Eurovision Song Contest

On my first evening in Chisinau, I was killing time at Moldcell Center, a shopping mall right on Parcul Catedralei (Cathedral Park). After having a wander around and a couple of cappuccinos to get warm, I braved the cold and heard a band playing on the park.

To my surprise, there was a good crowd had gathered on the park and many cameramen and photographers were shooting this crowd, that sang along to live music in Moldovan.

I was wondering what that was all about and also noticed many people had paper balloons, some blue, others yellow or red. I then asked someone what was happening and was told they were shooting the country introduction for the Eurovision Song Contest. Only then I realised the balloons reflected the colours of the Moldovan national flag!

Eurovision Song Contest Moldova

“Cool”, I though! After all, the countries from the eastern block are the ones that give Eurovision the flair, are the most colourful and kitsch. I was taking pictures, when a lady with a small boy asked me in Moldovan to help her light her balloon. Of course I wanted to help.

The music on the improvised stage – the steps that lead up from the park to the street – was definitely worth an Eurovision entry and I soon got in the contest mood.

Soon the music stopped and a guy on the microphone told us to light up the balloons. As we were doing it, the cameramen pointed the camera at us for a few seconds, then the mic guy started the countdown: “cinci, patru, trei, doi, unu!”. And there went our yellow balloon.

Eurovision Song Contest Moldova

Using these balloons is forbidden in many countries, as they may cause fires in forests and houses as they come down. But watching they fly away, and seeing a number of them high up, looking like yellow stars, brings a great feeling.

Last night I was happy to see Moldova’s number did well in the competition. Pity it was not reflected on the public votes – apart from those from Romania and the Ukraine, as it always happens.

The country introduction was nothing I was expecting and the shoot in the park, which took more than one hour, turned into mere two seconds on the day. Oh, well, it was not this time I achieved world fame through a few seconds on Eurovision (sad face). But who knows what will happen next year? 🙂

You may watch Moldova’s 2013 Eurovision entry by clicking here (narration is in German, sorry!). What do you think?

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