In this blog post we will talk about locals and crafts in Romania.
If you travel in Romania you will be surprised to see that this is a country where you can still meet craftsmen. Meeting locals, interacting with them, and watching them do their work, is worth it.
Traditions always played a big part in Romania’s history and culture. From early days, locals did pottery, knitting, spinning wool, designed carpets, wooden gates, and all kids of items necessary for the everyday life.
Why are traditions so important?
Life started in the rural areas and it was pretty basic. From there, it developed continuously and with it, local crafts started to grow slowly. In the rural areas in Romania, everybody knew how to do something; and locals still do. For instance, spinning wool, designing clothes and carpets, making pottery, making local brandy. All these have been passed from generation to generation. This is the basis for the culture of a country.
Locals and crafts go well hand in hand. The locals who know how to do stuff can be found everywhere in Romania. You just have to know how to look for them.
Locals and crafts in Maramures
If you travel in Maramures for instance, you will find craftsmen who make wooden gates and palinca (plum brandy). But that is not all. You will also meet the woman who is spinning wool, Floarea (she is 85 years old). Or, you will meet locals who can tell you stories about how they worked in the coal mine for years and years. Everything is very captivating.
One thing worth doing in Maramures is going to the local fair in Sugatag. There you will see how people meet and talk and sell, and negociate, clothes…and animals. Everything is very lively and it is a true experience. You might even buy some handmade clothes from the locals. The custom says that after you buy, as a thank you, the seller will offer you some money for coffee :).
The local fair is a real treat for any photographer. The locals will usually wear traditional clothes (it is a fair, right?) and they will try to get the best price for almost anything. This is also a social thing. People from the area of Maramures meet there for a drink and some grilled pork. Sounds good, right?
One thing you definitely should not miss in Maramures is the food! There are plenty of good places to eat in Maramures but it is always good to know the right people. Like this lady here :).
A good meal deserves a good drink too. Plumb brandy is on every table, in Maramures. Some people, like this old man, will challenge you for a palinca roulette!
To be continued!