Travelling to a new place means buying small gifts for family or friends, and even a tiny something to remind ourselves about the trips we took. If you plan a trip to Romania, we put together some tips and tricks about buying that authentic souvenir that will make you or your loved ones always think about Romania.
Romania has a long history of craftsmanship, and there is a special little gift matching all tastes and budgets.
One of the most beautiful and traditional Romanian gifts you can bring back is a painted egg. Chicken, duck and goose eggs are the most common, however one can buy nowadays even an Ostrich painted egg. There is a special technique that few women can master to make these gorgeous little souvenirs. First, the white and the yoke are extracted with a syringe, and then the eggshell is treated with a special wax. Last step is the most complicated one, as the intricately pattern of symbols is done by hand using only natural dyes. It is said that you need two hours to paint only one egg, and of course only if you master the technique. Originating from Bucovina, a North-Eastern region of Romania next to the border with Ukraine, the painted eggs can now be purchased from almost all souvenir shops or attractions in the country. There is even a dedicated museum, located in the small village of Vama, in Bucovina.
Romanian Traditional blouses – Ia
What can be more meaningful than a handmade blouse which tells the story of the region it comes from? Wherever you travel to Romania, you’ll see these stunning blouses on which artisans wove intricate embroideries and colourful patterns specific to their own local heritage. Usually, an Ia is made of white cotton cloth, flax or silk, and it can be worn easily in combination with modern clothes, like jeans. In fact, many fashion designers were inspired by the Romanian traditional garments, not to mention photographers and painters. We’ll mention just one, the famous painting ‘La blouse roumaine’ by Henri Matisse. These wonderful traditional blouses can be purchased from the local artisans’ fairs, souvenir shops and even online shops.
Last, but not least, a handmade ceramic would be a great Romanian souvenir or gift to your family. This is one of the few traditional crafts that are still popular and quite common in traditional fairs or souvenir shops. One of the most famous ceramics centre in the country is in Horezu, Valcea country. The artisans use a unique technique that was passed to them by their fathers and grandfathers. Their style is easy recognizable because of the recurrence of some elements like roosters, snakes, stars, the three of life of sun. The historical and traditional importance of this crafts was acknowledged worldwide, in 2012, when UNESCO put it on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Photo source: @KathrynCooperPhotography for Sano Touring & Accessible Romania