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Adriana Corey, 25, and her mother, Jolene — both from Wayzata — listened from the back row. Adriana was adopted from Romania.
“My birth mother in Romania only speaks Romanian,” said Adriana Corey. “This way if I ever meet her, I can speak to her without a translator.”
Meanwhile Albu, a fourth-generation Romanian, took notes from the front. She wants to share greetings with the older generation, and maybe even folks in Bucharest, where she now hopes to visit.
“I go to a lot of different events, dinners, and people still speak Romanian as their primary language,” she said. “I want to be able to exchange small talk with them.”
George Predescu, the Romanian consul general from Chicago, said Minnesota was among the first states to receive the grants from the Ministry of Romanians abroad.
“I definitely see it as a pilot program that could be presented to other cities,” said Predescu, who visited Minnesota last week.
When the board of HORA meets Saturday, it will consider other ideas to build bridges between old and new immigrants — and reach out to American friends. It will begin by helping Predescu plan a return trip to Minnesota next spring, where he hopes to build stronger Romania connections with Minnesota businesses, universities and government.
It will host a formal gala, events for a visiting Romanian artist and composer and leadership opportunities for youth, said Nedelcu.
Meanwhile, Albu will be dreaming of a future film festival and a cultural center.
The varied ideas reflect the diverse Romanian community here, said Albu. The first wave of Romanians to Minnesota included peasants and laborers, and their grandchildren grew from that base. The wave since the 1990s tends to be highly educated professionals. The goal of HORA is to pull together people of different generations, religions and interests — as well as their Minnesota friends.
Said Nedelcu: “I wanted an organization that would bring all these groups together.”
Jean Hopfensperger 612 673-4511