Today is my ‘birthday’ but not the day on which I was born. It is the day on which, 17 years ago, I ‘acquired’ my Romanian name – Dimitrie. My ‘ziua onomastică’ – onomastic day.

Few people call me that: the priests who married us 17 years ago just three days later, my Godfather (ie my ‘best man’ in English terms), my in-laws and a few close friends in Romania who know our story. I’ve had a few messages or calls from some of them today. Other than these a few people know it from questioning my ‘personal’ email address (I have a few addresses, for different purposes).

So, today is the day of Sf. (Saint) Dumitru (Romanian) or, with other spellings, Greek, Russian, English, etc – eg Demetrios, Dimitri, Dimitrie. I adopted the latter. He’s rather like St. George but he didn’t slay any dragons as far as I know.

Seventeen is a special number for Petronela and me. I have referred to it before I think but it may be the subject of a post in three days time.

PS. Some churches, eg the Roman Catholic church, celebrate St Dimitrie on a different day.

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