The historical ties between Bessarabia and Romania and the ethnic kinship of Moldovans and Romanians are still reflected in the culture of Moldova.
The development of Moldovan culture after World War II, however, followed the prevailing pattern of the Soviet Union as a whole. The state assumed responsibility for the content and direction of all cultural and intellectual life. The theatre, motion pictures, television, and printed matter were subject to censorship and close ideological scrutiny. Until the waning days of Soviet influence, private initiative in cultural endeavours was rare.
Moldovan literature experienced the vicissitudes of Soviet literature generally during the Zhdanov era of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Building socialism and creating the new Soviet citizen were the dominant themes, and socialist goals prevailed over aesthetic considerations. Characteristic of these trends were the early prose and poetry of Emilian Bucov and Andrei Lupan, who followed the principles of Socialist Realism; later they and younger writers diversified their techniques and subject matter.
Perhaps the most outstanding modern writer is the dramatist and novelist Ion Druta. His novel Balade de campie (1963; "Ballads of the Steppes"), an investigation of the psychology of the village, marked a significant turning point in the evolution of Moldovan fiction; and his play Casa Mare (1962; "The Parlour") turned away from the concept of collectivity to probe the individual conscience.
The state gave particular attention to the expansion of cultural opportunities for the general population. Numerous amateur theatres and musical and art groups were supported. The state also attempted to preserve the rich heritage of Moldovan folk art and music through such ensembles as the Doina choir and Zhok popular ballet and through local and national museums. Economic changes and urbanization, however, undermined traditional society and curtailed artistic creativity.
oyed. These programs, as well as free elementary and secondary education, are supported by the state.