Romanians initiatives to preserve or reinterpret old crafts – present at Creative Traditions Forum

The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant in Bucharest is hosting in its courtyard until Sunday, the Creative Traditions Forum featuring stands where Romanian initiatives for the preservation or reinterpretation of old crafts are presented.

At its first edition, the event brings together enthusiasts of the Romanian traditions who have chosen either to endow them with a contemporary touch or to strive to preserve them. The stands feature projects dedicated to traditional stitches, cure plants, wooden objects accomplished through old techniques, Christian art, and also a “Vegetable genetic resource bank”. The initiatives aim at different artistic languages – such as the “Calendar stories”, which bring to the forefront stories collected from folklore, Mesteshukar ButiQ – which brings back to life the craftsmanship of creating jewelry and decorative objects from the Roma culture or areas of the country – such as “Patzaichin Creative Ecosystem “, especially dedicated to the Danube Delta region.

During the five-day event, round tables on the importance of traditions will also be organized.

The event aims to “open up this entree to people who have links with the creative industries and with the economy and the labour market, in fact, this relationship that has to become organic, between the urban world and the rural world,” the manager of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Liliana Passima, stated at the Forum’s opening press conference.

In his turn, Vincent Lambotte from the European Commission Representation in Bucharest said that the event also benefits from the EC support, given that preserving tradition is such an important aspect.

However, the preservation of tradition does not solely mean the preservation of the old, the anthropologist Vintila Mihailescu said, recalling a reply by Andrei Plesu from the official opening of the Romanian Peasant Museum: “We are experimenting here with something old”. “What is important is what we do with the old,” Mihailescu said.

At the opening event of the forum, Ivan Patzaichin spoke about the project to preserve the traditions and crafts of the Delta.

“We started off by thinking that we would do beautiful things and we found that we have over 100 specialists who contributed, adding something to our projects,” he recounted. He talked about the merger between new and old in the conservation efforts. “A lot of people think you have to go back 100 years, but this can be done in a more modern way, you can come up with something new, keep the tradition, but you also add something new, just as (…) we have succeeded in creating this canotca [combination between a long boat and a canoe – ed.n.], which preserves the tradition, it is a long boat, it has the same aspect, the same form but it’s much lighter,” he stressed.

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