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The Black Expat: Romania Makes Me Feel Happy And Fulfilled
Samara Indi, an Afro-Brazilian woman, has been living in Romania as a Black expat for the past 10 years. Born in Ceará, Brazil’s northwestern state, she has always dreamed about traveling around the world, but she never thought she’d end up in this little eastern European country.
With a Master’s degree in International Law from the Public University of Bucharest, Samara works as financial consultant for a car leasing company in Romania.
She calls Romania her homeland now, because she loves the people, the food, the environment and the sense of happiness that the country brings her.
Samara has a YouTube channel and Instagram page in which she shares her experience. In her native tongue, Portuguese, Indi talks about the best places to visit in Romania, her experience as a Black woman there, Romanian culture, food and other things.
Travel Noire spoke with her about life as a Black expat.
Travel Noire: How long have you lived in Romania?
Samara Indi: I lived in Romania between 2011-2014 and now have lived here since 2016.
TN: How did you end up in Romania?
Samara Indi: My husband is Romanian. We met in 2007 through the former social media network Myspace. I came in 2011 to study, and returned in 2014. I came back in 2016. We got married and decided to live here permanently.
TN: What culture shocks have you experienced?
Samara Indi: People’s behavior, the language, different foods and traditions. And the climate, since I’m from the Northeast of Brazil, where it’s always hot. Here, the winter is very harsh.
TN: How is your relationship with Romanians? Do you have many friends there?
Samara Indi: Yes, I do have friends here in Romania. At first, they were discreet, which is very different from Brazil, where people are more open. But when they know you better, they change and become more open.
TN: Have you ever suffered racism? Can you compare racism in Romania and Brazil?
Samara Indi: Yes, I did. Some teenagers made monkey sounds when I went out at the mall. But it is also something that rarely happens. In general, I think racism here is less aggressive than the racism we see in Brazil.
TN:What is it like to be a black expat woman living in Romania?
Samara Indi: They are very surprised because there are not so many black people here. Most of the people look at me amazed by the fact they are seeing a Black person for the first time. Once, a Romanian lady came to talk to me and said that my skin was very beautiful, and that I looked like a chocolate doll.
TN: What do you like most about Romania?
Samara Indi: I like the parks that we have here, historic monuments, and its natural beauty. The Romanian countryside is beautiful. I also like the safety here. Romania is a very safe country compared to Brazil.
TN: What else can you say about Romania as far as it being your homeland now?
Samara Indi: Romania makes me feel happy and fulfilled. As a Black woman, I feel safer in many aspects here than in Brazil and more confident to reach my goals. Romania is the country that allowed me to be myself, overcome my fears and love who I am.