The Romanian Blouse and the Many Forms of Cultural Diplomacy

Cultural diplomacy takes many shapes and forms. The forms and ornaments found on Romanian folk blouses, called “ia” (pronounced E – A), are just the latest and probably most unusual manifestation of what cultural diplomacy can be. Unbeknown to most, the Romanian blouse is truly an universal cultural icon. Worn by celebrities, part of cultural revolutions such as the hippie movement in the 60s, loved by famous fashion designers from around the world, and an inspiration for famous artists or movie characters, the Romanian Blouses trace their origins back to the ancient civilizations found along the Danube river thousands of years ago. They preserved a part of the language of...


Thoughts on “The Interview” and North Korea

Truth be told, I was looking forward to the premiere of The Interview this Christmas season. And it’s not because the buzz surrounding the hacking of Sony, in what seems to be a direct act of retaliation for financing and producing this movie. It wasn’t even because of all the media attention the movie got as a result of this controversy. And most certainly, it was not because of the artistic value one may find in certain cinematic creations – which was probably not the case here anyway. I simply wanted to see the movie because I was curious to see how realistic the movie portrays the reality of North Korea. Continue