About Romania and Her People: Queen Elisabeth of Romania (Part 2)
The Roumanian peasant woman has a proud and imposing presence. She is at once respected and feared.
The Olteanca, as the saying goes, has twenty-four molar teeth. There the women wear around the head the royal diadem to hold the veil, and this lends an expression of force to the strong features, to the black eyebrows (often coming together over the nose), and to the thin lips, under which two faultless rows of teeth gleam forth. They seldom laugh, and in their eyes flashes a fire which in the eyes of the children reappears as a beaming light.
One day I visited seven schools in three different places in Little Wallachia (called in Roumanic, Oltenia), and never have I seen at once so many strikingly beautiful eyes. The most incompetent schoolmaster surely never could spoil what the good God made so perfect. The faces were alive with intelligence and interest. Nor is the son of the peasant woman in any respect inferior to the son of gentlefolk.
[…] it was the peasant woman who looked like a queen—cold and disdainful, wrapped to the chin in the severe folds of her veil, gazing with contempt upon all the Parisian costumes and bare shoulders.
[…] No mother is fuller of solicitude than the Roumanian; she is a perfect slave to her children. During the war the devotion of the women of our country greatly astonished the foreign doctors. Some of these women never left the hospital, not even at night; they cared for the poor young soldiers as if they had been their own children, saying to themselves that perhaps tomorrow their own boys might be wrestling with the horrors of death among strangers.
– Queen Elisabeth of Romania about the Romanian women