Rejoice! It’s time once again for Romanian TV News Christmas Bingo

And they’re off. We saw on the news this morning that already the reports about pensiunile care fac ultimele pregatiri pentru craciun had begun, so we knew that it was time to dust off and roll out the annual Bucharest Life Romanian TV News Christmas Bingo post.

Primii care s-au bucurat de zapada au fost, bineinteles, copiii

As eagerly awaited as Christmas itself (but not, of course, as eagerly awaited as the highlight of Christmas: The Economist’s Double Issue), it’s time once again to play the nation’s most popular Christmas parlour game.

You know the deal.

As all Romanian media outlets follow the same formula when reporting news and events, you can usually guess exactly what cliches they will use at certain times. Christmas is one, hence Romanian TV News Christmas Bingo.

Try it.

Over Christmas and New Year, tune in to the news every now and then and tick off these cliches/scenarios as they get rolled out:

The first (already on your screens on some channels) will be pensiunile si gazde se pregatesc pentru turisti. There will be reports from a pension in a village somewhere (probably Maramures) where there will be much talk of preparing for the arrival of turistii.

In (insert name of village here) pregatirile pentru Craciun sunt in toi.

Turistii (when they arrive) will be interviewed in front of a masa belsugata and will say how wonderful it all is.

There will then be a report from a border crossing point, as Romanians working abroad come home for Christmas. Bonus points for spotting the phrase:

Masinile Romanilor din strainatate sunt supraincarcate cu cadouri pentru cei dragi de acasa.

On Christmas Day itself, the news of the birth of Isus Hristos will be reported as if it were just that: news.

Some brave souls will – whatever the weather – take a Christmas Day walk on the pier in Constanta, by the casino. A Pro TV camera and reporter will be there to greet them. (This exact scenario will be repeated again on New Year’s Day).

Early in the afternoon on Christmas Day, you should expect a report from the Vatican. The following words will be used:

Papa Benedict a vorbit despre (whatever he talks about) si a zis si cateva cuvinte in limba romana (cue Pope saying Craciun fericit). Again, this exact scenario will be repeated on New Year’s Day, except the Pope will say La multi ani.

Boxing Day the action moves to the ski resorts. Zapada will be numai buna de ski. Iubitorii de sporturile de iarna au luat cu asalt statiuniile de pe Valea Prahovei.

In the days running up to New Year’s Eve, there will be reports on how much a night out in Bucharest’s clubs will cost you. There will be much use of the word ‘inedite‘ to describe the ‘surprize‘ being prepared by cele mai luxoase cluburile Bucurestene. Cue interview with manager club who will tell us how his/her venue is preparing ceva nemaivazut in Romania.

On New Year’s Day, there will then be footage of tineri dancing in one of the clubs featured the day before.

The prize for ticking off all of the above is a fortnight’s self-catering holiday in Pyongyang. Good luck.


On a serious note, we are depressingly certain that there will be a number of news stories from hospitals on New Year’s Day, as once again the most cretinous members of the population cause yet more serious injury with fireworks and firecrackers.

And, if you have noticed the similarities of this post with that of this time last year, or with our Easter Bingo competition, then we are guilty as charged.

Don’t blame us: blame the Romanian TV news channels.

  • Parmalat @ Everyone

    Watch how we’re reshaping Romania (a little understanding of Romanian language is necessary, I will try to translate):

    http://www.realitatea.net/guvernul-abroga-textele-privind-secretul-bancar-i-profesional-din-legea-de-functionare-a-dna-diicot_1076404.html

    Au fost abrogate textele referitoare la secretul bancar și cel profesional din legea specială privind prevenirea spălării banilor, precum și din cele de organizare și funcționare a DNA și DIICOT.

    The article basically says that some paragraphs of the special anti money laundering law and the DNA and DIICOT (prosecutors) functioning laws have been revoked. Specifically – it was about those paragraphs that were making reference to the banking secret.

    Now let’s get into more detail by studying law 656/2002 republished in 2012 and also called Anti Money Laundering law:

    Art. 7
    alin. (3) Secretul profesional si bancar la care sunt tinute persoanele prevazute la Art. 10 nu sunt opozabile Oficiului.

    Art. 10
    Intra sub incidenta prezentei legi urmatoarele persoane fizice sau juridice:
    a) institutiile de credit si sucursalele din Romania ale institutiilor de credit straine;
    b) institutiile financiare, precum si sucursalele din Romania ale institutiilor financiare straine;
    c) administratorii de fonduri de pensii private, in nume propriu si pentru fondurile de pensii private pe care le administreaza, agentii de marketing autorizati/avizati in sistemul pensiilor private;
    d) cazinourile;

    and onwards to letter k)

    Art. 34
    In cazul infractiunilor prevazute la art. 29 si 31, precum si in cazul infractiunii de finantare a actelor de terirosm, secretul bancar si secretul profesional nu sunt opozabile organelor de urmarire penala si nici instantelor de judecata. Datele si informatiile se transmit la solicitarea scrisa a procurorului sau a organelor de cercetare penala, daca cererea acestora a fost autorizata de procuror ori a instanelor de judecata.

    Mark, you can find the complete text right here

    http://www.dreptonline.ro/legislatie/legea_656_2002_prevenirea_sanctionarea_spalarii_banilor_masuri_prevenire_combate

    And now explanations:

    Under article 7 it said that persons detailed at article 10 (banks, investment funds, casinos etc… meaning all institutions that could be classified as financial institutions or related) CAN NOT INVOKE THE PRINCIPLE OF PROFESSIONAL SECRECY OR BANKING SECRECY when requested information by the Oficiul pentru Prevenirea Spalarii Banilor (Romanian Anti Money Laundering Office).

    Under article 34 it said a similar thing: that in case of an ongoing legal investigation, institutions CAN NOT INVOKE THE PRINCIPLE OF PROFESSIONAL SECRECY OR BANKING SECRECY when requested information by the PROSECUTORS or by the JUDGES in court.

    All these texts that had forbidden financial institutions to invoke professional secrecy and banking secrecy principles WERE REVOKED 2 days ago by prime minister Victor Ponta.

    This is how we’re changing Romania! We’re getting back to the times of Adrian Nastase when people were free to do whatever they wanted! Go PSD!!! 😮

    • Mister Rearguard

      Whenever you mention that filthy name Ado Nasaste, I lose interest. Remember when Ado was been carried into that ambulance after he tried to kill himself by shooting his own foot? The look on his boat, what a cunt eh? Pol Pots a true gent compared to Ado!

      • Parmalat

        Oh you could tell by his face that he’s a thief 🙂

        Such a wonderful guy!

        You know Mr Rearguard, when we see smart guys and we like them we caress them like “oh you’re such a thief!”. My grandmother used to caress me like that “Esti hoţ Andrei, esti hoţ!”.

        This is a different culture Mr Rearguard. We don’t hate thieves, on the contrary – we admire them. Of course, we protect ourselves from them. We lock our doors, we doubt everything that sounds too good to be true, we’re careful with our actions etc…

        But when a thief manages to break these measures of precautions that we take we don’t hate him; we admire him and tell ourselves – next time be more careful! When we’ve been cheated on the street or in a business deal we don’t go to the police. We assume that it was our fault and we weren’t smart enough.

        For example, 4 years ago I was cheated on the internet. I wanted to purchase a fake passport and found a website which was so well made that it looked genuine. It had passports of many countries available and I ordered one of Finland. The price was 1000 $. Sent picture and data and I was requested advance payment of 500 $ in a bank account in Estonia. I sent advance payment and then they sent pictures of the Finnish passport with my picture in it and requested the other 500 $ so they could mail it to me. I sent the other 500 $ but received no passport, it was a scam.

        Did I go to the police? Of course I didn’t! That was a lesson, I was 1000 $ poorer but on the hand I was 1000 $ smarter.

        This is the way things go over here. We only hate idiot thieves like Basescu and Emil Boc who used brute force to steal money from our pockets (“as of tomorrow – we cut your salaries by 25% and your pensions by 15%” – Basescu).

        Adrian Nastase was smart, he used his brains he didn’t use brute force against us. All he did was to take advantage of some breaches in the legislative system and used them for his own purposes. We don’t know how much he had stolen. But since he outsmarted us – we forgive him, we shut up and we learn.

        • Mr Rearguard

          Well what could you have told the police? ‘Oi copper, I was trying to buy a fake Finnish passport off the internet and some cheeky fucker (probably Nastase) has half inched me money”!
          ps. I never found any fresh Cranberries in Romania. But all is not totally lost. I now know of a place where I can buy the plants & seeds etc and I will grow my own!

          • Better get them planted quick then if you want them ripe in time for Christmas!

            • Parmalat

              =))

          • Parmalat

            Did you cancel Christmas yet Mr Rearguard or you just postponed it? :mrgreen:

            • Mr Rearguard

              Christmas is still on. I was just having a hissy fit because I couldn’t find fresh Cranberries. Instead I’ve looked up a great apple sauce to make using little gems like Star Anise. I am having difficulty finding Mustard Powder now for my cauliflower cheese sauce!

  • Parmalat

    I won this contest last year!

  • Andrei Pena

    Excellent. There is something missing, but nobody is perfect… “DN 1 s-a aglomerat inca de la orele amiezii” and “trafic de cosmar pe Valea Prahovei”. What’s really annoying ist that there is no info-traffic whatsoever on the radio yet TV stations are just pouring useless (and out-of-date) news about cues on the road to Brasov.

  • Jen

    Traditionalele sarmale! We always have fun with that one every year.

    • Newsreaders will also ask each other how many sarmale they ate.

      • Mister Rearguard

        Don’t they eat sarmale everyday of the year? How is that Christmassy?

  • Shocked they haven’t stoned you yet for the alleged misspelling of “Iisus”. They really insist on the double “i” there, although enjoy forgetting it in so many plurals.
    What about the random interviews of old ladies în Piaţa Matache who all nod with their big fur hats and say “acasă, în familie” when asked what’s their plan “de sărbători”? I wonder if they still do that.

    • Yes they do. There are lots of others I’ve missed out too. My son’s religion textbook by the way has it Isus (just checked).