National Geographic : 1915 Oct
Photo by E. M. Newman ROUMANIAN GIRLS ARE GREAT BELIEVERS IN SIGNS The Roumanian peasant girl determines whether she and her lover are destined to get married or not by taking two pig bristles and laying them on a cleanly swept hearth. If the heat causes the bristles to curve toward one another, they will be married; if away from one another, they will never marry. summer, has practically nothing to do in winter. During the idle months they spend for daily necessities all they earned when work was plentiful. This periodic derangement of receipts and expenditures is intensified by the in flux of thousands of Serb and Bulgar workmen coming in response to the de mand for help for the harvest and for any unusually heavy construction work in the larger cities. The earnings of these itinerant laborers are sent out of the country. UNIVERSAL MILITARY SERVICE It is rather strange that the compulsory and universal military service has not stimulated manufactures in Roumania as it has in the Germanic countries, whose military systems the Roumanians have so closely followed. It is not because this service is distasteful to the Roumanian; for while he does not have by nature a war-like spirit, his great love for his country makes him ready to strike and receive blows in her defense. All young men between the ages of 19 and 21, unless physically incapacitated, receive at home or in the schools pre liminary military training. At twenty one the active service with the army be gins with two years' drill in the infantry, followed by three years in the other arms of the service. After that, for five years, the full-fledged soldier is listed in the first line of reserves, then in the second line, until he reaches the age of thirty-eight, when he is transferred to the territorials, or militia, where, during the next four years, he must stand ready for a call to the colors. It is true that all availables are not called out for the entire periods named, but those exempted by lot are listed in the supplementary service and must, under the guidance of competent officers, be prepared to respond to any emergency. ARMY THE COUNTRY'S PRIDE The roster of the standing army calls for two. hundred and ninety thousand men, armed with Mannlicher rifles.