Personal Narrative: My Family History

888 Words 4 Pages
My life history starts with my last name - Bistritzan. Bistritzan translates to swift river because my ancestors come from an area called Bistriţa which is a mountainous region in today’s northern Romania. For many years the most I knew about my life was that my great-grandparents came to Canada and were farmers. I learned Romanian culture through my grandmother’s cooking and the few words my Mosho (grandfather) would teach me.
Most of my life I thought that my family history was pretty straight forward. However, recently my eldest sister was working at the legislature building in Regina when a politician pulled her aside.
“Bistritzan,” he said. “You must be Hungarian.”
Then my sister proceeded to explain that she is actually Romanian. He asked her to follow him into his office and showed her a map of
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During this time, Austria-Hungary had a powerful neighbour called the Ottoman Empire who controlled south Romania. These empires were constantly at war in an effort to gain land and extent empiric power. Moreover, many ethnic groups were conquered during this time, creating unrest within the empires. At the turn of the century, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and in its place Romania was created. My aunt and cousins noted that to this day, Romanians in the south are have darker skin and look different than their northern counterparts. After World War One, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, along with the German Empire and East Russia were dissolved and split into new autonomous countries such as Austria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Romania’s territory was expanded making my ancestors and distant cousins Romanian citizens. Soon after World War One, Canada advertised free land to Europeans and both my mom and dad’s great-grandparents who were poor peasants took the opportunity to leave Europe and became first generation European

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