Stories in English

Faces of traditions

2012. január 26. | CJI - Románia
By Oana Dan & Vlad Stoicescu, www.dela0.ro
Photos: Iulian Nan

Roma craftsmen in Romania meet at fairs. Once hundreds or even thousands, just several tens today, they all have a story to tell. Of a journey and of  a tradition, preserved by language and skills, of the proud and free outcasts who would leave everything behind and take on the unexpected. Of a people that only settles to move on. Changing seasons and places and only clinging on to a craft. Silver, copper, brass, gold, silk…All the precious materials they exercise their mastership on. Objects after objects pass on their story to other generations, while the hands that made them wrinkle and wither and other hands take on the skill. But behind these magic hands are the humans and their faces. In a world that imagines the Roma community fenced inside a too abstract pattern (around which the so-called integration programs are tailored), tradition may be the last feature to identify it by. And this is more important in a country like Romania where the ethnic group is generally identified by stereotypes. Beyond programs and official figures, beyond statistics and social integration always lies a story. This is what is worth passing on to the next generation, along with the gold and silver unique jewelry, pots, traditional skirts, hats etc. We invite you on a journey to discover the faces of traditions.

Ioan Nistor makes leather belts and saddles. The quintessence of his work is to be found in the medieval citadel of Sighisoara where he lives and works and where he will invite any visitor to take a look at his horseback collection dating from ages. He is a very spirited man, joking about resembling Alain Delon which drives all the women mad and makes it impossible for him to get home safe. Famous for his hand made belly bands, Nistor believes in all sorts of conspiracy theories and tells his own one about the origins of the “Roma” term which he discards as being unrepresentative for him.

Mircea Craciun is well known for his hand worked silver jewelry. He has learned the craft as a boy and now is looking for ways to pass it on to the youngsters. Once, he got so annoyed that one of his kind was throned king of the Gypsies in Romania, that he made a huge silver crown for himself. Otherwise, he is a cheerful man, full of popular wisdom and very easy-going in conversations at fairs where he sells jewels and also works on new ones.

Sonia Craciun is Mircea’s wife. She makes traditional skirts from silk and is also by her husband’s side at fairs. Sonia looks up to him, praising his “magic touch” on silver and imagination which give birth to wonderful jewels. They have three children, but none of them learned the craft.

Emil Caldarar is from Brateiu, a village close to the city of Sibiu, worldwide famous for its brass and coppersmith work. Their products sell as far as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and even the U.S.

Eva and Niculae Caldarar are also from Brateiu. They make copper kettles, the best for coffee, as they say. They speak in a softer tongue, deeply influenced by the accent of people in the region and put on a lavish expression which instantly charms visitors at fairs.

A tradition. The authentic touch of Roma handmade objects mostly stems from the work method.

Craftsmen use only traditional methods and avoid any kind of mechanized intervention, as Mircea Craciun put it.

További cikkek a rovatból
The man who hasn’t forgotten where he came from
Faruq Hunter is an African-American, Muslim man. He lives in Atlanta. His great-grandparents were slaves. He believes in humanity and he is committed to protecting the legacy he received from his parents. In his civilian work, he strives to sure everyone is given equal opportunities on the information-based job market and finds the suitable opportunities. As a human rights activist, he stands up against all forms of racism. In our interview, he talks about how African-Americans got to where they are now. Our interview with him can also be found in English on our website.
I could totally identify Mari’s role
On the street people recognize her from her role, but Kata Toldi, the female star of the film, Just the Wind has no job- just like before. She lives in a beautiful little town near Budapest with her family, and she raises her daughter alone. People shout „actress" when she goes on the street, but they refuse her when it comes to giving her a job. The film of Bence Fliegeauf about the series of attacks against the Romas premiered in April 2012 in Hungary and won many international awards. Despite the gloomy atmosphere of the movie, the scene shootings were done in a good mood. They had to reduce the tension, caused by the upsetting subject of the film. Between 2008 and 2009, six people died in series of racially motivated attacks in Hungary. One of the victims of the murders included a six year old boy as well.
Rights like everyone else
Five children spent almost a whole month in a foster home after having been taken away without a justified decision or a prior warning from their family in Cinkota (near Budapest). Two officials of the guardianship accompanied by 21 policemen arrived at the house of the family late November and took five out of the 13 children. Three of them were collected from various parts of their house and two were taken away from school. One of the protesting mothers and the grandma were handcuffed by the police. The children could return home on 15 December. Authors: Ferenc Papinot & Gyorgyi Retfalvi, HUNGARY
Perceptions of Roma Rap in Hungary
Through the account of four Roma rappers from the District VIII of Budapest we wanted to demonstrate how Roma rap is perceived by them and by the majority. They represent three generations in Roma rap music. Báró started his career in the 90s in a popular music act of three Roma performing a mixture of r’n’b and rap. Gooré was the first Roma to publish an English language music video in Hungary, he is very active since a couple of years in all sorts of Roma rap acts. Luigi and G.W.M. have gained reputation in the District VIII by performing as the best at many freestyle rap competitions. In addition to their accounts István Zoltán Csider a journalist on cultural issues, specialized on Hungarian rap tells his experience and theory on the perception of Roma rap music in Hungary.
The Concert for Tolerance showed that multiculturalism is alive and well in Košice, STV to broadcast the program on 19 May The Concert for Tolerance showed that multiculturalism is alive and well in Košice, STV to broadcast the program on 19 May
Košice 18 April (RPA) – The Concert for Tolerance, which was organized by the Roma Media Center (MECEM) and held at Košice’s House of Art, was attended by 700 spectators.”Košice is a multicultural city and art really does have a great power to bring people together. I consider it as a universal language and at [...]
Unique Romani-Slovak and Slovak-Romani dictionary christened in Košice Unique Romani-Slovak and Slovak-Romani dictionary christened in Košice
Košice 16 May (RPA) –The christening of a Romani-Slovak/Slovak-Romani dictionary took place in Košice (14 May) along with a press conference. The christening took place at the Spots cultural exchange center on Brigádnicka Street.
Melodic stereotypes Melodic stereotypes
The music is in our blood – this stereotyped belief about the Roma was discussed in the latest thematic event of Roma Visual Laboratory at the DocuArt Film Centre. The evening focused on the music section of the Roma culture. Prior to the discussion, parts of Tony Gatlif movies Swing and Latcho Drom and fragments of video reports on Roma musicians by Sosinet.hu, website of the Center for Independent Journalism were shown.
The dawn of crafts The dawn of crafts
Mircea Craciun is among the last 50 silversmiths in Romania. Traditional Roma crafts are on the verge of disappearance with the younger generation more focused on attending university. Craciun’s children have failed to take on the craft. And in today’s world craftsmen seem to find it harder to fit in. What is to be done?
Adrian Gaspar, the pianist who merged jazz and manele Adrian Gaspar, the pianist who merged jazz and manele
Adrian Gaspar is a talent who, at only 24 years old, made already a name on the European jazz scene, proposing the exotic sound of Roma music, inherited from his family. When they discovered his talent, his parents decided to emigrate so their son would have the opportunity of a good education, which Romania could not provide. He studied to become a concert pianist, but his ancestors’ music got a hold of his destiny and turned him towards jazz – the genre of complete musical freedom. In October, Adrian came to Romania to hold a concert and talk to the Roma children from the school in Ştefăneştii de Jos about the importance of education.
The afternoon school The afternoon school
“The afternoon school” is a short movie about a club where dozens of Roma children come after classes, do their homework under the assistance of some staff that cares for them every day, socialize, learn to behave "in the world." The coordinator of the club tells about their daily life, about the difficulties they face and about how the project idea started.
Blogok
Nótár Ilona blogja
És változunk Idősíkok között
Bogdán Péter blogja
Megmaradunk egymásnak örökre! Egy kisvárdi jány

Támogassa a Sosinet.hu-t!
Ajánló
1/3
Kövess minket
Partnereink
Támogatóink