THINK LOCAL: CLARA MORARU
“ IT WAS QUITE NATURAL”
Resident in Luxembourg for 13 years, Clara Moraru gives her insight into living and working in the Grand Duchy.
CLARA MORARU: the associations scene is much improved
Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: David Laurent/Wide
Clara Moraru owns training and translation firm Languages.lu. She grew up in Sibiu, in the Transylvania region of Romania, which is also known by its German name Hermannstadt. While working on her master’s degree, she took a series of progressively longer assignments from Luxembourg’s ministry of culture. After tastes of Brussels and Rome, she settled permanently in the Grand Duchy.
AG: What was the most surprising thing you discovered? CM: There were not a lot of things going on here in terms of non-profit associations. If we talk about women, there were really no major organisations. When I was 12, I started my first club, a book friends’ club, and I’ve very much been involved in associations all my life. When I graduated and started my company, it was the time AMCHAM started to be active. It was also the time, in 2004, that I was a founding member of Fédération des Femmes Cheffes d’Entreprises de Luxembourg, for women who own their own companies. In 2007, I was founding member of another one, Femmes Leaders du Luxembourg, [because] it was surprising there were not so many activities going on. AG: Did studying locally help with your integration? CM: It was a really fantastic way of meeting people and getting to know them better. They’re still very good friends and most of them are Luxembourgers. Most of them have an executive position, so it’s good when you need some advice or you need some help. Actually, some of my first contracts were from friends, and it’s still the case now. For business, it’s very good when people know who you are, the values you share. Then they trust and give you business as well.
AG: How did you become connected with Luxembourg? CM: I was working on different projects for the “House of Luxembourg” in my city. In that area, there was a [mass] immigration of people from what is now Luxembourg in 1143. My team recorded different people in the area of Siebenbürger, who speak something like Luxembourgish, called Saxon. There are very many similarities. Actually you can speak to each other, even today. There are not a lot of people who still speak Saxon, because they got older and younger people rather speak German. AG: Why did you end up staying in the Grand Duchy? CM: I started an MBA at Sacred Heart University. When I finished in 2003, it already had been quite a long time since I’d come to Luxembourg. I had most of my friends here. So it was quite natural. I started my company here when I graduated.
AG: Do you have to be fluent in Luxembourgish to be well integrated? CM: I think it’s quite difficult to be fluent, but conversational? Definitely, it’s very helpful. Of course the reason why you’d learn is only if you have a long term commitment to living in the country, otherwise maybe there’s not enough motivation. Personally I didn’t start to learn Luxembourgish until I knew that I was going to stay here for a longer period of time. This was after about six years, because I didn’t know at the beginning! AG: What’s a good way to learn Luxembourgish? CM: Get a Luxembourgish boyfriend or girlfriend! That’s a perfect way, really. If you have the possibility, if you meet the right person, it’s the best! If you’re already committed, what I personally recommend is individual tuition. People go to group courses, and that’s great. In the beginning, it’s also one of the possibilities to make friends. AG: Any pet peeves about the international community? CM: I think it’s very annoying when you hear people complain continuously about Luxembourg: we don’t have a lot of night life. If you’re here for three months or ten years, just try to get the best out of this experience of living in Luxembourg.
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26.09.2011 15:05:05 Uhr