it’s more then a heritage, it’s our story.
We’ve grown so apart from the true meaning of folklore, but luckily there are places that zoom it in, unveiling a strong community, a priceless heritage.
Because if there is one thing that makes us unique, is this need of passing on a legacy, so that we get to better know our core, understand our need for the authentic beauty and for the simple things. And when you arrive at the ASTRA National Museum of Folk Civilization in Sibiu, you actually get to live this like in a TV series. The feeling of belonging is there. And as you go, you discover the child, playing his little games, the adult, working hard to survive the time of war, the elder, so keen to pass on a lifelong craft to the coming generations.
Each episode tells a different story, but with the same actors, each one of them working or fighting for survival. And by survival they don’t mean just to keep on living, but making sure their work will have a meaning in time. Looking back to their way of living, I am pretty sure we could learn a few things about the importance of the community and the rules behind it.
As much as we like to think about ourselves as being at the top of the chain, we are struck by all the connections in the nature that provide us the flow of life.
Each weapon and each bullet, are now part of some rusty feelings, far away from our social media interactions, but seeing them so close, will trigger multiple scenarios about what could routine have meant in other times.
For example, weather it was time of war or not, during every winter, the work was getting done mainly indoor. Both old and young hands of women were the hi-tech machines that would carefully repeat the same movement, over and over, until the beauty of a Romanian blouse would come into one piece; a piece of modern art, sewed in a sort of sacred union, a reason to be proud of. Funny thing to say that, but back then, almost every woman was actually a creator and almost every man was a warrior.
It’s not just about the hard work, the hours and days spent, but also the fact that back then, people had to make sacrifices. Young girls used to steal and exchange products in order to have the raw material so that they could produce the dreamed design of their blouse and wear it with so much grace.
This being said, even if this place is a museum, it doesn’t mean that every child can’t turn it into a huge historical playground. You will not fly away on a wild goose, but you might dream about a magic windmill that could be hunted by a soldier that lost his life while trying to rescue his love from the invaders and used that spot as a hiding place. See? There is no exact way of taking a single memory back home, but you can only harvest all the stories around each piece of wood, each blouse that it’s more then a heritage, it’s our story.