Updated: Dec 13, 2019
As promised, here are some more highlights and pictures from my trip to Romania as the first official Arts Envoy IPR delegate appointed by the U.S. Department of State Cultural Affairs Division and Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement.
My trip started in Bucharest, a wonderful metropolis full of culture, history and mystery.
Upon arrival, the first order of business was dinner. I ordered a traditional dish called Sarmale, which as you can see from the menu is chicken and pork wrapped in grape leaves. It was delicious.
I also had desert, another traditional dish called Amandina which is very sweet.
Our hotel served as a gorgeous home base within walking distance to the Old Town.
Here are some pictures of the hotel and surrounding areas:
I love how much everyone decorates for Christmas in Romania.
As you can see by just the pictures from the hotel, the Christmas season officially starts on December 1 in Romania, and everyone really gets into the spirit.
The country is roughly 90% Christian, so it makes sense that Christmas is so widely celebrated as part of the Romanian culture.
And speaking of Christmas...
All the cities in Romania I visited had a Christmas Market.
Here are pictures of the Christmas Market in Bucharest. This is actually the small one near the Historic old city. There is a bigger one down by the river that we never made it to visit this time.
The temperature in Bucharest hovered around 1 degree Celsius during our visit, which is a little over freezing.
So at the Christmas Market to keep things cosy, there were furry blankets thrown over the benches for visitors to sit. Here I am sitting at one of the tables.
The Historic Old City was only a short walk from the hotel, and we visited on our first day in town.
You can see the gorgeous architecture, and so many beautiful churches, many of which are being restored.
We were lucky to have arrived in Bucharest on the day of the 100 Years Celebration of the unification of the three parts of Romania.
I was struck by the similarity to Tennessee, my home state, because we also have three parts, represented by the three stars in our state flag.
Like other large cities, Bucharest does sport its fair share of graffiti. Here's some closer to the hotel on a different street.
Of course, our trip was not only sight seeing, but mainly work, combining Arts Diplomacy and Intellectual Property Education.
After a few days rest, and a special event at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest (which I was not allowed to photograph for security reasons), we began visiting University Law Students around the country.
Here's a couple pics from our first presentation at the University of Bucharest, a gorgeous facility in the heart of the city.
My new colleague and law instructor at the University of Bucharest presented me with a gift, a book of Intellectual Property Laws he helped to compile.
I had to ask him three or four times to sign it for me, because he was so modest.
As is the case with cultural exchange, it was a real treat to be able to visit with him and other Law Professors in Romania about the current state of the music industry and other IP related fields there.
I come away with a renewed sense of optimism about the state of the Intellectual Property industries around the world, simply because of the dedication and conviction of Prof. Lucian and others like him I met on my trip.
One of the students came up to me after the presentation, and told me it was the best IP lecture she has ever seen.
And she made me laugh because she said she liked my "vibe."
It's so funny to hear slang words coming from students who have learned English as their second, third and in some cases, fourth language.
These students are bright, and represent the future of intellectual property rights enforcement and education. It is an honor to have the opportunity to show them a taste of what it's like to be a professional songwriter in this modern day.
Thanks for taking this tour with me!
I'll be back in a few days posting about the Romanian Countryside.
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