Maramureș, Romania: Traditional Farm Life

Maramureș, Romania: Traditional Farm Life


At the fringe of the country, tucked next to
the Ukrainian border, is Romania’s
most isolated region, Maramures. Maramures is fiercely
traditional. Its centuries-old ways endure. Horse carts are commonplace. The men wear distinctive
straw hats. The women are tough
as the land. People work the fields,
as they have for generations. Village roads are lined
with ornate wooden gateways. These gateways are
intentionally elaborate, designed to show off
the family’s wealth. The gates protect
family compounds. Along with a home,
you’ll find a barn, a garden,
and an old-time dipping well. And if you’ve never
tried one of these, locals are happy to demonstrate.
Can you show me the well? Yeah? What do we have? Yeah? Like this? Okay. Nice! Okay, so, in to the horses? There we go. We’re staying
at a farmhouse B&B. Our host ritualistically
closes the gate behind us. People here are superstitious,
especially after dark. It’s dinnertime. But first, we’re
getting a little tour. Traditional Romanians collect their nicest belongings
into one room, designed to impress
their guests. Heirloom dowries
are lovingly displayed. These are bridal gifts
going back generations. Tonight, we’re being treated
to a farmer’s feast. The food is typical
of the region — rustic, delicious,
and farm-fresh. Our host, Anna, is determined
to feed us well. Hearty salads, cabbage rolls. Polenta is a daily
treat around here, and pork is big. In Romania,
like everywhere else, food is especially tasty
when it’s local and fresh. And everything goes better
with the local firewater. All right.
[ Speaks Romanian ] ♪♪ After dinner, the evening
continues in the music room, where Anna’s husband
gets out his violin and shares some
rousing folk music. [ Singing in Romanian ] [ Singing in Romanian ]

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