Editorial Foreword

Crina Leon

Head of The Section for Nordic Studies of the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, E-mail: crina_laurentiu@yahoo.no

The current issue of Revista Română de Studii Baltice şi Nordice / The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies gathers in its first part the syllabi of the courses taught during the Romanian summer school of Nordic and Baltic studies entitled “A piece of culture, a culture of peace” (CoolPeace), 2014 session. This summer school is an educational programme supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Financed under the measure “inter-institutional cooperation projects” of the EEA grants, the summer school is meant to strengthen the institutional cooperation at the level of higher education sector between all the partners involved: Valahia University of Târgovişte as the Project Promoter, the University of Agder, the University of Oslo, the Embassy of Lithuania in Romania, Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies. The Programme Operator of the EEA Scholarship Programme in Romania is ANPCDEFP (the National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Vocational Training).
This educational programme in form of a multiannual summer school includes activities divided into two modules: one on Scandinavian, Finnic and Baltic languages (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian taught in 2014), and the other one on culture, history, geography, law and economy courses related to the North. It also includes workshops both for the students and the staff with a focus on the exchange of good practices and transfer of expertise between the Romanian trainers and the Norwegian partners. The educational programme will be followed by an international conference which will approach some of the topics debated during the summer school from the perspective of scholarly research.
The second part of the current issue continues the publication of the proceedings of the Fourth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania related especially to cultural studies. The conference entitled Empire-building and Region-building in the Baltic, North and Black Sea areas was hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies and Ovidius University of Constanţa, on 24-26 May 2013 and encouraged among others linguistic unity and diversity in Scandinavia and the Baltic states, Nordic and Baltic identity through cultural diversity and intra- and interregional comparisons involving the Nordic and Baltic states.
Thus, the contributions published in this issue approach linguistic diversity in Finland and Turkey, in Norway and in Swedish literature (the articles written by Adél Furu, Crina Leon and Roxana-Ema Dreve), the reception of Scandinavian poetry and literature in Romania (Raluca-Daniela Răduţ and Diana Lăţug), Norwegian and Finnish language teaching and cross-cultural encounters (Raluca Petruş, Sanda Tomescu-Baciu and Ildikó Varga), ethnic minorities and regional identities with a focus on the Meänkieli speaking community (Enikő Molnár Bodrogi), as well as images of region-building in the Baltic sea region (Michael North and Marta Grzechnik).
The present issue also includes an interview from October 2013 with Professor Arne Halvorsen, a central figure in the field of Romanian-Norwegian cultural relations. Most regrettably, Professor Halvorsen passed away in March 2014, but we would like that this interview to be regarded as a small part of our gratitude shown for his efforts of promoting the Romanian language and culture in Norway.
It is our hope that the publication for the first time in Romania of course syllabi for all the Nordic and Baltic languages will be of help for other language trainers in the future, and that the syllabi of the other courses on Nordic culture and civilization could serve as a model and inspiration for trainers interested in the same field. Moreover, the scientific articles related to the Nordic, Baltic and Black Sea areas will render a more complete image of the cultures taken into consideration. It is our aim to target not only the direct beneficiaries of the summer school and the community of scholars with an interest in Nordic and Baltic areas, but also to facilitate a transfer of expertise regarding teaching methods and to answer the interest of the general public in Nordic and Baltic studies.

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