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The National Culture Day is marked every year, starting with 2011, on January 15, the chosen date being that of the birth of the Romanian national poet, Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889).

On November 16, 2010, the Chamber of Deputies adopted a draft law by which Mihai Eminescu's birthday became the National Culture Day, the normative act gathering 175 votes "in favour", one "against" and two abstentions.

The bill was initiated by 50 Social Democratic Party (PSD) deputies and senators and Liberal Mircea Diaconu, who signed this initiative. The initiators' explanatory memorandum reads: "The National Culture Day will be, in our vision, a day when we not only celebrate a great creator, but also a day of reflection on the Romanian culture, in general, and of the cultural projects of national interest".

The decree for the promulgation of the Law on declaring January 15 as National Culture Day was signed on December 6, 2010, and Law no. 238 of December 7, 2010 was published in the Official Journal no. 831 of December 13, 2010.

Mihai Eminescu's birthday became the National Culture Day in the Republic of Moldova as well, following the decision of the authorities of this country.

Mihai Eminescu's outstanding personality - both in literature and in journalism, history and philosophy - impressed not only his contemporaries, but also those of the next generations.

Literary critic Titu Maiorescu said in his study "Eminescu and his Poems" (1889): "As humanly as can be predicted, Romanian poetic literature will begin in the twentieth century under the auspices of his genius and the form of the national language, having found in poet Eminescu the most beautiful achievement to date, will be the starting point for all the future development of the mold of the Romanian thinking".

A good friend of Eminescu's, writer Ioan Slavici wrote: "Eminescu spent all the moments of his life working, because he did not consider himself sufficiently prepared for what he wanted to do and we have very little left of him, and from the little we do have, most of it is, in his opinion, still unfinished work, which he published with a bent heart, yielding to the persistence of others. It seldom happened that he himself was satisfied with what he wrote, and he was dissatisfied not with what he said, but with the way in which his thoughts were reproduced. (...) His knowledge of the literature of all peoples, the universal history and the Romanian history in particular, the philosophy of all times and the classical and Romanian languages was particularly vast", according to "Memories" volume (Minerva Publishing House, 1983).

Poet Lucian Blaga mentioned, in the volume "The Mioritic Space" (Cartea Romanesca Publishing House, 1936), about the "Eminescu Idea": "It is for us, for our nation, a power idea. I don't know to what extent we are succeeding in making it a power idea. For our intellectual growth, for our spiritual development, it is an essential idea".

In a recording from the Radio Archive (1955 or 1957, lasting 14 minutes and 33 seconds), poet Tudor Arghezi said, referring to Eminescu: "Talking about the poet is like shouting in a vast cave: it cannot reach him without upsetting others. Only the speech of the strings could tell the story, on the harp and sway in the distance its delicate, glorious solitude. (...) In a way, Eminescu is the most pure saint of Romanian verse. From the dramatic tumult of his life the crucified was chosen. (...) Being very Romanian, Eminescu is universal, this is what everyone who reads knows. I regret that the padlock of tongues cannot be unlocked with foreign keys (...), poetry belongs to language better than prose (...)".

In the volume "Eminescu's Poetry" (Cartea Romaneasca Publishing House, 1930), Tudor Vianu appreciated: "Eminescu's mind works with the idea of the world's origins, of infinity, of creation, that is, with the highest concepts made by human reason. (... ) There is, in all of Eminescu's poetry, a consideration of things very high and very far, from a point of view that shames any narrowness of mind, any limited selfishness. The poet's great intellectual superiority is one of the most striking forms of his manifestation and that which explains the such overwhelming prestige of his work".

George Calinescu wrote in the book "The Life of Mihai Eminescu" (Publishing House for Literature, 1964): '"Thus passed away, in the eighth lustrum of life, the greatest poet who ever emerged and will ever emerge, perhaps, from the Romanian land. The waters will dry up in the riverbed, and a forest or a fortress will rise over the place of his burial, and a star will fade in the sky in the distance, until this earth gathers all its sap and lifts them into the thin pipe of another lily with the power of his fragrance".

Garabet Ibraileanu states that "Eminescu is an almost inexplicable event in our literature. He is so great compared to his predecessors that it can no longer be an "evolution" of literature, but a leap. Eminescu is the father of Romanian artistic literature. Eminescu created almost entirely the language of Romanian poetry, having established beforehand the literary language. (...) Eminescu is more than a first-rate Romanian poet. He is beyond the dimensions of Romanian literature". ("Mihai Eminescu, studies and articles", Junimea Publishing House, 1974)

For Constantin Noica, Eminescu represents "the complete human being of Romanian culture". He added (in the volume "Eminescu or Thoughts on the complete human being of Romanian culture", Humanitas Publishing House, 2014): "With his magical name we open all the gates of the spirit. But it is not about Eminescu's works, his culture, his projects, his variants, the retained plutonic treasures or the possible systems of philosophy, it is about everything; about this extraordinary performance that a culture consciousness open to everything gives one".

Literary critic and eminescologist, academician Prof. Dr. Zoe Dumitrescu Busulenga (later Mother Benedicta) notes in her study "Eminescu - Culture and Creation" (1976): "Like a fixed star, Eminescu's work now illuminates the nation's entire sky sharing its glorious rays, showing its participation in the algorithms of universal genius". (...) "His light, of the Poet, is eternal because the actuality of the "great ones" is eternal".

***

Mihai Eminescu was born on January 15, 1850, in Botosani. He was a poet, prose writer, playwright and journalist, considered by posthumous literary critics as the most important poetic voice in Romanian literature. He had a good philosophical education, his poetic work being influenced by the great philosophical systems of his time, by ancient philosophy - from Heraclitus to Plato, by the great systems of thought of Romanticism, by the theories of Arthur Schopenhauer, Immanuel Kant and the theories of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

He was active in the "Junimea" literary society and worked as an editor for the "Timpul" newspaper. He published his first poem at the age of 16, and at the age of 19 he went to study in Vienna. Although he lived only 39 years, he left to posterity a vast literary creation - poetry, prose, dramaturgy - and journalistic activity. Mihai Eminescu's manuscripts, collected in 46 volumes (approximately 14,000 pages), were donated to the Romanian Academy by Titu Maiorescu, on January 25, 1902.

Mihai Eminescu died on June 15, 1889, in Bucharest. He was elected, post-mortem (October 28, 1948), a member of the Romanian Academy, according to the website https://academiaromana.ro/.AGERPRES(Documentation - Marina Badulescu, editor: Irina Andreea Cristea; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican)

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