It may sound strange to you, but I think I lived in Romania in another time. The soul of Romania is within me and the energy is surrounding me. Even when I am in Sweden I can hear the heartbeat of Romania and my heart beats in the same rhythm as Romania’s heart.

In 1985 I came to Romania for the first time. I was only 13 years old. Something stayed with me. It was the soul of Romania. In 2011 I came back, 26 years later and now being an adult I saw the country, how it had changed , but also how some things, luckily had stayed as they were before. I believe the soul of Romania will never change. It is the land and its’ people inhabiting the land that make up the soul of Romania and makes it authentic up until this day.

The world around is changing rapidly and we have the Internet in our lap, we can actually change the world, step by step, by using the Internet in a good way. We can connect with like-minded people and communities and we can, easier than before, use our talents and have an impact in the world. We need to share the good things around us and we need to collaborate ! With the Bucharest Lounge I am rebranding Romania abroad and changing the image and attitudes about Romania. It is my contribution to Romania.

The authenticity of Romania, for me, is often expressed in the shape of art that people make. The Romanian blouse, the IA, is an exquisite example of that. The IA is an example of how artistic expression has been transmitted from mother to daughter and how the soul of the Romanians, the authenticity, is expressed through the IA. The IA is a story-teller of the Romanian soul and its’ authenticity. The symbol speak to us, who we are as human beings from the beginning of time until now.

The authenticity of Romania is depicted in the magic spoons with legends, the authenticity sings a silent melody through the handmade rugs with geometrical patterns as well as patterns from nature, the authenticity plays for us in the pottery so wonderfully made, the authenticity whispers to us through the eternal, colourful icons that can be seen in monasteries and churches.

The authenticity of Romania, for me, is experienced when sharing a meal with a Romanian family and the mother tells me how all the ingredients were either picked , harvested or grown in her own, lush garden or by a friendly neighbour. The authenticity of Romania is being met by people with salt and bread, next to a fantastically , ornamented , wooden gate.

In a Romanian village we can feel the eternity of life, as if time stood still, where trees stood through all weather, all seasons, all political periods, war and peace periods, how people in those villages endured, were challenged, and still kept their sense of sharp humour. In the villages we can feel the warm breeze of infinity, of the land that is still lush and green, that offers us food to eat, without chemicals and how people live in harmony with the rhythm of the day, the season and the inner time teller of nature. In the village people wear with great pride their traditional clothes, sings, and dance the hora.

The authenticity of Romania is eternal and there are also people in the classical Romanian history that are eternal. Think of writer Mihai Eminescu, musician George Enescu , singer Maria Tanase and artist Constantin Brancusi.

I remember the first time I saw Brancusi’s monument The Endless Column depicted in a photograph. I thought “ This artist knows a lot about who we are as people, about love, hope, aspirations, and beauty”. From this moment I started to learn more about him and I visited the Brancusi Atelier and Museum in Paris three years ago. I love how he speaks to us through preciseness, love, simplicity and sharpness.

I think it’s about time that we invite the world to discover the authentic Romania and what the soul of the Romanians has to offer to the world. Let’s share those inspiring stories !

Cu dragoste din Suedia,

Yvette Larsson

Founder of the Bucharest Lounge