All students from Moldova are Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program scholarship winners. Click here to learn more about the FLEX Program.
Located geographically at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic and other cultures, Moldova has enriched its own culture by adopting and maintaining some of the traditions of its neighbors and of other influence sources. The country's cultural heritage is marked by numerous churches and monasteries build by the Moldavian ruler Stephen the Great in the 15th century, by the works of the later renaissance Metropolitans, and those of scholars. Tourism focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its history. Wine tours are offered to tourists across the country. Vineyards/cellars include Cricova, Purcari, Ciumai, Romanesti, Cojuşna, and Milestii Mici. The average Moldovan can live on $2 US dollars a day.
Women in both urban and rural areas carry the burden of domestic duties and child care in addition to working outside the home. As a result of tradition and economic necessity, women engage in domestic food-processing activities in the summer to provide home-canned food for the winter months. Newlyweds usually live together with the groom's parents until they can build a house in the village or rent an apartment in town. In the villages, there is a general rule of ultimogeniture (the youngest son and his family live with the parents, and he inherits the contents of the household). A good child is expected to be God-fearing and shy and does not participate in adult conversations without being asked to do so.
Due to poverty and internal conflict, most Moldovan teens are forced to grow up much quicker than their American counterparts. However, scouting and soccer are popular activities in Moldova. Teens also like to spend time with their friends.
Mamaliga, a hard corn porridge, is regarded as the national dish. It is poured onto a flat surface in the shape of a big cake and is served mainly with cheese, sour cream, or milk. The main foods in daily life are a mixture of vegetables and meat (chicken, goose, duck, pork, and lamb), but the availability of vegetables depends on the season. Filled cabbage and grape leaves as well as soups such as zama and the Russian borsch also form part of daily meals. Plăcintă is a pastry filled mainly with cheese, potatoes, or cabbage that often is sold on the streets.
Moldovan (Romanian) is the official language of Moldova. Other recognized regional languages include Gagauz, Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian. Eastern Orthodox Christian accounts for 93% of the Moldovan population.