My collaboration with Voice of America (VOA) started with an interview about my Roma identity. It continues with a series of articles about studying in the United States for VOA’s Student Union Blog. The first article is about the way American culture is exported through movies and other forms of pop culture. Starting school in Romania, immediately after the end of Communism, I grew up influenced by Western culture and democratic values. When I visited the United States for the first time, I was pleased to discover similarities with my American friends, despite the fact that we grew up on different continents. In this article I also share memories from my first very summer in the United States (2006) and describe the way I experienced the American Dream.
While I was watching American shows and movies on Romanian television, the décor around me became surprisingly similar to that on the screen. The small colored houses, with ducks and chicken raised in the backyards, were replaced by large, beige homes with perfectly cut grass, bird feeders and playful pets. The gray, block, low-rise buildings became taller, and the more I looked at them, the more they seemed like modern glass skyscrapers. Was I dreaming? When and how did this transformation happen?
The change began with the first waves of democracy and modernity in Romania after the 1989 Revolution. To my delight as a child, long Communist speeches were replaced by exciting Western shows, movies and cartoons. More