87 What Does It Mean to Live In Moldova?

What Does It Mean to Live In Moldova?

Posted on November 22, 2012 by team

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. But every tourist who comes there decides by himsilf/herself if it is true or not. However it has been called “the poorest” for some years by mass media. You are about to travel along the remote places of Moldova, its villages and cities.

There are two types of roads in Moldova: mud is dry and mud is sodden.

Their pension is about 38 euros.


They still use horses for transportation, there are a lot of them in every village. Not everyone can afford a car.



People protect their crops by themselves.

The most usual fields here are with corns, sunflowers, grapes.


They drink a lot in villages. The reasons are lack of jobs, home winemaking.

Even if you ask to give you some water, you are given wine.

These people are religious. Crosses can often be seen as well as symbols of crucifixion.


They want to be in friendly relations with Russia. Members of almost each second family go to Russia for earning. Russian is taught at school. Young people have no much practice while the Soviet generation can speak it fluently.

Many farms have been abandoned since the Soviet times.

This is the Dniester and the bank of Ukraine.


It must be mentioned that the Moldovans are the most hospitable after the Caucasians.

Houses are decorated with national elements.


Transnistria, Ukraine and Moldova unite here.


This is a monument to V. Lenin. They do not remove such monuments, who knows what can hapen tomorrow…

Hominy is the national dish made of corn flour.


It is an ancient fortress in Soroki.

This monument is called “The Cadle of Gratitude”. It is erected over the Dniester. It is one of the most important constructions in the modern history of Moldova. It symbolizes a revival of the Moldovan culture. This monument is devoted to all ruined monuments of the long-suffering culture.

Their apples are so tasty!

It’s a view from the terrace of “the Candle of Gratitude” at the ancient Dniester separating Ukraine and Moldova.

Moldova proves that poverty can be beautiful as well.

via 3boi

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87 responses to “What Does It Mean to Live In Moldova?”

  1. skopeil says:

    seems like in the 1920’s..but this country is beautiful.

  2. Gregory says:

    The Cadle of Gratitude is so amazing – wanna see it

  3. robin yates says:

    many countries worldwide have the rich at the top and the poor at the bottom, sad but true

    • SSSR says:

      There is nothing wrong with that,as long as the rich don’t interfere in a bad way with the poor.Not all of the rich are arrogant A******s.They wen’t to college so they could have better lives,and some donate to the poor and charity’s.Most of the poor can up their living standards if they wan’t to!I am not concerned about how the rich live because this world needs doctors and dentists ect!However politics can always improve!!

  4. Doug Mein says:

    Thanks very much for a wonderful photo which I enjoyed very much. I have visited Moldova twice (total two weeks), many years ago. I would like to return their one day but sadly it doesn’t look like things have changed very much. The people are some of the friendliest I know!!

    Doug Mein near Toronto, Canada

  5. Nergol says:

    You can laugh all you want, but when the debt bomb explodes, the Euro collapses, and the “civilized” people of Western Europe are hacking each other to pieces for food because none of them knows how to farm or live off the land anymore, the people you see in these pictures will be just fine.

    • CZenda says:

      “Whaaat? End of the World? Again??” (Rincewind)

    • banana says:

      You are taking it to extremes but I see where you are coming from. West Europe has skipped a part of its regular cycle (neighbourhood war every 30-60 years). Nobody knows what the reaction will be when an economic downturn becomes an economic collapse. High levels of social fragmentation from drugs, alcohol, immigration and family break down are not being dealt with. And this is while we still have funds and a nice atmosphere to sort it out.

    • John says:

      Westerners know quite well how to farm, that’s why we export food to the rest of the world. If you’re waiting for the collapse of farming in USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, you’re going to be disappointed…

      • cris says:

        farming with machinery is different to farming with a horse and by hand, something Westerners don’t know how to do any more and that is what he meant.

  6. AAA says:

    Moldova looks like this because of the Soviet ocupation and now because of the russian influence.
    In a few years Moldova will be part of the NATO and EU so the russians will be just a bad memory.
    The roads and all the infrastructure will be made in Moldova by EU and Romania, not by Russia

  7. lortea says:

    “They dislike Romanians, want to be in friendly relations with Russia.” Buahahahahahaha!

  8. xm3 says:

    seems like Poland in the 80’s

  9. Jim-Bob says:

    Poverty is relative. In some ways, these people are more free than the typical Westerner since they are not living lives of credit fueled excess. Plus, they are not spiritually bankrupt and leading meaningless lives in search of the next trivial consumerist diversion. In some ways, I envy them.

    • John says:

      I’m sure most of them, especially the young ones, would have no problems trading places with you should you like to volunteer.

    • America says:

      “Poverty is relative”, it is still poverty. And it is still a yoke around your neck that limits your freedom just as is living on credit. My guess is they would envy your kind of freedom moreso then you do theirs.

  10. Taurus says:

    “They dislike Romanians, want to be in friendly relations with Russia. Members of almost each second family go to Russia for earning” :)) Really? Have you noticed that all the signs indicating settlements are written in Romanian (with Latin alphabet): Micleușeni, Nimereuca, Chișinău, Soroca. This is also the case for educational facilities: Liceul Teoretic A. Pușkin (A. Pushkin Theoretical Highschool) and even public bars: Cafenea Nistru (Dniestr Cafe). Moldavians cannot hate Romanians because they ARE Romanians. The only people in Moldova who hate Romanians are ethnic minorities who don’t belong in Moldova! Romania is full of Romanians born in Moldova! ER, please change or delete those lines. I really respect this blog and read almost every article, so please pay some respect yourself!

    • Chris says:

      I dont know what is wrong with the Russians, Romanians have fought side by side with them against the Turks and Tatars and they cause all this problem with Moldova. They should be settling the Russian far east which is in danger of being overrun by the Chinese. Instead of supporting and helping their Orthodox brothers they are trying to take land from them. Big mistake on your part Russia, you could of done much better with Romania as your ally that cause problems.

  11. Catalin says:

    I went from Romania to Moldova last Sunday.I spoked my own language all the way, from the border to stores, oil station everyway. It’s a miracle how two people that are “so” different speak the same language, have the same habits, love the same thing and respects the same values

  12. Ross says:

    The only thing that causes national poverty in modern times is corruption. The less corruption a country has, the higher their standard of living. Check the list of the poorest and richest countries in the world and you’ll see the connection.

  13. asdx says:

    “They dislike Romanians”, they ARE Romanians!

  14. Bauta says:

    Looks like good, fertile soil. Normally, this is a fine precondition for at least some wealth !

  15. adicontakt says:

    who sayes that the moldavian peopel hate romanians ? i think the russian people. moladavians speak and write the same languge like the romanian.russia back in time send a lot of people in from moldavia (bessarabia) in siberia and “filled”the country with russians . transdniestr is not a country is a piece o moldavia , no one except russia accept that .

    • guest says:

      Transnistria was never part of any form of Moldova before the USSR. It was created by Moldovan Communists from a piece of land that was part of Rus, Lithuania, Poland, then Russia to stage a Communist revolution in Moldova, which was outside the Soviet Union.

  16. ProudGerman says:

    They do not miss Soviet Union Regime of oppression, I would destroy the Lenin statue.

    • Moksha says:

      You pig, Soviet system was the best.
      Now your pussy US system is killing people with tension consumerism and stress of everything.
      Hitler was great, but Russian should fuck Germans again to teach them.

  17. Piotrek says:

    “They dislike Romanians, want to be in friendly relations with Russia.”

    I see that not much has changed since USSR and Russian propaganda is still for brainless people.
    All nations around the world are eager to join “the third Rome”/”the peace loving SU” etc …

  18. mitch says:

    It’s weird that they hate Romanians and yet public signs aren’t written in Cyrillic, or at least that’s what your photo’s captured.

  19. andy says:

    while photos are great, the article is obviously biased. Saying that they love russians and dislike romanians when half the population has romanian citizenship and consider themselves romanian is obviously wrong. And to call Transnistria a “state”!?!?
    Again, the author is clearly biased, clearly russian. You could have tried to refrain from commenting and limit yourself to only observing. this would have been much more enjoyable.

  20. Nobody says:

    Moldovans are dead, Stalin killed them. Only Gypsies, Romanians, and Russians left.

  21. Taurus says:

    Thanks for removing those untrue lines, ER. I am Romanian and i want Romania and Russia to be very good friends, like the Orthodox sisters they are. I love Russian culture and language, but I’ll never abandon the truth: Bessarabia and Bukowina are Romanian lands! There is no Moldovan people, but only Romanians.

  22. Iuliana says:

    The article is a bit biased. Moldovans do not give wine if somebody wants water. If a Moldovan offers wine, it means that he/she treats you as a guest. Moldovans do not go to Russia to maintain good relationships with them. If a Moldovan goes to Russia, it means that he/she needs a job to support the family. These are only some cases. Finally, in this article is shown only the poorest side of the country. However, in these pictures everyone may see the zest of our traditions. In villages people respect traditions the most. If somebody is interested in Moldovian culture, is better to have a journey in our country, the nature is amazing, people are hospitable, and things are not as bad as are shown in the article.

  23. JZ says:

    I live in Chisinau, yet I never been to these places, a bit ashamed 🙁 But the contrast is large compared to capital, but it’s probably the fact that all money is being made and/or stolen here in Chisinau, these rural parts get almost no state funding…

  24. Osip says:

    Although the agriculture of Moldava appears backward, it is not so energy intensive, and appears more than sufficient for the needs of the people. They eat (and drinks!) well!
    As farmer though, I’d reccomend the practice of following the land contours with the row-crops. Better for the soils.

  25. Miluta Gaidur says:

    Cine vrea poate sa traduca…
    Nu exista nicio diferenta intre moldoveni si romani…Ne desparte doar un gard ca pe doi frati…Avem aceleasi radacini ,calitati si metehne…Cine nu e de acord nu vede padurea din cauza copacilor…
    Respect site-ul dar de data asta m-a dezamagit PROFUND…Nu cred ca mai intru pe aici daca nu isi cer iertare sau se informeaza mai bine si nu mai scriu ori din auzite ori la comanda…Pacat!!!

  26. Mike Talino says:

    Who cares about income when Freedon is in danger? Brave Moldovanians freed themselves from the chains of the Communist dictatorship. Yes it came at a cost of a dramatic drop in the standards of living, access to education, healthcare, technology etc., yes infant mortality rate skyrocketed more than ten times and life expectancy was cut by a third: but nothing in this world comes for free and freedom is one of such things. They are poor, but free and happy.

  27. PendragonUK says:

    I’m British and after reading the post and looking at the pictures I was surprised by the comments. I know nothing of this part of the world but still I like to learn. I view this site regularly in an attempt to learn more than what I see out my own door. I don’t often read the comments but on this occasion I’m glad I did. The comments have taught me more about Moldova but also of Russia, bias can tell is as much about the people writing the article.

  28. zen-romanian says:

    Moldova is Romania, because more than half of the former Moldavian Principality is now in Romania. The capitals of Moldova, Baia, Suceava, Iasi, are all in Romania.
    There are 10 million Moldavians in this world, and more than 5 million of them are living in Romania.

    To be Moldavian is to be Romanian.
    And sooner or later, the eastern part of our beloved Moldova, the part that was brainwashed by the Russians, will come home. Will be a part of Romania again.

    End of story.

    • Andrei says:

      Am fost și vom fi!

    • OmegaPT says:

      Moldova is Moldova.
      Not Romanian, not Russian.

      Has it own sovereigty and history.
      Nobody can erase its the present and its past. I believe that their respect for those both cultures is what make Moldavians unique. Even more strong of their identity conviction, with the transnistrian scar they face in their international legal territory. As they are also not anymore a province of Romania.

      Accept it.

  29. bob says:

    I`d rather live in a country like this with all it`s hardships than in this crime infested and drug addled country called the UK.

    • America says:

      Crime is everywhere in the FSU and Moldova is no different i’m sure. And they drink more then about anyone in Europe as well, so expect all the societal ills that come with that too. Photos of life in the UK’s “crime infested and drug addled” countryside and cities probably looks idyllic to them too. As you know the reality is often different.

  30. Zonda says:

    “It must be mentioned that the Moldovans are the most hospitable after the Caucasians.” Even the two regions looks the same… I think this kind of poverty you can find in all Russia, moldavia as ex soviet state make no exception.

  31. America says:

    When it comes to studies that measure peoples happiness it turns out some of the happiest people in the world happen to be people we in the west consider to be poor, impoverished. Yet it is we who are usually unhappy with the quality of our lives.

    • America says:

      btw didn’t mean that Moldovans are happy by that, just a general comment. Depending on the surveys you look fore Moldova they are the poorest in Europe, the unhappiest of 60 nations surveyed, and drink the most too which would make sense given the other two. lol

  32. America says:

    Judging be the consistency of the comments it’s clear Moldovans dislike Russian propoganda and think they are delusional. 🙂

  33. (r)evolutionist says:

    I save all pics of Lenin monuments. Thanks, ER!

  34. roma says:

    Moldova is Romania.I see here pictures only from villages..i bet russian villages looks the same way,and if u ask water they give u vodka.:)

  35. transilvania says:

    Ce comentarii rusinoase de la unii. Unde e spiritul lui Stefan, Eminescu, Porumbesru?

    Basarabie frumoasa,
    Bine te-ai gatit, mireasa,
    Ca ti-aducem petitor, petitor
    Mandrul nostru tricolor.

  36. A guy from Moldova says:

    Sadly a very very biased article, very few articles about Moldova and none are actually interesting or wroth reading… Taking a few pictures of decaying villages does not describe the country, if you go Russian villages outside the Moscow rim you will get exactly the same impression of poverty if not more, especially the drinking part…
    Saying that Romanians are hated is bullshit at best, sure there are those who do, mostly those who associate themselves with Communist Party of Moldova, mainly because of the way that this party does its politics…
    “they do not destroy Lenin statues..” – this one is funny… Most statues of Lenin were destroyed in the early 90’s with only some still standing, mainly in the Transnistrean territory…
    In any case, this article is very bad in so many ways, and if you really want to know more about the country and especially of quality of life in more developed regions – check out this page right here – http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=538485&page=22

  37. Anatoly' says:

    As a general comment the presentation in this article is by far objective seems that the reporter has a limited view and unilateral approcah. Love this country, was often there even if I am a russian I hate this “professionals” making comments on other’s house without looking at how their grandparent live in s..t.
    Shame on you!

  38. Bilaskoda says:

    The Cadle of Gratitude looks like Sojuz rocket! 🙂

  39. Astor says:

    Moldovians hate russians,people!they went to some village,took some photos and now reveal ‘the truth’ lol go to the cities too a******s, and you will see how half of the people live.

  40. Joe says:


    I must to say that I`m really interested in that country. Do anyone know any documentary movie about Moldova. I only found bad quality on utube. Please text me at [email protected]. Thanks.

  41. roman says:

    Poland 20 years ago, but without grapes ;). Still they are haven’t fast shit food from american dream, clean air and bullshit rulez from Brussel.

  42. MrFreeman says:

    It seems that a russian made this article.
    I am from Moldova, and I can say that I become more and more angry on this russians.Bothers me the fact that they not only deported, killed and destroyed people and culture, but also not leave us now! They did a crime, such as fascists, and still they were not judged!

  43. 3boi says:

    The first, i am not russian. The second, where u found in my article I said about romanians something bad? I just wrote what I saw and what people said to me! And more, when I went to Romania by train wagons was almost empty, I was alone in coupe, both ways.But try to go by trian from Kishineu to st.Peterburg, crowdy!

  44. alx says:

    If you go by train it is a one hour delay at border for change to gauge russian type to standard track gauge. Many prefers transport with buses to Romania!
    Your argument is inept

  45. Andrei says:


  46. Richard says:

    Love the pictures, in july we traveled from Transnistria to Odessa by small mini bus and lots of the landscape was like in the photos.
    I found people to be very hospitable and welcomed you into there country, i can respect the people who live from the land and coming from a country that most things are available for most people but you can’t buy happiness which Moldovan people seem to have from the music to the wonderful country.
    I travel back to Transnistria again in January

  47. anon says:

    “To be Moldavian is to be Romanian. And sooner or later, the eastern part of our beloved Moldova, the part that was brainwashed by the Russians, will come home. Will be a part of Romania again.”

    “In a few years Moldova will be part of the NATO and EU so the russians will be just a bad memory. The roads and all the infrastructure will be made in Moldova by EU and Romania, not by Russia”

    Deși Moldova a fost și va fi mereu pământ românesc, aceasta nu se va alipi romaniei in urmatorii 500-1000 de ani. Romania nu poate accepta să „hrănească” mai multi oameni fara nici un beneficiu și să folosească toți banii pentru crearea de școli, șosele și spitale în zonele defavorizate (Moldova). NICIODATA !!

    Romania doesn’t want unification of Moldova with us. That would mean a disaster for us.

  48. RANJITKANNEN says:

    I happened to read about Moldova, because of the title, poorest country in Europe. But I don’t think it is poor. It is rich by means of good people and hospitality. None of the respected Moldovans made any bad comments or insulted when this site decided to undermine them. I think I must visit this country once..

    May be there is no infrastructure, but if they are not diabetic, suffering from stress and high blood pressure, cancer, restlessness, sporadic killings of schools or the like diseases of the modern world, they are blessed more than who live in modern world.

    I hope they have good health clinics, schools and colleges.

    being an Indian, I love you Moldovans.. Bless you all with seamless peace of mind.. You all will prosper one day and still you maintain your benevolence.

  49. Erich says:

    What are the odds a 40 year old American man could move over there to Moldova and find a wife? Do people there hate Americans?

  50. Becca says:

    It depends on who’s POV it is about them being poor. Sure they dont have alot of the luxuries that the western world does, but I bet they are so much happier and at peace in life. It reminds of the Philippines. They had next to nothing but were the happiest/most hospitable group of people I have ever met. I don’t think they are that poor. Again not lots of money, but they are surrounded by friends and family, and in the end that is really all you need.

  51. Rares says:

    @Erich, yes, Eastern Europeans hate americans. If you wonder why, look into the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia. Kosovo was torn apart and took away from our brothers serbs by the americans.

    • Neal says:

      Not the experience my daughter had in E.Europe (American soldier). She said people were fantastic, and VERY hospitable. I also dated a girl from Rumania when I was younger, and was treated like a King by her family. I call BS.

  52. Sad Lee says:

    Must be proud too
    Never seen so many comments on an ER album.

    • dilish says:

      beautiful country….full of natural beauty….no noise pollution,no environmental pollution want to live that country for some times…..

      beautiful country….full of natural beauty….no noise pollution,no environmental pollution want to live that country for some times…..

  53. saso says:

    well it does not look like they are poor to me. poor are these eastern block countries that lost their way and gained nothing but plastic and rednecks to lead their countries

  54. rasmus says:

    Stalin murdered many thousands of innocent people in all countries he conquered. Soviet crimes were never accounted for unlike the Nazi crimes.
    Nowadays Moldova is still a result of Ribbentrop-Molotov plot and Stalin’s brutal aggression. I wish the Moldovans reunion with Romania, NATO and EU soon. This is the only chance they get better life.

  55. salvatore zambito says:

    I see intelligent and stupid people like everywhere in the world give moldovians the tools and they no longer will be poor only the elements of nature can destroy them likewise America.

  56. Anna says:

    “Moldova proves that poverty can be beautiful as well.”

    Is just shows that this post was written by a foreigner who has never fully experienced the Moldovan life. The pictures are taken in the most remote vilages, which clearly do not show a true picture of how poor or rich Moldovans are. Certain foregners can be ignorant and assume things, but I would suggest you take a trip into the city and take note of people’s life there, the clothes they wear, the cars they drive and the holidays they take… then tell me that moldova is a poor country.

  57. Elizabetta says:

    Oh and my grandparents always said they were born in Bessarabia not Moldova and didnt associate themselves with Romanians. I was born in Moldova, but havent been there since 1991, when intelligent Moldovians decided to divorce him 400 years later from his non moldovian wife! INSANITY!

  58. Andrei says:

    After reading some of the comments about Moldova is in fact Romania just stop. Why do you hate your own country ? If you consider yourself a Romanian go and live there, but please do not call there rest of the population Romanians. I was born in Moldova and consider myself a Moldovan; in fact, according to a survey, around 80% of the whole country do in fact consider themselves Moldovan not Romanians. Why doesn’t anyone talk about Romanian occupation in early XX century? When they murder 10 % of entire population ? Our so-called-brethren thought Moldovans beneath them, no wonder my grandmother hated them. They were mistreating children in schools for no reasons, like hitting them with a ruler, and things along those lines.

    So what I’m trying to say is that MOLDOVANS aren’t romanians, we were came about before them, earliest documentation of the country dates back to XIII century, while Romanian was created much later and it is our language that they speak.

  59. Chernobyl says:

    I am from Romania and I think Moldova is a bit like Romania…Moldovans are not Romanians,they are Moldovans.

  60. Cata says:

    Andri and Anya sunteti doi spalati pe creieri.Mie sila de voi cand vad ce porcari puteti scrie,noi romani v-am omorat pe voi moldoveni ,asa v-au invatat la scoala ,asta e istoria care va fost predata??Mie sila si de politicieni nostri care incearca sa va scoata de sub mizeria numita rusia .De aia sute dintre ai vostri vin sa invete in ROMANIA ,vin sa lucreze in ROMANIA, de rai ce suntem,sunteti niste tradatori.Si ca tot vorbim de istore masacrele de la Fantana Alba sau de la Razeni va spune ceva,sau zecile de deportari in siberia?? probabil ca nu caci voi a-ti invatat istoria pe care au vrut-o tovarasi.Puneti mana si invatati istoria adevarata nu porcaria aia pe care o numiti voi istorie.Zeci de conationali de ai vostri,de romani ,au murit din cauza rusilor si voi veniti acuma si ii ridicati in slavi sa va fie rusine.Dar stau si ma gandesc ,probabil ca aveti dreptate ,voi nu sunteti romani voi sunteti semintiile rusilor pe care tovarasi i-au adus in locul romanilor OMORATI miseleste ,in locul romanilor scosi din casele lor cu forta de catre tatucul stalin.

  61. Marie says:

    im from moldova and i love my country, even though its poor,people still ahve food, clothing and are happy….its not like the rest of the european countries, it has its own culture and beautiful, natural countyside, proud to be moldovan!

  62. Marie says:

    im from moldova and i love my country, even though its poor,people still have food, clothing and are happy….its not like the rest of the european countries, it has its own culture and beautiful, natural countyside. very friendly and generous people. Proud to be moldovan!

  63. Michael Peters says:

    I live in Moldova for part of the year, but I am English, but with a Moldovan wife. The fact is that Moldova is not just one people. In the south there are Gagauzians and Bulgarians and in the east there are Russians and Ukrainians. In the Capital Chisinau there is a real mix of ethnicities, but if you want to be able to speak to all groups then speaking Russian will help. Depending on who you talk to in this country you will get different views on Romania and Russia. The Romanians weren’t exactly nice to people in this country in WWII and the east side of the country is under a Russian speaking government and Russian is the official language there. So it is important that Moldova can maintain it’s own identity and that the different ethnic groups can live together without talk about rejoining Russia or Romania. Actually we have these ethnic divisions in the UK and we have all learnt to live together. I can proudly say that I am really British having ancestors from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

  64. Michael Peters says:

    What did i just say? Lol i was drunk. Actually, i live in Paris and sadly, i am not very intelligent

  65. Michael Peters says:

    What was i saying? Oh, sorry guys i was drunk … I actually i live in France,Paris and sadly, i am not too intelligent… This is a secret! And please help i have higyene problems.. Also, i kinda like farting at my cat’s nose lmao

  66. Michael Peters says:

    Such a pity that these discussions have to be ruined by some halfwit pretending to be me. Please ignore the previous two statements everyone.

  67. Michael Peters says:

    brb busy farting at my cat 😀

  68. Geoff says:

    And the meek shall inherit the earth, beautiful place, and it looks like beautiful people too.
    let’s not get all political here, just appreciate the photos for what they are – money is not what life is about

  69. Mike says:

    Since living in Moldova as a foreigner for a while I have come to understand more about the statement “the poorest country in Europe”. I am quite certain that the official figures on average salaries are just wrong. How is it possible to calculate this when the official salary figures given by many Moldovan employers to government is only a fraction of the actual salaries paid in order to get around paying more tax. This is endemic. The whole system is corrupt. There are very poor people in Moldova, but come to Chisinau and you will see that there are also many very wealthy people.

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