Romanians - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Village and regional endogamy was widespread in pre-Socialist Romania. The incest taboo was extended to first cousins and second-cousin marriage was frequent. Marriage partners were sought from households of roughly similar social status. Postmarital residence was either viri-or uxorilocal, with the former being preferred. The marriage feast was generally held in the household where the newly married couple was to reside. The godparent role is emphasized in some regions. Godparents sit at the center of the head table, invite their own friends and family to the wedding, and are treated with great respect by the bride, the groom, and their families. Despite the Socialist government's requirement of a civil wedding, religious ceremonies are still common.

Domestic Unit. In rural areas three-generation stem Families predominated and are still common. Although an artifact of peasant economics, they are still functional for socialist conditions as the labor they generate enables access to the diverse but limited socialist resource base available.

Inheritance. Partible inheritance was both customary and legally mandated. A slightly larger share of the rural patrimony was retained by the household heir for care of elderly parents. In this, male primogeniture was the ideal, though ultimogeniture of either sex was more likely.

Socialization. Romanians dote on their children, though gentle expressions of love can quickly turn to intense tongue lashings and beating. Children are admonished with the phrase, "You haven't the right," suggesting an emphasis on knowing one's place. In the past children were raised to be "good householders," though today formal education is encouraged.

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