The Wine Festival in Chisinau, between cultural tradition and international marketing

During the weekend of October 8 and 9, the traditional wine festival in Chisinau was held. Spread over two days, it had a busy program, involving the sale and taste of Moldovan wine and the intervention of arts groups of the country. A total of 54 wine companies, 30 food companies and hundreds of artisans were expected to attend the event. For the occasion, the Ministry of Agriculture had granted a budget of 1.1 million Lei, hoping in this way to achieve two goals: to encourage tourists to discover the wine culture of Moldova (the visa of entry was given free to all foreign citizens for a period from September 30 to October 16) and facilitate agreements between local producers and foreign investors. Many ministers and politicians attended the festivities, like the Prime Minister Vlad Filat who was invited to deliver the opening speech of the festival on Saturday at 11 am. Over the two days, producers from all regions participated in the contest "Brand of the Year", which allowed to assign them the precious label of quality.

The celebration of the "National Day of Wine" seems to be part of the Moldovan traditions. Indeed, it was established by A decision ON THE 26 December 1990 and is celebrated every year since 2001, during the second weekend of October. (Or) for his tenth birthday, some modifications could be noticed. Instead of being celebrated in the square Marii National Adunare in the city center, the festival indeed took place in the industrial and economic center of Moldexpo. In a statement dated October 5, the Agriculture Minister Vasile Bumacov spoke on the issue. He said the event had to be better organized, separated from the rest of the city, bringing the values ​​of a new concept, more civilized.

Faced with this official explanation is emerging, however, another version, more controversial: the Russian Patriarch Kiril was invited for the same weekend. Received by the President Marian Lupu, he was awarded with the "Order of the Republic", which is one of the highest honors of the state. His coming, continuing primarily for religious purposes, was also intended to maintain and strengthen ties between Moldova and the Russian people. So this visit had both religious and political backgrounds which led to criticism from the Moldovan population. It reveals the ambiguity of the country, torn between its Soviet past and his current geopolitical situation.

In Moldexpo, the festival continued without interruption throughout the weekend. A plate garnished with grilled meat in one hand and a glass of new wine in the other, visitors moved from stand to stand, long queues drawing here and there. On stage, the folk dancers performed the steps from the famous Hora (Moldovan traditional dance). Then on Sunday night at 20 o'clock, a large firework was fired, marking the end of the festivities. According to the visitors surveyed, the festival this year has been more successful than the previous year. It reflects the efforts of Moldova to further exposure of it’s culture.

Moldova finished the competition for Euro 2012 with a win record against San Marino.

The Moldovan team hosted last night at the stadium Zimbru Chisinau, the team of San Marino. The two countries clashed in the second leg, marking the final qualifying match for Euro 2012. Leaving no time his opponent, Moldova signed by the game's greatest victory since the start of the competition, posting a final score of 4-0. After the first goal scored at the 30th minute by Denis Zmeu, the score has climbed steadily. Unwittingly helped by the player of the opposing team Bacciocchi Simone, who scored a goal in his own camp, players Moldovan led to the end, closing the match with the ultimate intervention of Gheorghe Andronicus, three minutes before the time runs out.

In the stands, fans showed their enthusiasm. Wearing the colors of the country, they supported their team, exclaiming alternately in Russian and Romanian. Prime Minister Vlad Filat, installed in the VIP AREA welcomed the dynamism of the national team.

This record for Moldova does not allow this small country to access the Euro 2012. In the group E, Moldova won three victories, suffered two defeats, which gives it a total of nine points and 4th place in the standings, in front of Saint Marino. On the winning side, Denmark, France, Greece, Russia and Sweden, second best, took the last five places directly qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012. They joined with the two host countries (Poland and Ukraine) the first teams of each group (Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and England) for the draw of the finals, 2 December in Kyiv.

In Ukraine as in Poland, the preparations for the championship began. The eight host cities for Euro 2012 (Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Varschau in Poland and Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv in Ukraine) are already preparing to welcome the teams, fans and tourists expected from June 2012. The first game of the season will start in Warsaw to 18h Friday, June 8.

The Legends of the monastery of Capriana

Have you ever looked closely at the Moldovan money? On the back of each currency note appears a monument symbolizing the country's history. On that of one Leu figures Monastery Capriana. That is what encourages us to explore it.

Located about 40 km northwest of Chisinau, the village of Capriana seems to have been spared by the successive invasions and restrictions due to the Soviet regime. In addition to its wheat fields, vineyards and friendly people, the town has a beautiful monastery, built upstream of a hill. Its creation dates back to 1429, during the reign of Alexander the Good. Now, as the entire territory of Moldova, it presents the traces of the different events that punctuated the history of the country. Today the monastery has three churches of different architectural styles (medieval, Baroque and Orthodox) which are attached annexes, a restaurant, and the home of monks and of the Metropolitan Gavriil Bodoni Banulescu, a leading figure at the head of the Orthodox Church between 1813 and 1821 who made his final resting place in the monastery.

When you enter the monastery, you will discover A WELL in the middle of the courtyard. Legend has it served as a meeting place for many young people in the village. It also recalls the hard times experienced by Moldovans, who had come to draw water to supply the house and livestock. The well of the monastery is no longer used today, but the villagers, most of whom have no access to running water, continue to supply to the building below the village, not far from the lake.

After the first church on the right you will find a grave with inscriptions. IT mentions the existence of a cemetery, built following the discovery of skeletons in walled buildings of the monastery. It has undergone many enlargements, through successive princes of Moldavia, whose names decorate the interior walls of the cathedral.

Neglected under the Soviet regime, closed and converted into a hospital and disco, it was reopened in 1989 before being completely renovated from 2003 through a large renovation campaign involving the state budget and private donations. Place of pilgrimage today, it is also known for its prestigious Easter ceremony at which the doors open and visitors are greeted by a magnificent buffet stocked with food.

However the mystery remains as to the origin of its name. Many legends surround and embellish the history of the monastery Capriana. Indeed, a document dating from 1429 confirms that Alexander the Good, then Prince of Bessarabia, donated the monastery to his wife Princess Marena and entrusted the management to the prior Ciprian, which could then bequeath his name to the building. Yet another legend contradicts these writings, attributing the name of the monastery to Prince Stefan Cel Mare. Staying in a clearing to hide from Tatars he tried to fight, he would have seen a deer fleeing the threat of a wolf and have decided to give to the monastery the sweet name of this animal. (Deer means Caprioara in Romanian). Between romantic version and historical hypothesis, it’s up to you to decide what the true origin of Capriana is!

If you want to visit the monastery, we recommend starting from Chisinau, to take the trolleybus No. 8 in the bus station Opera Ballet and then down to the supermarket after the Green Hills roundabout. There, take a minibus for the direction of Capriana. For 14 Lei, you will be in about 30 minutes. Be careful though to return, the last minibus to Chisinau is at 18 pm from the village.