Romanians collected many things that American teenagers wouldn’t have thought worth collecting or were collected more by previous generations here. One thing I haven’t come across is soccer or other sports cards. Instead people collected the tickets. Not much LEGO, very few Walkmans (tapes weren’t sold in stores) no Gameboys or Nintendo (no batteries in stores and TVs were black and white with color tv only for export) Some did have VCRs and Western movies. So what did people collect?
Balazs in Oradea writes, “I was a stamp collector when I was a kid; here in my town were a club for stamps collector where has a meeting every Sunday. There we find a lot of stamps, even Americans, but there were some old guys who sale the mostly the very nice designed Arab stamps, and the kids like me bought many of them. For a Christmas I got from my parents 2 albums full of stamps that made me very happy at the time. In Oradea also were an official philatelic shop where you can buy new apparels or envelopes with many stamps and surprises.”
Balazs continues, “Other stuff we collected: choco wrappers [chocolate bar wrappers], napkins. Matchboxes (the toy cars; very rare in Romania) [Rock] bands on buttons and other artists, audio tapes (original ones had big value to us) and posters and articles with our favorites”
Codrut from Bucharest writes, “One of my grandfathers was a stamp collector, so I collected stamps. Other things I collected were bottle caps, chewing gum inserts and matchboxes.”
Codrut says. “Other people collected empty cigarette packs, drink labels, post cards, coins and banknotes.”
I will dedicate two more entries to the collection of books and recipes.
Here are some more things Romanians collected during Communist days:
Romanian made glass Christmas ornaments, folk art, records, maps and postcards-to travel vicariously (the state held passports and limited travel) magazines, enamel commemorative pins and badges, comics and stickers, and bottles (seltzer, beer and mineral water) and especially crystal and porcelain figurines.