In the quest to find ” People who Inspire” in Romania, I come across many people who are role-models in what they do. Courage and drive are common traits in all of them, as well as daring to pave the way.
Urgency and passion led the way for the teachers in Bodeşti and Boroseşti. They see the values in sharing their local traditions, from one generation to the other.
Here is their story, that was told to the Bucharest Lounge last week.
Today, the general tendency to global uniformity is very strong, even in the rural Romanian areas, places that are conservative by their nature. People work day and night just to be fashionable: to live in big and beautiful houses, to own luxury items, to dress cool and colorful and to eat unhealthy industrial products. Many want to imitate life as it is in Europe and around the world.
But despite the passing of time and the changing lifestyle, old Romanian villages don’t give up on their memories. Old village-people are so happy ! Their faces shine when asked about their youth: “Hey, my life was very neat with the fear of God. Everybody was working in the farmyard and to desperately run after money was not common. Women worked all winter in front of the sewing machines. Now … now there’s no time for all this because people watch too much TV”…
Our ancestors were proud of being Romanian and died to defend what was theirs. But what do we do today?
Traditions are priceless treasures that define a population and making it immortal, despite the passing of time. Traditions have to be transmitted from one generation to another, despite the general tendency to global uniformity.
How many young persons today know the value of objects of rare beauty that we look with contempt, saying they are old as “my grandmother when she was a girl”? How many young people today, listen with pleasure to traditional songs? How many know how a traditional costume looks like? How many would like to wear such a costume? Is it their fault if they can’t appreciate what is offered them? The quality of the things which are culturally and spiritually valuable? Maybe it’s the teachers fault, because driven by the desire to teach as much knowledge of different areas, maybe they just forget to put emphasis on what is most important: the things that define us as a Romanian?
These questions were the starting point in the discovery and preservation of local values. Since 2010 in the schools of the villages Bodeşti and Boroseşti (near Iași), teachers and students discussed with the villagers to find antiques in their houses and then assemble them in an exhibition.
It was a successful activity. Exhibitions in schools have sparked interest in students by learning the name of the objects, their use, how they were made. Elders, present at the exhibition, were crying, watching the things that identified themselves and their youth.
In the school of Boroseşti, teachers organized an exhibition of old pictures too. In this way the school became an important vehicle for national values.
Author: Silvia Săcăleanu
Translation: Anamaria Bejan