Romanian Culture and Traditions


What will you learn after reading this article?

You will get knowledge and gain an understanding of a number of key areas including:

·         Languages spoken in Romania

·         Religion and beliefs of Romania

·         Romania’s Culture & society

·         Social etiquette and customs in Romania

·         Business protocol and work culture in Romania

Facts and Statistics

Location: it is located in Southeastern Europe, bordering Hungry 443 km, Bulgaria 608 km, Moldova 450 km, Montenegro and Serbia 476 km, Ukraine (east) 169 km, Ukraine (north) 362 km.

Capital: Capital of Romania is Bucharest

Population: according to (2019 estimated) 19+ million.

Ethnic Make-up: Romanian 89.5 percent, Hungarian 6.6 percent, Roma 2.5 percent, Ukrainian 0.3 percent, German 0.3 percent, Russian 0.2 percent, Turkish 0.2 percent, other 0.4 percent

Religions: Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 87 percent, Protestant 6.8 percent, Catholic 5.6 percent, other (mostly Muslim) 0.4 percent, unaffiliated 0.2 percent.

The Romanian Language

Languages spoken in Romania

Official language of Romania

Romanian is the official language is Romania, and it is spoken by approximately 89 percent of the 23m population of Romania. Hungarian language is spoken by around 7 percent of the population of Romania, mainly in Transylvania. There is also a population of German langauge speakers within country who make up around 1.5% of the national population.

Romanian Culture and Society


·         Romania is a hierarchical society where age and position factors are highly respected.

·         As the Older people have earned life experience that’s why they are viewed as wise persons.

·         By age and position Romanians expect the most senior person, to make decisions that are beneficial and that are in the best interest of the group.

·         Titles denote respect and titles are very important.

·         Until use their first names it is expected that you will use a person's title and their surname until invited to use their first name.


The Family

·         The family forms the basis of stability for most people and it is the foundation of the social structure.

·         The individual derives assistance and a social network in times of need from their family.

·         Families are patriarchal. The father is considered as the head of the whole family.



·         Romanians are very formal and reserved with a strong need for their privacy.

·         Most of Romanians do not trust strangers readily.

·         They are generally quiet and shy when you first meet and admire modesty and humility in themselves and others.

·         Romanians will open up slightly ,Once you develop a personal relationship

·         Although Romanians are always polite, they seldom move to a first-name basis with people outside their extended family or very close friends.

Romanian Etiquette and Customs

Meeting and Greetings

·         Initial greetings are very formal and reserved: direct eye contact, a handshake, and the appropriate greetings for the time of day.

·         Some of the older Romanian citizens kiss a woman's hand when meeting them. And a Foreign man is not expected to kiss a Romanian woman's hand.

·         Close friends may hug and kiss each other when they meet.

·         When kissing to each other, expect to kiss twice on both cheeks, once on each cheek starting with the left cheek and then right cheek.

·         When your relationship has reached this level of intimacy. Allow your Romanian friends to determine and keep relationship with them for long time.


·         Within country of Romania people are addressed by their honorific title ("Domnul" for Mr. and "Doamna" for Mrs.) and for their surnames.

·         Friends may address each other using the first name and honorific title.

·         Only family members and close friends use the first name without appending the honorific title.


Gift Giving Etiquette

·         If you are invited to a Romanian's home for dinner and lunch, bring chocolates, flowers, or imported liquor to the hosts.

·         Even numbers are used for funerals that’s why give and odd number of flowers.

·         Carnations and Roses are always well received.

·         A gift that is given for the children is always appreciated.

·         Gifts are generally opened on the spot when received.


Dining Etiquette

·         If invited to dinner arrive on time.

·         Up to 15 minutes late you may arrive for a party.

·         You might wear dress in clothes to the office.

·         Check to see and be aware if there are shoes at the front door. If so, remove yours.

·         Expect to be treated with respect and great honour.

·         Table manners follow established protocols of good behavior and good manners.

·         There may be a seating plan that’s why wait to be told where to sit.

·         Table manners are Continental -- hold the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left hand while eating.

·         After eating leave your napkin on the table. And don’t put it in your lap.

·         Before you begin eating wait for the host or hostess to say "pofta buna" (good appetite).

·         When eating always keep your hands visible. On the edge of the table keep your wrists resting.

·         Expect to be offered the second and even the third helpings.

·         You will have to insist that you cannot eat any more and stop eating, as refusals are seen as good manners and are not taken by the invited persons seriously.

·         It is acceptable to soak up extra sauce or gravy on your plate with your bread.

·         Cross hour knife and fork on your table to indicate you have not finished eating.

·         When you have finished eating and want to eat anymore, place your fork and knife across your plate with the prongs facing down and the handles facing to the right.

Business Protocol and Etiquette

·         The country of Romania is still governed by a great deal of bureaucracy.

·         If you want to cut through the red tape personal relationships are crucial.

·         Much business in Romania involves overlapping local bureaucracies, which make conducting business a time consuming process that requires perseverance.


Building Relationships

·         Romanians prefer to do business with those people who are down-to-earth and do not brag about their financial achievements or accomplishments.

·         In all situations they pride themselves on using proper etiquette and expect others to do the same.

·         When they feel any doubt, start out in a more formal style and allow your business colleagues to progress the relationship to a more personal level.

·         You will be treated with utmost formality if you are not from their family or not a close friend of them.

·         Once your Romanian colleagues get to know you properly, they will think of you as an insider (as their family member or close friend), which lets them treat you more informally.

·         This is not a process that can be rushed it works slowly and with the passage of time they get to know you.

·         It is with you personally once a relationship has been developed not necessarily to the company you represent. Therefore, if you leave the company and resign to the job, your replacement will need to build their own relationship. If at all possible in this situation, introduce your replacement to those with whom you do business.


Business Meeting Etiquette

·         Appointments are very necessary and should be scheduled 2 to 3 weeks in advance for meetings, preferably by letter.

·         In July and August it is often difficult to schedule meetings, which is a common vacation time within country and enjoy time with families.

·         During the two weeks before and after Christmas and the week before and after Easter Businesspeople are often unavailable.

·         Arrive on exact time and be prepared to wait.

·         In entrepreneurial companies Punctuality is common or those that frequently do business in the international arena.

·         You will most likely be kept waiting, when dealing with state-run companies.

·         Meetings follow old-world rules of courtesy and meetings are generally formal.

·         Wait to be told where to sit there may be seating plan or there is often a strict protocol to be followed.

·         Until the most senior ranking Romanian does don’t remove your suit jacket or don’t remove without permission.

·         Expect to spend time getting to know people properly before delving into the business purpose of your visit.

·         Presentations should be easy to understand and should be factual.

·         To back up your conclusions include facts and figures.

·         Avoid hyperbole or making exaggerated claims.



·         Business is hierarchical that’s why decision-making power is held at the top of the company.

·         Most of the decisions require several layers of approval. At times it may appear that no one wants to accept responsibility for making the decisions that’s why there may be long time taken to make decisions.

·         To accomplish a simple task it may take several visits.

·         Romanian people can be tough negotiators.

·         Romanian people are concerned about being taken advantage of by foreigners.

·         For meeting and negotiations hire your own interpreters.

·         Base sales on confirmed, irrevocable letters of credit. Use local banks that are correspondents of the western banks.

·         Romanian people have a tendency to tell others what they think they want to hear.

·         Avoid high pressure sales tactics or confrontational behaviour.

·         Decisions are easily reversed.

·         An indirect negotiating style is used. And being too direct is viewed as poor manners.

·         Contracts function as statements of intent. It is expected that if circumstances and situations change, the contract will accommodate the revised conditions that is made with free will by both parties.

·         Do not change the members of a negotiating team before a decision is reached or the relationship-building process will have to begin anew.


Business Card Etiquette

·         Without formal ritual business cards are exchanged.

·         Include the founding date on your business card if your company has been in business for more than 50 years. Romanians are impressed by stability.

·         Have one side of your business card translated into Romanian.

·         Any advanced university degrees include on your card.


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