Sunday, April 1, 2018

Radio Romania International Retrospective

Romania. My first memories are of an East European country behind the Iron Curtain, ruled by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. That and old Bela Lugosi films of Count Dracula in Transylvania. Then later it was Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci who scored a perfect 10 in her routine during the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Somewhere between all of this was Radio Bucharest, a short-wave radio broadcaster that regularly was received in the western United States, where I lived at the time. This would have been in the late 1960s and 1970s. Back then, they like most East European stations seemed to be best heard on the 41 metre band. When the station wasn't ranting about the communist state, there leaders and world events, there was Romanian music including their interval tuning signal, "Pui de lei" by Ionel G. Brǎtianu.

Fast-forward 40 years, there is still music and topics about Romanian culture and Romanians. All of this and more is now heard on Radio Romanian International which broadcasts their programming from transmitter sites in Tiganesti and Galbeni. Their transmitter facility also provides short-wave service to a varity of broadcasters including NEXUS-IBA /IRRS Shortwave (Milano Ventures). 

Over the past decade I have had the privilege to catch many Radio Romania International broadcasts, here in Malaysia. Reception is almost always good, and for my reception reports the station has sent several verification cards depicting the historical landmarks and scenery of this lovely country. As a bonus, the cards have come with Romanian postage stamps. 

Radio Romanian International remains the only East European station operating on the short-wave bands from their country. There are other East European broadcasters, but they have since relegated their programmes to transmitters elsewhere in the world. Hopefully Radio Romania International will continue their operation on short-wave and from Romania.

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