Romanian Boys' Activities

Figure 1.--Here we see an unidentiied Romanian boy from Focsany. He wears a sailor styled outfit. Notice the toy gun, a favorite across borders for boys. Notice the portrait was not made inside a studio, rare for 19th century photography. The portrait is undated, but the art work on the reverse illustrates mids-1890s women's dresses. The photographer was Alfons Kiesler.

One interesting aspect of assessing boys clothing is looking at the various clothes boys wore while participating in various activities. We have greadually acquired some information on the activities Romanian boys pursue. For most of history boys after the todler stage were involved in some kind of work, often learming the occupation of their fathers. Most Romanian boys as the country was largely agricultural were incolved in farm work. Only in fairly recent time did play and school become more important. We do not know much about play and games in Romania. Toys look similar to that of other European countrieds. Romanian schools seen influenced by the German school system. Sports became important in the 20th century. Here urbanization was a factor. We also noticed the formation of some youth groups, including the Scouts, nationalist groups, and young pioneers. This has been strongly influenced by the country's chsnging political regime. Religion is another important factor. This is a more complicated subject thn in msny other European countries. We do not yet know of any European choirs, Music seems to have been important in many families. We have noticed some Romanian music prodigies.


We have no information on Romanian boy choirs at this time.


We do not know much about play and games in Romania.


Music seems to have been important in many families. We have noticed some Romanian music prodigies.


We do not yet have much information on the kinds of parties especially for children like birthday parties. So our assessment here is limited. Many such activites were afmily gatherings, including holiday celebrations, so presumably in the 20th century there are family snap shots available. We have found a scene from a street party in what looks like a small town or village, we think in the 1930s. Unfortunately all details about the scene have been lost. We notice several children as well as two violin players providing music. It is from the Costică Acsinte collection. Hopefully our Romanian readers will provide some information on this topic.


Romania's religious history is complicated by the fact that it appeaared as a nation only in the 19th century nd the boundaries if the country have changed substantially since its creation. The area of modern Romania was part of the Roman Empire and thus Christianity developed at that time. There is not as a result an official date of Christinization as is the case for much of central and Eastern Europe. The country was alo affected by massive migrations of non-Christian peoples after the decline of the Roman Empire. The already Christianized Romanians played a role in the Christianization of the Bulgars ans Slavs. Christianity in Romania was complicated by the split between Rome and Constaninople. Orthodox Christianity emerged as the dominant denomination. Most Romanians today are Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Church played an important role in resistance to the Ottoman Turks which eventually led to the creation of the modern Romanian state (2002 census). One estimate suggested as many as 87 percent. The Romanian Communist Goverment promoted atheism, but did officially recognize several religions. The regime favored the Orthodox Church. The 1948 Law of Cults brought the Church under state control. There and controlled appointments of the Church hierarchy. There were dissenters, but the hierarchy and most priests accepted state control and the Church was largely submissive to the refime. The Eastern or Byzantine Rite Catholics (Uniate Church) was supressd by the Communist Government beginning in 1948 with the Law of Cults. The monasteries were transformed into craft centers and priests were encouraged to learn other 'worldly' jobs.. The Uniates had in the late 17th and early 18th centuries the Uniates broke from the Orthodox Church and accepted Catholic Papal authority even though they retained the Orthodox ritual and canon. They also retained the Orthodox calendar and conducted the mass in Romanian. The Communist Government in 1948 decided to shift the affiliaion of the Uniates back to the Orthodox Church. This was in part because the Government had moe control over the Orthodox Church and was suspicious of Papal influence. It also served the general Communist desire for national unity. About 1.7 million Iniates were involved. When Uniates resisted, the Government arrested 14,000 priests and 5,000 vocal laymen. An unknown number were executed or dies from mistreatment while incarcerated. The Orthodox hierarchy cooperated in the supression of the Uniates, charching that they had been forcibly separated by the Roman Church and truly belonged in the Orthodox Church. There is a small Roman Catholic community, about 5 percent. Protestants (especially Baptists and Pentacostalists) have made inroads in recent years, amounting to about 5 pecent of the population. Most of Romania's historic Jewish popultion was murdered by the NAZIs and Romanian Fascists during the World War II Holocaust. There is a small number of Muslims.


HBC has not yet obtained much information on Romanian schools or schoolwear. A few schools were estanlished as the Romanian principlities established their autonomy from the Ottoman Empire (early-19th century). Romania was created as a modern inified state (1866). As the Romanians could not agree on a Romanian to becom king, Chancellor Bismarck secured the crown for a Germn prince--King Carol I (1866). The Germany monarchy strongly influencd many aspects of Romanian life, espcially the middle-class urban population. Education was one of the many areas, if not the most important area, influenced by Germany. And it is at this time that the country began to build a modern European educationl system. We see boys wearing school uniforms in the era before World War I. We believe that this was mostly in the secondary schools. We believe that uniforms were worn during the Communist era. We do have some limited information about Romanian military schools. We also have some jnformation on the Banat during the Austrian/Austro-Hungarain era. The Banat is a Austro-Hungarian Province that after World War II was divided between Romania and Yugolavia. As in other countries, we hope to build a section on indidiual schools. At this time, however, all we have is a school portrait at a unidentified school in Timisoara 1934 during 1934. Timosoara is located in western Romania, in the Banat region. It is a clearly public school, but we are not sure what kind of school it is.


Sports became important in the 20th century. Here urbanization was a factor. The Communist Goverment after World War II gave considerable attention to sports. The Olympics and internationsal prestige became important. Romanian sports officials during the Cold War secretly gave drugs to young atheletes to ebhance their performance and delay puberty in girl gymmasts.


Toys look similar to that of other European countrieds.

Youth Groups

We have no information on Romanian youth groups at this time. There was a small Scout mocement in the early 20th century. We assume that a Fascist oriented nationalist group was organized in the 1930s, but we have no information at this time. After World war II the Communists organozed the Young Pioneers, but we have not yet obtained information on the movement in Romania. As in the other Eastern European countries, agter the fall of Comminism, the Young Pioneers were disbanded. We have no current information on Romanian youth groups atthis time.


We do not have much information about children working in Romania. The country was a largely rural country until after World War II. Thus most working children would have been found in rural areas on a range of farm jobs. Some children may have worked on estates, but many large estates were broken up as part of land reform programs. Even if not the children of estate woirkers, rural childen would have done a range of chores for their parents. We are less sure about the experience of urban children.


Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[The 1880s] [The 1890s] [The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s]

Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Smocks] [Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers]
[Blazer] [School sandals] [School smocks] [Sailor suits] [Pinafores] [Long stockings]

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Created: 7:04 PM 3/12/2010
Last updated: 11:28 AM 12/11/2015