Dacia, formerly Ștena, (Stein in German, Garat in Hungarian, Ste, Stin, Štîn in the Saxons dialect), is a village in Jibert commune, Brasov County, Transylvania, Romania, who brought to light many personalities eager to proudly promote the Romanian village, and the authentic traditional costume. Walking on the alleys of the village, I met prof. Mihaela Cătălui, speech therapist at the Middle School no. 11 of Brasov, accompanied by a group of children. She was wearing a beautiful traditional costume from Rupea area and confessed to us that she had not forgotten her origins, which is why she was there in a thematic trip, in order to discover this ethnic-folkloric area.
Involvement in knowledge
About the projects she organizes with the children, Mihaela Cătălui told us: ‘I get involved in the traditional activities and I organize various cultural projects with the children. In Cristian commune, I coordinate the ‘Dor Cristolovean’ Folklore Group. We participate in gatherings, creation workshops, and we organize thematic trips. At Vistea and Vladeni we went to gatherings and learnt the specific elements of the traditional costume, which are different for each village. I have been working with children ever since I was 18 and I learnt to dance and to sing ever since I was six. I have always worn proudly the authentic traditional costume, sown by my own mother’.
On the alley of the village
A thematic trip I took with the children was visiting a country side house and meeting the elderly of the village. Children were thus able to learn about the dowry case, what it served for, what people used to keep in it and listened to the stories told at the gatherings or at the village dance. Also, the children were familiarised with the loom. Each grandparent presented his traditional costume: the one worn for holidays, for going to church and the one worn when performing agricultural works. They also learnt that the villagers used to go with the baskets with Easter eggs at the Resurrection service for sanctification, and then they would set a big table in the church yard, where they would eat all together.
Memory of the village
Another activity took place at the ‘Dumitru Stăniloaie’ Memorial House of Vladeni, where children of the ‘Dor Cristolovean’ Folklore Group learnt to purl with silk staples traditional decorations specific to the area on the designed dress. They have also seen the ‘bride’s bed’, the bride’s dowry and admired the darned traditional costumes.