Romanian Rose

Sabrina is a Romanian student who moved to London about ten years ago and the subject of our portrait. She followed her mother and older brother who moved to London a year before her. Her transition from moving to London at 17 years old to be with her family, speaking very little English, to studying at an English university a few years later, is truly inspiring.

What struck us about Sabrina was her dualistic identity, her love of London playing alongside her strong attachment to her Romanian heritage. This duality presented no internal conflict, instead it grew together and worked synonymously to form her true sense of self, her sense of place and her sense of belonging. Instead of associating herself with the Romanian community, this aspect of her identity has connected with the multiculturalism of London. She said, “I love London, I love the feeling you get when you are here, I love having international friends, that’s that beauty of it.”

She spent her childhood in a small rural village, Bordușani, in Romania, which made her deeply value Romanian tradition, which her family continue to follow. In particular, growing and picking fresh food and following traditional Romanian recipes. One specific example she mentioned was the Romanian tradition Ignaț: raising a pig to kill and eat it at Christmas. Her passion for Romanian food struck us as especially strong, she even stated “I don’t think there is any other food in the world that I can enjoy more than I enjoy Romanian food.”

Anna, Charlotte, Heidi, Karen, Maya, Rooj and Tegan