Romania is a very interesting place. Bucharest, the capital, is the trendsetter for almost everything. Interestingly enough, most people in Bucharest like Americans. Plus, they love most “American things”.
MacDonalds occasionally run ads for “American burgers”. Something new that someone created, that to be honest, would never be sold in America. No one in America would ever buy those “American burgers”. But the advertising experts in Romania have learned that by labeling something “American” helps boosts sales.
The concept of Black Friday.
I get it, I studied business in my undergraduate studies. A number of companies are in the “red” before Thanksgiving. The sales that take place between Thanksgiving and the end of the year help propel businesses. They go from the “red” (negative) to the “black” (positive – profitable). So Black Friday was born in hopes to boost those sales.
I don’t want to rip on Black Friday as it was a fun time we use to have as a family years ago. We would often wake early and go stand in line at Sears so we could receive a $10 gift card. Sadly, I hear that Sears stores are closing all over…my guess is they aren’t giving away gift cards anymore.
Black Friday Romanian Style.
The advertisers here in Romania have seen the American Black Friday and have run with the idea, sort of. We have a national Black Friday every 6 months or so, and some stores have what seems like a bi-monthly “Black Friday Sale”. If it is “American”, it helps sell stuff. Black Friday or bust!
They have not however distinguished Black Friday from Cyber Monday…primarily because most people here do not do online shopping (although there is a growing trend in that as well).
Thanksgiving is Everywhere…even Here.
We do, on the other hand, have Thanksgiving in most Protestant churches. It takes place in the month of November although it is not an official national holiday. We tend to gather together with our ABWE colleagues to celebrate Thanksgiving, thanking the Lord for one another and for the things He is doing in Romania.
#GivingTuesday…who starts a day with a hashtag?
The one thing I don’t believe Romania has heard of is #GivingTuesday. It is a relatively newer trend (7 years now) in the United States, so you might not know too much about it either.
#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) as a way to kick off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and year-end giving.
If you think about it, it is a great time of year to have a day specifically set aside to highlight the need for giving. At Thanksgiving, we tend to stuff ourselves – and hopefully give thanks to God for all the blessing He pours out to us. And Black Friday is about shopping – yes often for others. Cyber Monday is the same – although I get the feeling that even more people shop for themselves on Monday. So having #GivingTuesday as a day designated for the benefit of those who aren’t as blessed as we are, is a really great idea.
As you enter into #GivingTuesday, we would ask that you consider those who don’t know the Gospel. For those that don’t have trained pastors that shepherd their churches. For those that don’t have a church in the town where they live.
As you donate this year, please think about the ministries that God is doing in Romania.