Today I thought to write about something different: I want to give you a glimpse of where I come from, growing up as a little child on the countryside in Romania before the 1989 revolution. I was 12 years old at the time and life on the countryside was very much the same as it was hundred years ago. Traditions were very important. The popular costume was still worn on important occasions – I had one also and put it on those Sundays when I went to church. Women took pride in their handmade work and they made themselves almost all the things around the house – in those days the shops did not really have a lot to offer: P. As for the “secrets of the trade” - they were passed from mother to daughter. In my case from grandmother to granddaughter – my grandmother taught me the basics of crocheting, knitting and needlework. And in addition, I also learned how to make yogurt and cheese, milk a cow, help deliver a calf, plant and cultivate vegetables and other edibles and some other skills that might come in handy in case of a zombie attack :P.
I look back remembering those simpler and happier times with nostalgia. Things have changed and not necessarily in a good direction. Going to McDonald is hip today and Spanish vegetables are better than Romanian ones (Not true! Not true!). You get the idea. I believe that this tendency to favor what others have and to distance yourself from you have is a very understandable reaction after decades of close borders, as the situation was during communism. But I also believe that this phenomenon is very detrimental for the identity of a nation. And to my sadness I notice Romanians that seem to be ashamed with their own roots and traditions and want to appear to be anything else but Romanians
There is also good news: I notice a trend trying to reconcile the traditions and the modern nowadays life. I notice pride on putting on the popular costume again and on preserving traditions and I read stories about popular artists that still make beautiful objects using traditional methods and motifs. As a Romanian living abroad I could not be happier. Because what is a nation without its roots, history and traditions? Not more than an empty shell without a soul.
So, let me get to the end of this post: what I will do from now on is to try to promote and make visible those who still keep the Romanian traditions alive. Today with putting together an album about the wonderful Maramures and the wonderful people that keep the traditions alive. Enjoy!
PS: all the pictures are reproduced after receiving permission from the Facebook community page “DA Traditiei DA Maramuresului” that means “YES to tradition YES to Maramures” :)