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Monday, September 18, 2006
Teenagers' Take on Alcohol, Tobacco and Work Abroad

According to a recent migration tendencies survey conducted on teenagers (high-school students), one out of ten teenagers wants to work abroad. The survey was performed by the Philosophy- Sociology of the History Faculty within the "Dunarea de Jos" University in Galati and the results were published in the Evenimentul Zilei daily newspaper.

The most powerful reason to work abroad (given by 43% of the respondents) is earning more. Teenagers are convinced they would be paid more abroad than in Romania. Although 85% of the high-school students intend to continue their education, most of them are also thinking about working abroad after university graduation.

Of the respondents’ families, 62.3% have low incomes of up to 300 euros per month. Almost a third of these teenagers are decided to get a job immediately after finishing highschool. The original article in Romanian here and a part of it in English here.

The same Evenimentul Zilei published a second survey (Ro only) in today’s issue, with even more dangerous results. 20% of the girls and 27% of the boys with ages between 13 and15 are smokers. Moreover, 80% of young people aged 15-19 admit to having had alcohol in the past year.

The newspapers stated that most of the young people wanting to work abroad take after their parents. Most of them have at least one parent or relative working abroad. Is it the same in the case of smoking and drinking alcohol? Is the consumption of these two poisons so normal here that even 13 year olds are taking up such bad habits?

I have seen such children smoking on the street. They look so unnatural with cigarettes in their hands. They also frighten me. By the time they are 20, they would have been smoking for 7 years. What is there to do to stop them? A good anti-smoking campaign. One presenting all the damages and one aimed to adults and children as well.

What have we done against smoking? Well, we start prohibiting it everywhere. In my opinion, that is not a good idea. Outlining the state of being a smoker would be better. Separate seats, separate restaurant sections and a lot of campaigns fighting the smoking phenomenon.

These children are brought up in environments where parents, friends or relatives are smoking and who drink occasionally (weekends, parties, birthdays, holidays etc). They grow up to consider smoking and occasional drinking to be the real deal, the normal and beautiful life. I guess we all remembered the mixed parties, children and parents as well, sharing the same room and paying attention to everything our parents did.

If you see all those around you smoking and drinking, don’t you find it normal? Also, would you believe someone who smokes when he/she says smoking is not good for you? Thus the need for campaigns.

As for better wages and young people choosing to work in Romania, that’s a far more complicated issue. We should first acknowledge it, understand the reasons for it and work on them. What surprises me most is the similarity of reasons to leave. Seems like a tape replayed over and over again: earning more. What happened to the adventure spirit? To first studying abroad? To just visiting and striving to get a better salary here? The financial side of our existence is really becoming so obvious!

Tags: Romania, Romanian Teenagers, Smoking, Non-smoking, Alcohol Consuption, Working Abroad, Migration Tendencies

posted by Alina @ 1:55 PM  
  • At 9/20/2006 11:46 PM, Blogger bart said…

    alina, don't worry too much... people are so sensible once they see the facts, the job before us is making sure the people see the facts for what they are, outside the propaganda of vested interests...

    there's much sadness, yet also much hope because the things one doesn't know yet can be learned so quickly in todays internet age...

    keep well...

  • At 9/21/2006 7:41 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    True, the Internet is a powerful resource, Bart, if you know how to use it. I am not worried, just pointing some disturbing facts and hope for the best.

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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