March 20, 2009

Representing my corner of Europe

I was very nicely surprised when i heard that my county will represent Romania at the European Regions' festival called Taste Europe that was organized in Prague as part of a summit related to the Czech EU presidency.

They had a really nice stand at Mustek, decorated with traditional handcrafted quilts, wooden masks and icons. The hosts were also dressed in what i believe is the local traditional costume (each region has one specific costume). To my shame, I am not really a connaiseur of folklore dress etiquette so i couldn't really say if it was authentic or not but it sure looked very nice.

They were present there for only two days, leaving before the weekend so even if I'm not a hardcore folklore fan, as i said earlier, i still sacrificed my lunch break to attend a concert from 'Tara Vrancei', a local folklore group who put on a very nice live representation.

It was almost surreal to meet these people from my hometown's local administration and have a chat with them about how things are going back home, how some really good wines are totally unpromoted abroad but how at least they could bring some to give a taste to praguers.

They also had this delicious smoked cheese called cascaval(from italian caciocavallo) which is prepared by the villagers in the mountains and shaped in nice artistic wooden casts.

Vrancea is a very culturally rich area where people have kept old rituals and crafts but it's unfortunately very little known even to the locals (myself included) due to poor or nonexistent promovation. It's sad to see that even the historically flourishing vineyards are slowly degrading and badly managed. It's also a bit embarrassing for me that I've visited quite a few places in Europe but have seen little of my own small county. I'm planning to set out to the wild and remote Vrancea sometime in a future holiday.

But all in all, their presence in Prague was enchanting an very well set. Despite being a legendary set for a definitory and rather fatalist Romanian pastoral lyrism and also the epicenter of earthquakes in the country, Vrancea's people are joyous through their lively music, colourful costumes and probably, most important, the delicious wines.

You can find some more photos on my picasa album here.


Andreea said...

very nice:)

Imi pare rau ca nu am aflat in timp util despre aceasta manifestatie ca poate as fi venit si eu, desi lucrez in Chodov.

Frumoase si pozele de pe picasa. Mai ales ca mi-am adus aminte de multe locuri pe unde am fost sau am locuit.

Mi-a zis un fost coleg de liceu, Adi Chiriac, de pozele tale cu Praga.

Enjoy Prague!