprised that you know soo much about this country, Romania, her people and her beauties, more than the majority of Romanians. I don’t know if you visited the south-west of Romania which has an exceptional nature and hidden villages with archaic people who are carrying their lives in respect for nature, not even having electricity or other casual things that we are taking for granted.
I live in Targu-Jiu, the city of Constantin Brancusi the world’s greatest modernist sculptor, sadly better known outside than by his own people. We don’t know to make ourselves a good publicity, foreigners know Romania only by Ceauseacu, Hagi and Nadia Comaneci.

Hope one day  that you will  come and see these places, I will gladly be your guide! We need more friends like you …

Yours sincerely, Ionel.

ionel 2

3 thoughts on “Romanians in Scandinavia. Tudor Mihailescu in Copenhagen and Ionel Cioca in Stockholm

  1. Hi there! Another Romanian in Copenhagen speaking and I feel that my two co-citizens described only the good part of living in Scandinavia and only partially the gloomy part of living in Romania. There are many advantages in living in Denmark but I see many advantages also in being in Romania. It’s a matter of choice, based on what you value more. For instance, one will have a much smaller income in Bucharest than in Copenhagen but I am sure the social relations and human bounds would be much stronger and warmer than anywhere in Denmark. It’s always a matter of choice and of what one consider valuable.

  2. Yes. The subject is quite complex and there are so many aspects of the discussion. I agree there are advantages and disadvantages everywhere, and it’s up to each one of us to rate them, balance them and then take a decision. For me as well, home seems to be the best place, but these are personal decisions in the end, for everyone. In my comment above I was more looking at the objective aspects, and what positive things seen here in Scandinavia we Romanians might carry home with us (in case we actually decide to head home at some point 😛 ).

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