By Correspondent Cristian Pascalau in Arad, Romania.
Every country has a traditional clothing that defines it and makes it stand out with something unique such as a funny hat or a strange footwear. The beautiful country, Romania, did not deviate from that unwritten rule.
Roughly, the traditional Romanian clothing is divided in seven folkloric regions. (these regions are Transilvania, West Plains, Banat, Valahia, Lower Danubian Zone, Moldova and Balkan peninsula). Although there are seven large regions, each of them are divided in smaller regions, so you can find almost 120 types of clothing that differ from region to region, though there are no major changes.
Initially, all the clothing was homemade, created from raw materials produced in their very households. The structure of the clothing did not vary much from region to region, it remained unchanged throughout history, the differences being the cut, texture, form, embroidery or color. The different colors that were used to give a bit of life to the clothing were also homemade from a variety of plants and roots, or even coal (for black).
The basic garment for both women and men is a shirt or chemise usually made from wool. This is tied around the waist with a fabric belt. Usually, men wear leather belts and women wear weft belts.
For example, Romanian men’s traditional clothing includes a white shirt, white trousers, hat, belt, waistcoat and overcoat. The differences between regions are the shirt length, the decorations of waistcoat or the hat’s size and shape. In the decoration’s and embroidery’s color prevail red and green.
As footwear, both men and women wear leather peasant sandals called ‘opinci’. Those were simply made from a piece of leather with fur inside, bound by a leather string.
Nowadays, creating a traditional clothing by hand is considered a work of art. Only well known craftsmen engage is such refined thing. What was a necessity back in the days, now it’s a fad and, an original costume, it’s also very expensive.
In some of the regions such as Maramureş (Northern region of Romania), the connection with our history and our past is still alive. On Sundays, on celebrations or at some wedding ceremonies, you can still see people wearing the traditional local clothing. Your heart jumps out in joy when you see a 6 years old girl with a kerchief on her head and ‘opinci’.
The featured image represents a woman wearing a traditional garment from Maramureş.
My name is Cristian I'm from Arad, Romania. I work as a freelancer in my spare time, I have a degree in psychology and I love travelling.