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Promoting rural culture and tradition - Issue no. 5, April - June 2010

Romanian Village Portraits of Ariujd Arts & Crafts Every stitch counts A Sculptor Of Traditional Life Rural Development Events A spring time celebration

Interview Travel Journal Discovering a Lucky Horseshoe in Dragus Traditional cuisine


April - June 2010

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3 Editorial Organic Takes The Lead

4 Romanian Village Wake Up Slow - Portraist of Ariujd

6 Interview Ms. Nadia Cella-POP

7 Events A Springtime Celebration

8 Travel Journal Discovering a Lucky Horseshoe in Dragus

10 Rural Development Planting The Seed In Today’s Youth

Promoting rural culture and tradition

w w w. r e v i s t a - s a t u l . r o Manager: Ana A. Negru ana.negru@revista-satul.ro

Contributors: Sky-Lee Jarrett (Canada) Brodie Robertson (UK), Daniel Zmistowski (USA)

Project Coordinator: Alexandra Ichim

DTP & graphic design: Ana A. Negru Adrian Andrei Sky-Lee Jarrett

Photos:

12 Arts & Crafts A Sculptor Of Traditional Life Every Stitch Counts

Features 16 Is There Still Time for Faith in Romania? 19 A Cultural Celebration An Uncommon Egg

20 Traditional Cuisine Experiencing Romanian Cuisine

Ana A. Negru Sky-Lee Jarrett Brodie Robertson

Cover: Painting by Nicolae Patru

Director Projects Abroad: Mircea Samoila


Organic Takes The Lead by Sky-Lee Jarrett

am nearing the end of a post-secondary education in the field of New Media or as often referred, Multimedia Studies. The most important lesson that I have acquired and held onto from my New Media education; is the underlying destructive effects of the mass media, as pertains to the constant and progressive rapid increase of technology and it’s powerful impact and influence on societies around the globe. Progressive technology is taking generations further and further away from the values and things that should be imperious priorities in life. We are losing the blessed appreciation for genuine human interactions, family traditions and socialization. We are losing the sacred value of Mother Nature and of our balance with the environment, of spiritual faith of simple means, and of harmony. Though we are close to losing these essential life components, they do still exist - tucked away in the hearts of the often-overlooked rural communities around the globe. The reason that rural communities have endured and survived global societies life threatening escapade into mass production and globalization, is rural agriculture. Rural agriculture is the backbone of civilization and is immeasurable to city and country dwellers alike. Romania is vastly spread with rural agricultural communities. However as in most newly developed countries, they are struggling to maintain their rustic lifestyle in the impending faces of modernism and technology. I feel that it is perhaps the view of some that because Romania is newly developed and it lags behind the highly efficient and productive agriculture states of the rest of Europe, that in this era it will remain at a great economic disadvantage. However, the once rich resources of the highly productive Western European nations are dwindling and over saturated. Not only Western Europe, many industrialized nations today are now facing the arising negative consequences (not just on resources and production levels, but in terms of health effects, rapidly fading bio-diversity, plant species, ecosystems, etc.) of their recent over productive and chemically induced agriculture methods. More over, they are looking for alternatives and people, now more consumer conscious than ever before, are turning to organic produce. The need for clean food, produced without staining the earth’s ecosystems, environments, or resources and without harming human health is imperious (Slow Food).Safe produce aside, the recognition to re-establish and protect the traditions and pleasures once found at the family table, from the ‘homogenization of modern fast food and fast life’ is becoming pertinent. This is a globally supported and expanded view gaining awareness by NGO’S with mantras such as: “To promote a sustainable model of agriculture that is respectful of differentiating environments, cultural identities and animal warfare. We need to support rural communities’ right to decide what they produce and what they eat, to encourage regional food traditions, the pleasures of the table, and a slower more harmonious rhythm of life.” As the tides of time are changing and removing the kitchen table from the picture, it is our challenge to remind the industrialized media-frantic nations t of the importance to save pleasant table manners, and the table itself, for our future generations. In context, rural farming communities provide not only essential agri-life, but also substantial life qualities that teach appreciation and value. Children raised in these communities are subject to the vital life lessons that are real and tangible unlike any classroom or computer could ever produce (i.e. in the reward of; producing something naturally from the soil of the earth, physical hard work and endurance, lessons discovered in the gifts of animals and nature, sharing fresh air and fresh produce, and generating bio-diversity). Though it is not feasible to integrate the latter experiences into all urbanites abroad, it is crucial to preserve them never the less. Romania is the agricultural underdog of Europe, but with optimism and united people it undoubtedly has the potential to take the lead in natural produce as the Western Production methods fall to the wayside. With the building up of Romania’s elite bio-technological agriculture, organic farming, traditional agriculture, and implementing quality foreign investment, rural areas may exceedingly rise. Romania has a fighting chance at the brink of a new era. It can emerge from beneath it’s own past rural agricultural challenges, regenerate the precious rural agriculture communities, and allow them to maintain a simpler way of life.The answers are undoubtedly in harnessing chemical free, natural, and healthy agriculture resources and methods. Essentially Romania stands apart as it presently has the unharnessed rural agriculture assets and vast resources to offer just that.

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www.projects-abroad.org


Portraits of

Ariujd

Wake up slow by Sky-Lee Jarrett Photos: Ana A. Negru & Sky Lee Jarrett

ne Saturday morning, in early spring, I made a visit into a little village named Ariujd. Ariujd stretches its fingers and toes into the sun. Scattered at the ends of it’s out stretched, hilly arms, the limbs of vast clustered trees reach like fingertips scrawling and curling upwards to the sky. Its body is a solidified patchwork of 14 the century cement homes, painted in vibrant colors of rusted gold and beachside ocean blue, lined with rooftops of crusted burnt orange.

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It lay on a bed of open fields, with sheets that are twisted into knotted hills and valleys of pines, the distant mountain posts rest at the foot of its bed, and they masterfully cradle the horizon behind them. Its head is in reality a little rustic child’s soccer field, with a face drawn of chalk and eyes of stones resting peacefully in their carefully chosen places. The soccer field nestles a stream, where one can only imagine that on cloudy days, the tears of Ariujd spill over and are carried away. A neck of golden dusted dirt and gravel road winds down from the field into the chest of the Village. The chest rests heavy with brick and stone, of homes and yards and towering walls and gates that breathe deeply and slowly.


Running parallel to the gravel neck, the throat, a single tiny stream that trickles down the center, saturating the sloping back yards and inner-village farmsteads, provides subtle nutrients throughout. The hear tof Ariujd beats quielty, as it exists not in any tan gible or even descriptive form, but in the spirits of Ariud’s ancestors and history. It is ancient and wise, dating back to it’s founding year of 1468. And proudly home to the oldest house to ever be discovered in Romania, dating back to the remarkable year of 2500 BCE. More over, it boasts a significant archaeological history, being the revered location of one of Romania’s most renowned archaeological sites. The hills of Ariujd outline the site where numerous ancient pieces of pottery and stone have been uncovered, invaluable and timeless artifacts that today are preserved amongst Romania’s museums. Another journalist and I were fortunate enough to make a short visit to the peaceful village early on a Saturday in April. We knew little of Ariujd, other than its great significant standing in Romania’s archaeology community. We did not expect to stumble upon the unique opportunity to meet and gain personal insight on Ariujd from the wisest resident of the village herself. Sturdy, able, and more than endearing with a warm smile, Lucretia emerged from behind the great metal hinged gate surrounding her home to greet us and the founders of Satul-The village, whom we were accompanying. Lucretia is the oldest living resident of Ariujd. Our initial awe when presented with the vital woman’s age of 96, increased when proudly she futher informed us of her brother’s age of 91 and her sister’s of 93. Talk about substantial quality family genetics. Shortly before Lucretia came out to greet us, in response to THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

a general interest inquiry regarding the village, Ana Negru (creator of Satul) was fortunate enough to be welcomed inside Lucretia’s home. When Ana returned she was able to shed some personal light on Lucretia’s perspective of the village. Lucretia had been happy to share some of her experiences with Ana. For example, she spoke of when she was young (in her twenty’s) when on the day of the Saint John Holiday the entire village would attend a local church service, which when commencing a fanfare from the Sanpetru Village would join them in progressing to the Olt River (which crosses near Ariujd) to assist with the religious ceremony of baptism, as lead by the local priest. She told Ana of how at one time, each family in the village had many animals, but now in a different time, only a few still remain with animal farms. As greatly as things have changed, Lucretia said she still pictures the village as it was when she was younger; with images of families with 40 horse drawn carts going out to work the field. She pictures the traditional costumes that were once worn every day (not only on important holidays) but daily to school. This is a disheartening change for Lucretia. As at that time, she said, the school was encouraging the preservation of tradition. As such, it was requested the children wear the costumes to school, and as well learn the traditional dances, sadly however, this is no longer seen today. There is something to be said of preservation and vitality in Ariujd, two words that encompass the underlying fundamentals of tradition itself. From elderly passing us by on motorbikes and scooters to discovering siblings spanning nine decades, to historic homes (Lucretia’s home is from 1908 and appears to still be in good condition) and the revered archaeological site, it is obvious Ariujd is rich in ancestry. 5


THE STONE FOREST

Award Winning Poetess:

Nadia-Cella Pop

by Sky-Lee Jarrett

few days after our sun filled visit to the peaceful, countryside village of Ariujd, Ana fatefully stumbled across a literary treasure here in Brasov. Her discovery was that of a great poetess by the name of Nadia-Cella Pop, who not only resides in Brasov, but also was actually born in Ariujd. Ms. Pop happens to be the most internationally awarded author of contemporary Romania with over 153 national prizes to date (surprisingly only 2 in Romania). Nadia wrote literary, musical and arts chronicles which appeared in publications from Romania and from China, Malta, Albania; she wrote 35 anthologies which were published in France, Italy, Luxembourg, India, Australia, Albania, Mongolia; she published her poems also in many literary magazines, both in Romania and abroad.

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Nadia-Cella Pop’s parents lived in Ariujd for four years until the end of 1948 (almost one year after Nadia was born), when they had to move for her father’s work promotion. Though, as Nadia grew up her mother continued to take her to Ariujd to visit their relatives. Nadia has expressed “I am very proud to be native from Ariujd, which is the settlement of Neolithic culture – Ariujd culture...” Nearly giddy with excitement at the unique discovery, Ana didn’t hesitate to contact Ms. Pop on behalf of Satul-The Village, for an interview. Immediately I began researching and looking for English translations of Nadia’s work. To my absolute delight, as I began to read Nadia’s poetry I felt enlightened, and that I had even made a personal discovery. Ms. Pop’s writing spoke to me as though the thoughts she expressed existed in my own mind, but had been unable to escape in concrete forms until that moment that I read them through her words and lifted them off of the page. My connection was powerful, beautiful, and compelling. Nadia’s euphemisms between her emotions and nature’s elements are what I found most inspiring, and parallel to my own. My favorite piece of Nadia’s was only the second poem that I happen to read, and it’s titled ‘The Stone Forest’. 6

I’m lost in a stone forest. There is dreadfully cold. Something turns my sensations to immobility. A being in usual forms I am no loner. Suddenly, from the torrid beach adventure. Where I felt glamorous apparitions. My image was moved among the rocks, as a wanderer, disconcerted and cold. I have nobody to answer my questions, and I don’t know if I want to hear a thing. I am here because I have to. That’s enough for the wisdom’s hierarchy Where the spots of eternity are bidden. But I just want to remember the burning kiss of the lucky star that spreads the joy over the bliss of sands and the arabesques of the butterflies over my own existence which I was given with, for poetry and love. Sitting amidst Nadia’s books, butterflies and ancient stones, I chose to ask her respectively of her passion and inspirations. -Was it the study of philosophy that opened you to the path of poetry or was it an older calling of yours? Philosophy opened me another space of thinking, interpretation, connection to my feelings and those of others. I think that anyone who has any creative artistic means – with the word, with brush, chisel, with musical notes, or with drawing, he is inspired by the beauties of the nature and of happenings that go along or intersect him in a way or another, plus the intersection with his feelings towards those events or those people. That's the great thing and I think that the plurality of themes provides greater value to the creator. -The messages of your poems are very strong. In your poetic creed you explain it as” becoming a cry for the harmony of mankind”. Are you basically saying that you are faced the need of seeing harmony around you. And that influenced you and your poetic creations? Yes, I am characterized by an immense understanding, mercy, and compassion. - An exaggerated empathy ... Yes, I always put myself in the place of another... As an artist, as a poet, I suffer with every person I happen to meet. - Do you have a favorite poem of the ones you wrote? I could not say. They all are crafted mainly on my feelings at that time, in connection with the happenings, with common people or with how nature’s elements had an impact on me. - Was it Ariujd’s surrounding nature that influenced your poetic creed itself? Yeah, sure. Everything is in a relationship and has natural incentives; as one likes a certain color, then will wear clothing of that color. In poetry, if you like nature, then the poem will speak about green plains, about the blue sky, about a field full with poppies etc There, in Ms. Cella Pop’s home, as she adorned us with traditional Romanian bread, and coffee, I felt a little beside myself, in the presence of such a strong, but uniquely wise and beautiful literary mind. I couldn’t help but think that only she, a great poetess, could come from a place as unique and wise as Ariujd. www.revista-satul.ro


A Springtime Celebration By: Daniel Zmistowski uni Brasovului is a special Romanian holiday designed to celebrate the Junii, who are young men from the district of Schei in Brasov, and whose traditions date back to over four hundred years ago. In the past, the oldest area of Brasov- Scheii Brasovului, was occupied by Austro-Hungarians. Most of the inhabitants of Scheii Brasovului were merchants that wanted to go into the citadel to sell their products. Yet every time they went to do this they were taxed, which in turn made them resentful. The Junii (young men from Scheii) then decided that they didn’t want to pay the tax anymore and were consequently shot by the Austo-Hungarian guards who were guarding the gate. After similar incidents, the people of Scheii became so enraged that they revolted with the help of the Romanian army. To celebrate and remember the Junii, a Pageant is held every year on the first Sunday after the Orthodox Easter, consisting of a parade and traditional dancing. The parade begins in Unification Square, which is the historical center of Schei. Then, men dressed in traditional costumes, ride on horses through the town until they arrive in the Council Square, where each group is presented to the crowd. They are split up into seven different groups, which is said to come from the belief that God made the world in seven days. The first group is the Junii Tineri, which are the young, unmarried men. The second are the Junii Batrani: the older unmarried men. The next group: the Junii Curcani, are the Turkish youth. After them comes the Junii Dorobanti: the group of soldiers. Then the Junii Brasovechni: the Junii from the old city. The sixth group is the Junii Rosiori: the horsemen, and the last are the Junii Albiori: the whitish youth. All of the groups wear unique costumes, distinguishing themselves from each other. However, the young and old unmarried Junii wear the most common outfits. They are dressed in white pants,

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THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

with black boots, along with a black hat and black tunic. Underneath the tunic they wear a long white undershirt that came down to their upper thighs. The other Junii often wear similar outfits with slight variations to distinguish themselves from the others. The most impressive outfit is worn by the leader of the ceremonies and shines brightly throughout the whole parade and is impossible to miss. The colors embroidered into the shirt are bright gold and red, and it is said that it is made out of 40,000 different spangles, weighing about 20 lbs. When the parade was being held I was imagining in my head a few horses coming down the road wearing traditional garb, and for it to last 10 minutes or so. Little did I know that amount of men on horseback would amount up to a small army. There were much more than I anticipated and the horses seemed enormous in size. Sometimes there were men in their 20’s and 30’s riding alongside a kid no more than 12 years old. It was a truly impressive sight to see all the different age groups, young and old, carrying out the traditions of their ancestors. After the parade, the Junii are followed to the Solomon’s Rocks, where each group will perform another ritual that involves dancing. After the dancing, the Junii will demonstrate their strength and ability by throwing and catching a baton, and a party with traditional dance then follows. It is important to be aware that the festival reflects more the traditions of the pagan times, and that it is an ancient festival, which celebrates spring and the beginning of new life. The event allowed the people of Brasov a peak into the past to remember their ancestors. The events gave more than just a flavor to a regular weekend in the city. It gave people a glimpse of traditional Romania and it allowed them to see the difference from where they’ve come, to where they are now. 7


Discovering

a Lucky Horseshoe in Dragus By Daniel Zmistowski Photos: Ana A. Negru

he village looks similar to any village that resides in the countryside. The small houses all lined up side by side throughout the streets. The few people that were out and about on the quite Saturday seemed to all know each other by name. It’s a village where craftsmen such as tailors and blacksmiths can still make a living, where hardly anywhere else such a thing is possible. All of the people we spoke to seemed very outgoing and welcoming, always greeting us strangers with a warm smile. Throughout the day I remember thinking how boring it would be to live in a small village like this where everyone knew everybody and daily life was ordinary and simple. Though as the day wore on I realized that these people really enjoyed this way of life and it gave them great content to continue the traditions of their ancestors. Ana, the magazine director, her husband Adrian and I got out of the car to walk to the village museum located in the local primary school. On arriving to the school we ran into a local villager who was able to let us inside and show us the museum, located in one of the rooms. Unfortunately the room was locked so we had to wait a while for the villager to get the key. This turned out to be a perfect time to stroll along the hallways and check out some of the children’s artwork that were hung up along the walls. Most of the pictures were of landscapes or some type of scenery, along with a few religious icons. Illustrated scenes depicting famous battles or historical moments were strewn across one side of the hallway as well. Adrian was gracious enough to inform me about the historical significance of each one of the paintings just in time before the villager returned with the key to let us into the museum. The room was covered with traditional articles of clothing, as well as furniture. When looking at all of the objects, it was hard to imagine that at one time the village had enough artisans to make all these items. They were completely self sustainable in that sense. There were no department stores, no super-chains

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like Wal-Mart, or Home Depot. Everything that they owned, they had to make. The clothing was very colorful and the designs were intricate. Each dress would be specialized for that person. For example, a dress with blue as the primary color would be for an older woman whereas a dress that has more red in it was for the younger women. A lot of the dresses used up multiple colors, ranging from orange to purple, but I was told that yellow was never used because it wasn’t a color that symbolized the village. Apparently anyone who wore any yellow in his or her outfit would stand out like a sore thumb. The quality was quite impressive as well, and we were told that a jacket could last a man his whole life. Now, I would find that to be a quite boring, having to wear the same jacket for the eternity of my life, but it speaks very highly of the quality of the time and craftsmanship that were put into the clothing. As well as clothes, there was plenty of furniture placed throughout the room that was made in the village, including ceramics like plates and bowls. All of the kitchenware were dec-


orated beautifully and with care, and the furniture I was told possesed Saxon influence in the decoration. There were many pictures as well of village gatherings and cultural festivals, such as the opening ceremony of the school that occupying at the moment. It was difficult to imagine such events where every person in the village would attend, as I am used to such things like the opening of a building, being only attended by a specific group. After seeing what there was to see at the school we went to interview a retired schoolteacher; Mrs. Lavinia Rogozea, who told us a little about how the village was in the past and some cultural traditions as well. One of the traditions she told us about was an interesting marriage custom. Apparently instead of wedding rings, a couple that were getting married, would use decorated cloth towels. It was the duty for each bride to bring two towels, one for the bridegroom and one for herself, to where the wedding would take place. On the way to the wedding ceremony a towel was given to the bridegroom and his godmother as well as the bride and her godfather. At the ceremony, after the priest blesses the couple the bridegroom puts his towel around his waist and the bride around her breast. They would also be required to wear the towels certain weeks to church, and the woman would be required to provide ten towels that would be worn on all major holidays, including weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Next we had the pleasure of having a visit with the local tailor, Mr. Dumitru Sofonea. At the age of 74, he has had a long and experienced life as a tailor, and still continues today sewing on a ninety year old sewing machine. He learned to sew from his father and now has five children whom he taught all how to sew. When talking to him he reminisced about his childhood, telling us that before he could go play outside or do any leisure THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

activities, his father would make him sew, and that was what got him started in the family business. When we asked him what kind of customers he was making clothes for he told us he made clothes for many people, from villages around Romania to folk musicians, and even an outfit for the United States Ambassador as well as other important people. Finally we had a chance to meet with a local blacksmith living just a few houses and across the street from Mr. Sofonea. As we entered the property I noticed that there was also a barn lying next to the house where a few horses resided. A few men were outside standing around next to the animals and seemed to be just hanging about, resting, possibly waiting for something or some one. There was an opening in an adjacent house, where we saw a man with a hammer like tool molding what looked to be like horseshoes. That is when I put the two together and realized that they were about to place new horseshoes on one of the horses outside. Luckily we were able to see this procedure and I was surprised at how large an activity it actually was. There had to be one man calming the horse down, one man lifting the animal’s leg to a position where a horseshoe could be applied, and then another nailing on the horseshoe. The horse would often get uncomfortable and force his hove back to the ground, making the procedure much harder. Thankfully, they were able to finish the task before we had to leave and head on back to Brasov. On the way home I was able to reflect on the village and the simplicity of the life that each one of the villagers lead. Even though it might not be my taste, there are definitely some compelling aspects that I feel any person would want to have in their life. The beautiful scenery, the small community feel, and the relaxing environment are things that would compel any city dweller into the life of a Dragusenii. 9


Rural Development in a New Perspective -

Planting The Seed In Today’s Youth by Sky Lee Jarrett Photos: Ana A. Negru & Brodie Robertson

griculture is the fabric of life for rural areas. The role of Agriculture is pertinent and essential in any conceivable rural development program.

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The specificity of Romania’s agricultural sector When taking into consideration the differentiation of agrarian structures of the European countries, rural problems are undoubtedly not the same from region to region, let alone from country to country. Currently, in comparison to the West-European countries, Romania’s rural area is seemingly trapped inside an economic standstill from around the year 1950. Specificity of Romania’s rural area is the result of social phenomena and economic strife, from a time period spanning two decades. After spending half a century under communism rule, undergoing transition to the market economy, and total restructuring of it’s agriculture; the shifting of agriculture from state controlled – collective structures to family-private structures, Romania’s present rural agricultural area has been in need of attention. Thankfully there is a new sustainable rural development agriculture strategy in place but with little current acknowledgement or promotion, at the forefront, are the most current problems derived from joining the European Union. Today, the new Common Agriculture policy’s objectives primarily adhere to the current European Union’s agriculture situation, that of high technical performance, increasingly higher material consumptions and costs, presence of significant stocks of agriculture products, with substantial economic consequences upon the farm economy, etc. And along with new rural development and agriculture support policy, and rapidly increasing agriculture prices (both on European and other markets) Romania’s agricultural sector is not fully compatible with the rest of the EU.

Romania’s potential Moreover, the beautiful country of Romania offers a uniquely diverse well-preserved rural landscape. Life in the countryside, is the backbone of the country, embracing prominent traditional ele10

ments, vast agricultural and forestry potential, and architecture specific of the rural areas, all of which are factors favoring rural tourism. Where only 0.1% of Romania’s rural economy comes from agro tourism, in comparison to 4.4%in the EU countries. Agro tourism is an overlooked economic resource, but with investments made that are attentive to the proper ‘diffuse’ in contrast to commercial tourism, and the educational programs (i.e. training of youth and peasant household in tourism competence), it could potentiate greatly.

Romania’s top priority solutions In regards to a solution, The Rural Romania XXI Reform (2008) states that Romania ‘s Agriculture sector should have completely different objectives than that of the other EU Member States. Primarily these being, the deep restructuring of farms (via agricultural land consolidation and adequate equipment), support to improve technical and economic yields, the placing of Romanian agriculture products on the EU and world markets, processing and marketing of agriculture products, establishing producer’s groups, co-operative for input supply etc. Furthermore, studies from the Accession Agreement to the EU and from National Program for Agricultural and rural development show that Romania’s solution lies in it’s capability to not only become more competitive and multifunctional (in terms of production of bio energy, increased tourism potential via preservation, conservation of vital elements and bio-diversity, harmonization of social and cultural functions) but most importantly, to be complementary to the agriculture of the EU Member States. In order to embrace a multifunctional structure and reach the levels of EU countries of similar ecological conditions and natural potential (estimations of Academy of Agriculture and Forestry sciences consider that average yield levels represent 40 % of their potential) – the building up of agricultural building structures, (agriculture holdings, parcels, fruit-tree and vine plantations, hydro systems) should be Romania’s top priority investment. www.revista-satul.ro


What Romania needs in tandem with the mentioned concepts of the reform strategy is adequate access to funding and educated youth with greater exposure to agriculture opportunities. Romania needs it’s upcoming generations to be one of citizens whose choices will positively influence the local agriculture production and state of the ecosystem. With a sustainable rural agricultural program – that above all, can encourage and direct today’s youth in the right direction.

What consultants say I recently had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Noaghia Petrica - consultant of the Department for Rural Development from the Direction of Agriculture and Rural Development Brasov, and ask a couple of questions in regards to the current agricultural challenges and what is presently available in government programs to the upcoming generations, so they might hold vast to the future of the farming communities in their hands. - At one time Romania was an agricultural powerhouse, boasting successful and sufficient rural agriculture communities. Following some dark and tragic turnarounds in the past 4 or 5 decades, today roughly 12 % of Romania's GDP is from agriculture. More over, the rich farming plains that once established Romania as a European 'breadbasket' nation still exist, however as an underutilized and untapped asset to the current economy. Do you believe that rural developments in the current agriculture communities have the potential needed to substantially increase this figure for the future? Yes, rural developments in the current agriculture communities have the potential needed to increase this figure for the future. For example, by absorbing European money through different programs for helping the farms. Through many measures, the farmers can apply for more funds for developing their farms. They may obtain money for new buildings, for new technology, for new tractors, to increase the size of their cultivated surfaces and increase their overall productivity. There is a program available that encourages the farmers to group together and join forces to create larger sized farms. Larger farms would increase the farmer’s negotiating power in regards to setting prices and with the supermarkets network in general. If more farmers do this, there won’t be this need for importing so much from other countries. -Even if Romania receives adequate financial investment in agriculture, and a multifaceted system of support to re-generate the agriculture communities, how do you see rural development stand-

THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

ing up against the ever increasing influence and infiltration of the over industrialized culture of the West? As a National and European strategy, we are advised to keep our traditions and the bio-diversity of our lands, and we now receive the European funding for just that. This is because in the industrialized countries their land is over saturated with chemicals and perhaps, as unfortunate as it may be, they will never recover, as that was the price they have to pay for being over productive. So, on one side, we are told to raise the productivity to have a chance to re-generate our agriculture, but on the other hand, we are encouraged by EU to maintain our bio-diversity, by not using chemicals. If we don’t use chemicals, the productivity is clearly lower, so we can’t compete with the other countries. However, the advantage is that the people will for surely be healthier here, much more so than in other industrialized countries. - How do you see today's youth factoring into development and the future of the agriculture sector? What should be done to ensure they don't discard Romania's agricultural potential? There are many programs for encouraging our youth to be involved in agriculture. For example: measure 1.1.2, is for the installation of the young farmers in communities. Through this measure, they are encouraged to create businesses in the rural areas, for: growing plants, raising animals, growing flowers, or growing mushrooms. The most attractive business for young people are the apiculture and growing of flowers. Young people are also encouraged with funding to continue as successors of family businesses that are owned and operated by their parents and/or grandparents. There are also other measures, like 1.2.1 and 3.1.2. Through measure 3.1.2 young people are given the opportunity to start a business that provides a service for the community. And in measure 3.1.3, for tourism and agro-tourism, young people may obtain money to build a guesthouse if they have land. For youth that don’t have experience or a school specialised background, but are interested in obtaining funds for creating a business in agriculture, they have the opportunity to take specialized classes in their field of interest. This is available with the Office for Consultancies in Agriculture from every district. It is with imperious high- hopes, that through the implementation of concepts like those in the Rural Romania XXI Reform, more exposure to youth access to these newly available programs, and constant strive for progression forward, rural agriculture will have a higher probability of being encompassed by the youth in Romania. It could very well be saving grace for the regeneration and preservation of the rural communities of Romania.

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Every Stitch Counts by Sky-Lee Jarrett Photos: Ana A. Negru & Sky Lee Jarrett

fundamental aspect that runs parallel of clothing traditions around the world is this: more often than not, for the pure love and joy of human expression, sentiment and creation. Today, the recognition for the actual expertise, practice, patience and skills required to craft clothes (outside of the commercial fashion industry) is practically non-existent. Clothing today has lost nearly all attribution with its history and means in the long forgotten era of the hand crafted. Clothes have become a commodity, manufactured and exported by large factories nation wide and shipped conveniently to a local shopping center. Where the materials in our clothes come from, how they are produced, how they got to be from a seed in the ground, to the cotton t-shirt found on the hanger in a store and alas on our backs; fails to ever comply with the average consumer concerns. Furthermore, in contrast to today, the value of textiles used to lay as predominantly in the sentiment of each stitch, as it did as a whole. This almost extinct aspect yet once crucial avenue in production of hand made clothing, now long dormant in the heart of many human cultures, is thankfully still held vast to, and still exists, inside the practices of tradition. When examining a country ripe in traditions such as Romania, the making of clothing sits comfortably plump on the vine, in a cluster of traditional skills and craftsmen ships. The making of much of the clothing in Romania stems from centuries of rural communities that employed simple machines and old procedures; boasting a prominent domestic textile industry that is developed thoroughly over time. Passed from one generation to another, knowledge and skill of this industry is a heartfelt gesture shared intimately between families and family members. However, in context, today this intimate gesture is struggling to survive.

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fully, as they craftily and intricately stitched traditional Romanian garments and dolls. During this time, these were created not for financial gain or profit but for the simple gifts of joy and happiness that they brought to their family members. “In Romania, every object and craft has the absolute love for the family at the foundation. (It is for no other reward than) To produce joy for a child, and for love.” explained Doina with sincerity, expressing “This is the essence of every Romanian craft. The Romanian craft is born from the love for the family, for God, for nature, and for everything (co-existing) in harmony.” Significantly, in her impressionable youth filled years, Mrs. Nistor’s elders presented her with the ever-powerful gifts of tradition and hard work, by example. As a result, today, Mrs. Nistor herself is now a special and timeless asset to the Brasov community, a shining beacon of example, and hope for the preservation of her profession and tradition. Six years ago Mrs. Nistor lead a relatively happy and stable life as a working engineer, however she couldn’t help but feel a lack of fulfillment and enjoyment in her day –to-day work. Not surprisingly to some, Mrs. Nistor found her self, nostalgic for the embedded love and joy of the simple rural traditions she experienced in her youth. Over the past few decades the commercialization and industrialization of Romania in urban centers, has diminished many of its rural communities, in tandem, diminishing the practices and simple ways of life Doina recalls. As such, Doina turned to and focused on, re-establishing the sharing of the traditional Romanian

Brasov local and current resident, Mrs. Doina Nistor recalls with a great fondness of the days of her childhood, spent inside the rural-countryside villages of her Grandparents, in the Teleorman and Transylvania regions of Romania. There, Doina could be found wide-eyed with curiosity amongst her female elders as they diligently and timelessly worked their traditional crafts (the making of costumes, bedding, draperies, and dolls). Mrs. Nistor’s grandparents (as many did roughly four decades ago) pertinently, farmed, produced, and manufactured their textiles (of cotton, wool, or hemp, via spinning and looms) right at home. Her grandparents even worked raw silk, from their own silkworm farm (an inconceivable task to the average person today). Mrs. Nistor’s most memorable moments from this time, come from Doina finding herself, perched quietly at the skirt helms of her grandmother, watching closely and care12

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crafts of costume and doll making. Mrs. Nistor hung her hat as an engineer and began to hand sew and craft traditional clothing and dolls here in Brasov, for sale and to showcase in local rural communities, events and exhibitions. Mrs. Nistor now works in partnership with other craftsmen in Romania and NGOs from abroad, to promote, maintain and instill these traditional practices before they are lost. Doina proudly creates costumes of meticulous high quality, for traditional dancers, and groups of youth. A well renowned and respected craftsman, Doina has even produced costumes for representation in New York, and held workshops for the likes of multinational companies. Detail and respect lay at the forefront of Mrs. Doina’s craft. She posses a collection of books for learning and following the very specific customs and traditions of clothing making specific to each of Romania’s unique regions. For every region has differentiating use and sentimenal symbolic meaning for certain textiles, symbols, and décor that they have forever used to comprise costumes that represent their nationality and community. More over, during the past century western and urban influences have crept into Romania’s rural areas, influencing changes that have in some cases, completely altered what the locals use as today’s ‘traditional’ costume in comparison to the past. The Sacele community in Brasov, where Nistor predominantly works out of, is a prime example. The traditional costumes that represent Sacele today, are much more basic than in the past, dawning less symbols and embroidery. This is a direct result of the commercial growth and

THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

changes in the area. The faster pace of life today, and the demand for things to be done in a specific time frame, might be part of the reason a lot of the detail has been lost. It was “simple and such different times then,” tells Mrs. Nistor “Everything was different for a child then. Everything was different, and fun. As a child I used to spend afternoons playing in the grass with the goats… I wish it were still that way today… (That lifestyle) is healthier for everybody. Each thing was made and done in its own time, with patience. Today everyone is in a hurry. When making a clothing or doll order, the very first question customers always ask me is, ‘ok, how much time?’” Aside from Sacele, Mrs. Doina Nistor currently makes costumes for about seven different Romanian regions close to Transylvania, primarily in the Dragus and Fagaras areas. In context, Mrs. Nistor not only possesses the natural talent to hand create beautiful garments, but also the patience, hard work and perseverance that has established herself as a successful, independent entrepreneur, and a thriving repertoire as a respected clothing and doll maker. For those who may be interested in traditional clothing or dolls, they are welcome to visit Mrs. Nistor’s workshop in Sacele. She can be contacted at:

Doina Nistor Creator of traditional dolls and costumes E-mail: doina_brasov@yahoo.com Phone: +4 0728-821217

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A sculptor of traditional life As I walked through the vine covered doorway to this artist’s workshop, I honestly did not expect to see such beautifully detailed figurines all around the room. Indeed, I had heard of his work but had not yet seen it for myself. This man proudly showed off his walls, all of which were lined with newspaper articles, certificates of appreciation and photographs of the places he has seen and the people he has met during his world-wide travels. His pottery pieces, ceramics and icons filled the room and brought such an overwhelming artistic feel to his workshop. Who is this artist? This friendly and talented man is Mr. Nicolae Diaconu. by Brodie Robertson

r Diaconu is a well-known ceramics artist who creates clay figurines representing traditional Romanian people and animals. Nicolae Diaconu grew up in the countryside of Tibanesti and is therefore familiar to rural people, their daily occupations and their working techniques. It is in his childhood memories that this special artist finds the inspiration for his most frequent creations. For example, he strives to represent a traditional Romanian man in his male figurines through their mimics, their faces, moustaches and longer hair. His creations include figurines of men sitting on tree trunks reading, women tending to their sheep, young shepherds, sheep and cows. But this artist can also re-

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produce a person through a photograph of their portrait. Indeed he has created a figurine representing a Romanian exprime-minister, the well-known Romanian author Octavian Paler or just a man with an out-of-the-ordinary moustache. A reoccurring element in all of Mr Diaconu’s characters is their traditional Romanian clothing which he proudly wears himself when participating in events in the country and even abroad. But this ceramic artist has a special secret; he only represents clothing on the figurines that he can reproduce himself. Indeed, he showed us a pair of traditional shoes called Opinci that he has made himself and that all of his characters wear on their feet to give all of them a rural touch.


Mr Diaconu, obviously passionate about his work, took us through to see some creations in the making. It was amazing to look at these beautiful figurines (not sculptures, as he kindly pointed out!) and feel what they would be expressing if they were living people. Indeed, the man sitting on a tree trunk looked lost in his thoughts and an elderly woman walking with a cane seemed upset and despaired. But on the other hand, the young children were full of joy and enthusiasm whilst proudly holding their shepherd’s crook. It must be a very hard task to make an expressionless piece of clay transmit a feeling and yet, M Diaconu and his team have definitely accomplished the desired effect. When asked what a sculptor needs to have in order to create such figurines, the craftsman answered that: “It takes time and patience to create anything hand-made.” He first began creating this type of figurines in 1979 in the town of Brasov, where he was studying the art of transforming modest clay into delightful ceramic pieces at the “Folk Art School”. He separated himself from the Neolithic form of ceramics used by other craftsmen and created his own style. For example, the figurines are not held on a base but stand freely on their own two feet, making them even more life-like. In doing so, he reactivated the folk art type, the technique of hand-working figurines that was slowly disappearing. THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

Mr Diaconu is a member of the traditional art academy and is also the president of the group of artisans in this area. He also collaborates with many local shops, trading and selling items. He regularly speaks to the city hall about having arts and crafts exhibitions or special events involving craftsmen from the region. Nicolae Diaconu and his team create a wide variety of objects including toys, magnets and toy soldiers. And as they have managed to capture true Romanian culture, they also make souvenirs for tourists that can be found in various shops around town. Mr Diaconu had a workshop in the etnography museum and plans to work with children with special needs once his new workshop is up and running. Needless to say this man is doing his best to help the local community through his amazing work. When he travels to different countries, Mr Diaconu presents his exhibition as “The universe of the Romanian village” and I think this title fits the characters perfectly for as my roommate Louise Solt, aged 21 said, “These figurines are images you would expect to see when thinking of Romania.” There is no doubt that this talented man has truly captured, not only the aspect of a Romanian village and the people in it, but also our hearts thanks to his creation of traditional rural life out of clay. 15


Is There Still

Time For Faith In Romania? By: Daniel Zmistowski Photos: Ana A. Negru

eligion is a big part of any culture. It is something that has defined nations, and changed the world, as well as given people hope and brought them together. Whether it is celebrating a religious holiday with family and friends or going to a weekly service, you are surrounded by people with the same common beliefs and practices. This is something that is seen all over the world, and no less in Romania. Throughout my travels around the villages and urban areas of this country, I’ve witnessed countless signs of faith. Crosses and religious icons are littered throughout the villages and cities, and are impossible to miss. Religious holidays are centered on god, instead of other material things, and services on those days are largely attended. So, I feel very comfortable saying that religion is an important part of the Romanian culture. However, we live in a day and age where everything is moving at a rapid pace and where faith doesn’t seem to have the role it used to have. Perhaps it isn’t something that can be practiced and understood in an instant. We don’t receive daily text messages from God, and he doesn’t have a Facebook page. As these thoughts were going through my mind I thought that I needed to consult a second opinion. Thankfully I was able to set up an interview with someone who takes Faith very seriously, and is more important than simply a job. Ciprian Robu is an Orthodox priest currently practicing at The Rising of God Church in Brasov, and was pleased to answer the questions I had for him.

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- How long have you been a priest? I’ve been a priest for almost 10 years. For four years I was a chaplain at the seminary, and now I am a preaching in Brasov. - What inspired you to become a priest? It began in my childhood. It was something I felt in my soul; you can’t explain it very well. It was something inside of me that called me to become a priest. I don’t see myself doing anything else. It’s not just a job, it’s my life. - Was there a special moment that inspired you? 16

Yes there was. I had been going to church for seven or eight years then, and On Good Friday I was very impressed with the service. The prayers and songs were very profound and moved me. So at that moment I was very sure that I had to become a priest. - At times do you find yourself questioning your beliefs? Yes I have because I am human so I am always going to have questions. When somebody tells me that they don’t have questions then I would tell them that their brain is dead. There are always questions. I try to get answers for these questions and God allows me to see the answers. I believe that in life you always have to search for the answers. When I have problems or questions I try to look for them through prayer, in my theological teachers who used to teach me, or in books. - Do the answers satisfy you? All the time. I was always satisfied with the answers I found. They are always very beautiful answers. Whether they are answers to questions of life or social situations, they are always satisfying. - What can you tell people who can’t find the answers? It is a lesson from the scripture: knock and the door will be open. The answer will be presented to you. When you don’t have the answer you have to dig for them. It is very important that you have to want to see the answers. God works for us, and offers www.revista-satul.ro


us the answers but if we don’t want to see them won’t. You can pray for the answers, you can read to find the answers, there are many ways you can find answers to your questions. They will always be there if you want to see them.

things to happen to his/her child, God doesn’t want bad things happening to the world. So many of the bad things that happen nowadays are because of the world. The world is outside of God.

- What about the difficult questions, such as; Why is there pain and suffering in the world? Yes these are questions that are asked by people today. Modern people are asking these questions because they search for the answer on the outside and not on the inside. The people today are very superficial because they want very quick and simple answers. They don’t want to work for the answer, or to do something to find it, to do something to change the world they are living in. All over the world the people are always in a hurry. They always have something to do or a problem to resolve. They see images in the television for example, and they form questions in their minds. Then they just say God is responsible for this because He is allowing this suffering to happen. I think that if people try to be more attentive with their lives and of the lives of people around them, as well as trying to do something better from one day to another, I think there will be a significant change in the world, I’m sure about that. We must know that with every sufferance, God is suffering also. With every people, with everyone who is in suffering, God himself, is suffering also. A simple example: when your child is suffering, you are suffering too. You don’t have to explain this because it is something you feel. So like a common parent doesn’t want to cause bad

- Some people would say: Then why did God make it this way? What can you tell them? God offers the people the liberty to make their own choices. God gives a person the liberty of what to do and think. God says, this is the way, what are you going to choose? Good or Bad? If he didn’t give us the liberty than we would call him a tyrant.

THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

- Do you see that many people are attending service on a regular basis? Yes I see people that come to service every Sunday. Some people don’t come to church because of different reasons however. - Some people I’ve talked to say that it isn’t necessary to go to church every Sunday and that they can just go once or twice a year and it will be fine. What do you think about that? Yes they are saying something like this because they don’t have a real belief. When you love somebody, you can’t live without them. You always want to go to his/her house to see them and talk with them. Humans try to make God out of what they think. So when you are thinking like this, you are making God just one part of your mind and not a permanent part of your life. You don’t feel you need to go to church every Sunday. So as I said, when you love somebody 17


you want to always be around that person. You wish to be in their house, and you wish to talk to them. It is the same with God. When you go to church you are talking to God, and that is the meaning of the prayers and the services. So if you think that going to service one time a year is enough you’re mistaken. The same goes if you go to the church just to ask God for something. If you had a friend that came to your house every once and a while just to ask you for something you would feel used would you not? So we have to talk to God every Sunday not just to obtain something, we should go there because we wish to talk to God, and because this relationship makes our hearts and souls better. - Do you think God will look on the person who goes to church every Sunday with more favor or no? God loves everyone the same because we are all his children. We must think like this however: God cannot do something for us when we don’t invite him into our house. He wants to, he tries to, but he can’t because we don’t want to invite him into our house. I think of God sometimes as a shield, and he wants to help and protect the people but when someone chooses not to be with God they are outside the shield and are therefore exposed. So I repeat, God loves everybody; it doesn’t make any difference, we are all his children. When you have children, you do not love one more than the others because they are all yours but you can help the one that is close to you, you cannot help the one who is on the other side of the world. - Do you think that people go to service because they feel they have to? Yes some people think like this. Some people think that 18

God is a judge and that if they don’t go they will be punished. But others, I think and I hope, come to church to feel a connection between them and God. Nowadays, times can be very difficult, so people need to feel the love from God and from the Church. - Do you think that faith has a very strong role in the community? I think that it has a very strong role in society, not only the community. As long as we have moral values, and religious values, as long as our thoughts are with God we cannot do wrong things in our relationships with other people because we have the word of God deep in our hearts and minds. So it’s very important to us. Like I said about the superficiality of the world and it being outside of God, I think that if it had God on the inside, if our rulers and presidents had moral and religious values, and used these values to rule their respected nations, this world could be another. Life’s fast pace can sometimes bring us down, and get us caught up in our own busy days. Prayer, and going to service seems less and less important when the importance of these things are getting pushed farther and farther out of society. Society tells us to make our own path and to get as far ahead in life as possible. This isn’t what is happening in just one area of the world, it’s the message that is transmitted globally. The question that remains is: Will Romania, a country with such a long history of religious culture, conform to the rest of the world? Or will they be able to distinguish from what society is telling them, and what truly matters: love, family, community, and Faith? www.revista-satul.ro


A Cultural Holiday By: Daniel Zmistowski

aster is an important holiday celebrated around the world, though with some countries its significance is more important than others. Romania, having a very large population of Orthodox Christians, it is celebrated with almost an equal importance as western cultures’ Christmas. This is something that I found to be a very special and a unique quality to this country.

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Being from the United States, Easter is much more commercialized (like many other major holidays) than I have witnessed here. Back home the holiday is celebrated mainly with a few chocolates, some jelly beans, and if one is lucky, an Easter egg hunt. If you are religious, it is obviously much more important, being the resurrection of Christ, but for the majority of the population the significance of the holiday revolves around bunnies and chocolate eggs. I was happily surprised that when Easter was coming up there was much more excitement in the air than I remember being at home. Not just the excitement of getting a vacation from school or a few days off of work, but a genuine eagerness to begin the Easter celebrations for traditional reasons. Thankfully I’ve been able to witness countless examples of such things in the traditional meals served from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, and also in traditions such as dyeing a basket of hard-boiled eggs and eating them during Easter breakfast. The eggs have a special significance in the Romanian Easter traditions and required a little ritual before being able to begin eating. On cracking the eggs, the eldest male would pick up an egg and crack it on the person sitting next to them. Whilst doing this the person making the motion of cracking the egg on their partners would say “Jesus has risen,” and their partner would respond, “This is true, Jesus has risen.” Following Easter, to continue this tradition, THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

whenever one would see their friends or family, instead of greeting them with a “hello” or a “how are you”, one says, “Jesus is risen”, and the other will reply, “This is true, he has.” So its clear that religious aspect of Easter is still sacred in Romania. Being a religious culture, it was very common (at least much more common than I am used to) for families to attend service throughout the three-day celebration. On Holy Thursday I was able to attend a service at a little Orthodox church that I had been passing by almost everyday while on the bus to work. On the way to the service I had the image in my mind of a modest attendance, with plenty of room for maneuvering and such, but little did I know that on my arrival I was to find the place so full of people that it was impossible to even get through the door to see the inside of the building. Consequently, there were groups of people listening patiently outside to the service, which impressed me a great deal. What was equally impressive to me as myself being a Catholic was the Catholic mass. When I went to see the service on Saturday I happened to arrive at the cathedral by chance just in time to witness a crowd of people marching in a line with lit candles into the church where the evening mass then commenced. The sight of that many people marching through the city was something that was unlike anything that I have ever witnessed before on Easter or any other religious holiday I recall. To have been able to witness all of these things was a pleasant surprise. The cultural and religious traditions that I was able to see made me yearn for the similar excitement back home. It is something that makes Romania truly unique and I think there is much that can be learned by it. 19


An Uncommon Egg Experiencing

Romanian Cuisine By Daniel Zmistowski & Sky Lee Jarrett

hile in Romania I’ve had the pleasure of being able to try a variety of traditional recipes. I feel it is the duty of a traveler, to try as many foods of possible during their stay. When Easter came around I was able to fulfill this responsibility when my host family prepared various traditional dishes for the special occasion. One of the dishes, Paska, I thought to be especially enjoyable. On tasting it, it reminded me of a mix between cheesecake and bread. It has the consistency of cheesecake, but wasn’t as sweet, and might fall under the bread category rather than cake. The other recipe I was able to try was sheep cheese that had been fermented in fir tree bark. While at a village gathering, a family of cheese makers had a booth set up for passer by’s to taste their product. Now, I’m not much of a cheese person; that is to say that I hardly have it ever, especially by itself. But as is my rule to try traditional food, I gave it a taste. I was expecting what one would usually expect when eating cheese but the taste was a pleasant surprise. It was unlike any cheese I had ever had before and is almost impossible to describe. It had much more flavor than ordinary cheeses one would buy at the supermarket, as I figure was the purpose of the fermentation. All in all, both products I highly recommend if you feel the urge to add a little traditional Romania to your evening meal.

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ne of the many Easter traditions that are specific to Romanian culture is the painting of eggs. You may think to yourself that this doesn’t sound unique at all and that painting eggs is something that is done every Easter in western culture as well, but I assure you it is something much different than simply dipping an egg in colored dye and coloring it with crayons. According to my research, Painting Eggs is an ancient tradition that began from the death of Christ and is still practiced to this day. Throughout the years however, the painting of eggs evolved into using more than just the color red. Now, there are many colors that are used and new intricate symbols as well. When I was able to talk to Fejer Yolanda, a local artisan who has been painting eggs for twenty years now, she told me that the symbols on the eggs are inspired from many different things, the most popular being nature. She told me that painting eggs was a hobby of hers and that she had learned from a neighbor a long time ago. Then I asked how long one egg took to paint and she replied that sometimes one egg could take up to two hours to complete. The astonishment grew when I imagined the patience and craftsmanship that had to go into a single egg, and when looking down at her collection, there seemed to be more eggs than one can count. When examining the eggs sometimes it is easy to pick the symbols up quickly as they are very obvious, but other times one will need to pay special attention in order to be able to spot the finest of details. She told me it is important to remember that behind the symbols are stories of how the Romanian people live and what is most precious to them. Symbols such as flowers, crosses, animals, historical symbols, and the sun are very commonly used, and are made to inspire faith, love, hope, and eternal life. It is also very common for eggs to be specific to the region that their maker lives and works in. Sometimes one will see the uniqueness of each village or region being exemplified in a collection of eggs. The painted eggs are a perfect example of one of the many artisan traditions that Romania has to offer. Their delicate and intricate symbols are skillfully produced, and are looked at with the highest appreciation and respect. It is a rare craft that I believe needs to be cherished and continued.

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By: Daniel Zmistowski 20

Sheep Cheese In Fir Tree Bark


Strain the milk of sheep and put in a wooden bowl. Then boil it to choose the cheese. After the cheese is straining, let it to yeast for 9 to 11 days. Then make from it small pieces and knead it with salt. To store the cheese, a basket must be made from fir tree bark. You will peel a white pine or fir and boil the peeling in the whey of sheep cheese. Sewing thread is then obtained by all of the tree peel. After the cheese is fermented you can put it in a fir bark basket. Then keep it in the fridge. If you keep it, for example, at 10 degrees, it ferments in a week and it won’t be as buttery. If the recipe is followed correctly, then you can store the cheese for as long as 2 years, depending on how it’s prepared and how many butter is put in it.

lemon. Then mix together into a smooth paste. When the dough is ready, roll it out until it’s a thin, flat circle, saving two small balls of dough. Then use the dough to line a deep, circular tray, covering the bottom and folding up the sides. Pour the cheese mix on top of the bread and even it out until it fills the entire tray. Roll the two small balls of the remaining dough into two long thin strips. Twist the strips around until they look like two pieces of rope. Then put the ropes on top of the tray in a cross. Brush the Paska with a little egg yolk then put in the oven turned on gentle heat for 30-40 minutes.

Paska

Salate de Beof In North America potato salad sits at the forefront of the all-American family classic. I was delighted to discover that Romanian’s have something quite similar, but with a twist and added sprinkle or two to make it uniquely their own. ‘Boef Salate’ or ‘Salate de Boef’ is an easy take on a scrumptious potato salad that is prepared prominently for special events and occasions, such as Christmas and Easter. Colorful arrays of vegetables make this salad a quality eye pleaser and an ideal piece on the table at any special family meal. - ½ Kg or 6 carrots - ½ Kg or 6 parsnips - 1 piece of celery - ½ Kg of potatoes - 1 chicken breast (or the equivalent of beef) - ½ onion - 4 pickled cucumbers - 1-½ cups of mayonnaise (or to desired taste/consistency)

- 1 small block of yeast - White flour - Eggs - Sugar - 1 lemon - 1 orange - Salt - Soft cheese - Goat’s cheese - Feta cheese - Vanilla Sugar - Currents First mix yeast with luke warm water until it turns into a paste. Add a little sugar, then mix in the flour, leaving the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Then take the egg yolks and mix them in a bowl with sugar, grating a little lemon and orange for flavoring. Add half a liter of milk to this then stir thoroughly, adding some salt for flavor. Next add the egg mix to the yeast, and mix with hands for roughly 20-30 minutes until it turns into dough. Leave the dough for 1-2 ours to rise. Whilst waiting for the dough to rise make the cheese mixture. First put all the different cheeses together. Add 2 eggs (or more) until the mixture turns into an almost liquid state. Then add currents and white sugar, as well as a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon vanilla sugar, and some grated THE VILLAGE - issue no. 5, april - june 2010

Chop and boil carrots, parsnip, celery, potato, onion, pickles and chicken or beef together for 20 minutes. Strain ingredients and mix with mayonnaise. Also – My host always, always uses the broth from the boiled ingredients to make my favorite -a good ‘galuste’ (dumpling) soup!


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