Romanian humour

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Romanian humour, like all of Romanian culture, has many affinities with five other groups: the Latins (namely the French and Italians), the Balkan people (Greeks, the Slavs, and Turks), the Germanic peoples and the Hungarians.


The earliest Romanian character found in an anecdote is Păcală. His name is derived from a (se) păcăli ('to fool oneself/somebody') and, since this word cannot be found in any other related language, we can safely assume that he's part of pure Romanian humour.

The Ottoman influence brought the Balkan spirit and with it other characters and situations. Anton Pann's Nastratin Hogea is a classic example of an urban tradesman. As Jewish people settled in the Romanian regions, two other characters joined Romanian humour: Iţic and Ştrul, a pair of cunning Jews, mainly seen as ingenious but avaricious shopkeepers.

With modernization and urbanization, especially during the Communist regime, Romanians needed a new character, different from the traditional Păcală, and he was found in Bulă, the tragicomic absolute idiot. In 2006 Bulă was voted the 59th greatest Romanian.

With the fall of communism and facing the harsh realities of capitalism, a new kind of joke became popular: that of Alinuţa, a sadistic and stupid 10-year old girl. Example: Alinuţa: "Mom, I don't like grandma." Mom: "Shut up, we eat what we have!"

Ethnic jokes

Jokes about the Roma (Gypsy) ethnic minority in Romanian. Recurring themes are......

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