Eastern European countries are those that reside in the Eastern portion of Europe. This term is used largely colloquially and is not simply defined being highly context dependent (whether somewhere is ‘Eastern’ depends very much on your location. The United Nations Statistics Division described Eastern European countries as ‘Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary and Moldova’. Colloquially, many people would consider Eastern Europe to be all those countries East of Germany – Poland onwards. Of course many of the other differences in Western and Eastern European lifestyles and cultures can be seen as being a result of the differences in climate and geography that impact many other areas of Eastern European life.
Some definitions of Eastern European countries describe the concept of Easter Europe as being a cultural phenomenon rather than solely a regional or geographical one as the name would suggest. This is a controversial subject, but here the characteristics of Eastern European countries are considered the differences in religion, economy, culture and politics when compared to those in the West. Other definitions are related to the cold war and describe Eastern European countries as those in the Eastern Bloc and all those that came under Soviet influence at the end of WW2.
Those visiting countries largely considered to be Eastern European in nature then can expect a wholly different experience from Western Europe. Whereas Western European countries are similar to Northern America in terms of culture and politics, Eastern European and Central European cultures are more likely to have differences in the cost of living, their traditions, their climate and their religions and might be more similar to India or other countries in that region. Visiting Eastern European countries then can provide a more affordable holiday as well as a more interesting one politically and culturally for Westerners.
The earliest reference to Western and Eastern European divisions was during the Roman Republic. As the Roman empire expanded across Europe, there appeared to be a division between the reek speaking Eastern provinces and the Latin speaking Western provinces. This division was then further cemented during the late middle ages and the late antiquity. The Middle Ages began after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, while the Eastern Roman Empire, known also a the Byzantine Empire, survived for a subsequent thousand years. During this time there was further a division in Christianity across East and West Europe in 1054 resulting in two different branches of Christianity – the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in Eastern European religion. The Mongols would then invade many Eastern European countries resulting in yet more differences.
This post was written by admin on November 2010