In Romania, there are customs that revolve around man's three most essential human events: birth, marriage and death. We're going to focus just on the birth customs and those surrounding children, their parents and their names.
TravelGuideRomania.com says: "Birth related customs regard the grown-ups: besides parents, there are the midwife and the godparents. When the baby suffered from an illness or faced danger, the custom was to change the baby’s name into “The Bear” (Ursu) or “The Wolf” (Lupu), in hope of avoiding the risk of being “recognized” again by that danger in future. This custom also implies the idea of the baby’s “death and resurrection”." It is interesting that they would change the child's name to avoid dangers. This is a new concept that I had never come across before. That site also discusses the other customs and daily life if you're interested in learning more.
Then there is the more ancient customs found in Romanian Folk beliefs. Many of the specific things are no doubt dated and not commonly practiced today, but this article from folklore.ee is full of information regarding these practices. It mentions the birth customs this way: "The Romanians, as well as other nations have always expressed joy about the arrival of a new-born child in the world. An old proverb said: `The more children, the richer the Romanian'. So, one of the most ardent desires of the newlyweds, especially the bride's, is for the mighty God to bless them with sons and daughters."
Then it describes the very important guidelines that a pregnant woman needed to follow to remain healthy and avoid any harm falling upon her and the baby, whether it was physical or spiritual. There was much fear regarding evil spirits and becoming bewitched; these things would be blamed if the child were lost. Some of these practices may sound a bit strange to us in the modern day, but these were taken extremely seriously in order to protect the child.
Now as far as names go, I found this excellent "naming practice guide" for many different countries. Under the Romanian category, it states that depending on the occasion, names can be given in different orders:
- Personal Name + family name is typically used in conversation.
- Family name + personal name is typically used in official documents.
- A Romanian will often introduce himself with his family name first, particularly in any official context.
Common endings for Romanian family names include: -escu (meaning "son of"), -eanu, and -aru.
Traditionally, it is appropriate for a wife to take her husband's family name. Very few woman choose to keep their maiden name instead, but it does happen. Also, children do inherit their father's family name.
There are many baby names that are listed as usable in Romania along with many other counties. However, I'd like to list the names that are a bit more specific to the country. Here are some names that BehindTheName lists as strictly Romanian:
[Note: I am not Romanian nor have I ever traveled to Romania. If any of this information seems incorrect, please let me know so I can correct it. Thanks!]