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August 11, 2022

Romanian Blouse Day: An identity brand for Romania

The Romanian Blouse is not just a simple object, but an identity brand for Romania, says the manager of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Virgil Stefan Nitulescu.

“I hope that all Romanians understand that this is not a propaganda action [the declaration by law of Romanian Blouse Day, on June 24], it is an initiative that starts from the soul of Romanians for the preservation of a national identity sign,” Nitulescu told AGERPRES.

Virgil Nitulescu reminded that, on Romanian Blouse Day, the institution he leads hosts the exhibition “I sew for a cause”, which was opened on Thursday at the Irina Nicolau Hall of the museum.

“The exhibition is dedicated not only to the traditional blouse, which I hope will be accepted as a UNESCO world heritage element, but also a distress signal for the alarming state of environmental preservation, because, as we know, insects are threatened with a decrease in their number and maybe we are not aware that we humans depend on the existence of insects and that without insects we could not have any textiles to use to make these beautiful shirts,” Nitulescu said.

Within the exhibition, which marks ten years since the establishment of the “Sewing Signs” Association, are presented, for the first time, pieces found both in the collection of the Peasant Museum and in that of the association.

In the same setting, Virgil Nitulescu informed, on Friday, from 18.00, in the Media Hall, the public is expected at the conference “I sew for a cause”, held by Ioana Corduneanu and the “Sewn Signs” team. “It is a conference about the passion for sewing and about biodiversity, where entry is free,” the manager added.

According to the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, “traditional shirts illustrate a complete world”.

Members of the “Sewing Signs” community bring to the exhibition the result of an exercise in imagination – each new shirt presents the two worlds in contrast: on the one hand, the paradise of biodiversity, on the other hand, the drama and desolation generated by greed, reckless exploitation, consumerism and fast-fashion.

An approach about fashion and activism inspired by tradition, states the museum institution, the exhibition can be visited at Irina Nicolau Hall until July 10, from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10.00 and 18.00.


National Village Museum hosts the largest and most valuable collection of traditional costumes in the country, with one of them, the oldest, being supposed to have belonged to Queen Maria


The manager of the “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum, associate professor Dr. Paula Popoiu, states that the institution she leads has the largest and most valuable collection of traditional costumes in the country, with one of them, the oldest, being supposed to have belonged to Queen Maria.

“We have 15,000 pieces, which represent all areas of the country. We also have a costume that we believe – we do not have the exact information – it belonged to Queen Maria. It is the largest collection in the country, a representative collection created over the 86 years of the museum, and I would say the most valuable, because it has costume elements – especially the Muscel costume – that are unique. We know that the latter was worn by Queen Maria and was consecrated as a national costume. We continue to enrich this collection, with the new pieces we find,” Popoiu told AGERPRES.

Paula Popoiu specified that during the exhibitions organized by the Village Museum, pieces from the “new” collection are toured.

“It depends on the classification. If they are classified in the Treasure category, they do not come out of the museum. We have a newer collection, say 50-60 years old, with which we go out in these exhibitions. They are unclassified costumes, because otherwise we need many papers, documents to fill. But with this new collection we were able to tour the entire world as it is,” said the manager.

Popoiu also spoke about the preservation of the craft of sewing the Romanian blouse.

“Now that it has become so important, in universal terms, I would say, and many ladies found out about it, the craft of sewing traditional costumes has revived. Because, initially, it wasn’t really a craft. The women of the village made their costumes, the clothes they wore, either all day or for the celebrations. Now we can say that sewing has already become an art and there are enough villages in Romania where people still wear the traditional costume. Especially in Maramures. They still weave, they still know how to sew the costume. So, I think that this craft has not been lost,” Paula Popoiu showed.

The manager reminded that, on Thursday evening, at the Romanian Embassy to the Republic of Hungary, the exhibition “Beauty and colour. The Romanian blouse,” an event of political and cultural diplomacy, had its opening, with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Budapest, in marking the Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse.

“We exhibited 10 traditional costumes from all over the country, an opportunity to present our valuable cultural heritage and the Romanian traditions. The event was addressed to members of the Hungarian diplomatic corps, representatives of the Hungarian Government, people of culture and business. They were very interested. Many said that they would come to visit our museum in Bucharest. Even the ambassador of the Philippines promised me that he would make a donation of a traditional Filipino costume. In fact, we have a collection of comparative ethnology,” Popoiu added.

She confessed that she wears the Romanian blouse. “Yes. I wear it. I even have five at home and one here. All the ladies from the embassy came dressed in the Romanian blouse,” added Paula Popoiu.

The Romanian Blouse has been celebrated in the past years on June 24, at the initiative of the online community “La Blouse Roumaine”. Since 2022 it has become, by law, Romanian Blouse Day.

Starting this year Romanians will be able to celebrate this day legally after the country’s president Klaus Iohannis promulgated a  law, which was already published in the Official Gazette. Under the new law, cultural, social and artistic events can be staged in this respect while mass media is encouraged to disseminate materials promoting this traditional piece of clothing. Education units, cultural institutions, communication centers as well as Romania’s diplomatic representations are invited to get involved in various actions of promoting this event.


Photo: Facebook/Muzeul  National al Taranului Roman




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