Romanian weekend in Washington showcases the iconic peasant blouse, folk music and spicy sausages

A Romanian festival this weekend in the U.S. capital will showcase the best of Romanian traditions such as the iconic ia, a  peasant blouse, folk music and grilled spicy sausages known as ‘mititei’

Romania’s embassy in Washington and the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, in partnership with the Maramureş County Council, the heart of Romanian peasant traditions  are organizing the third edition of the „Romanian Weekend at the Wharf” from July 12-14.

It is Romania’s largest cultural diplomacy project in the U.S. as well as the largest Romanian festival in America, the Embassy said in a statement.

The festival coincides with Romania’s 20-year-anniversary of being a NATO member and is another calendar item in the embassy’s „Romania – USA: A partnership for new economic horizons. For 20 years together under the NATO umbrella.”

It comes on the heels of a NATO summit this week in Washington DC where leaders will  announce the details of an aid package that will include  air defense systems to protect Ukrainian cities from Russian attacks. Romania shares a 630-kilometer border with Ukraine and hosts several NATO bases.

Many Romanians are staunchly pro-American and there are an estimated one million Romanians live in the U.S., with the largest communities in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York. Some emigrated_or fled_ there under communism and others moved after the 1989 revolution.

The „Romanian Weekend in Washington” will attract homesick Romanians but also shine a light on Romania’s cultural and culinary traditions for Americans, who have expressed a  growing interest in the customs of the East European nation, the press release said.

The public will be treated to concerts, dance performances, readings, Romanian books which have been translated into English, peasant crafts, and a display of clothes and jewelry.  There will also be wine and food tasting at the  event which takes place  on the  The Wharf „one of the most popular and fashionable areas of Washington.” and is not far from the Capitol.

Artists representing different genres are on the billing, including Simion-Bogdan Mihai and the Silk Fiddlers, Paula Hriscu, Vox Maris Chicago, the National Folkloric Ensemble „Transylvania” and the Ensemble „Dănţăuşiidin Groşi”, the Folk Dance Ensemble „Carpathia”, Andreea Rebăltescu.

Romanian designer Izabela Mandoiu will exhibit her contemporary designs inspired by traditional folk costume. The „ONE over the other” brand will offer folklore-inspired earrings for sale.

Master potter Vasile Chira will show off his craft to visitors, while Ioan Bârsan will present  wood carvings and Marioara Dobrican will offer visitors a glimpse into her world of weaving.

There will be an interactive exhibition of folk costumes presented by collector Bogdan Banu and a stand to present the ethno and cultural tourism offers. Romanian food and wine will also be available.

The festival coincides with the ‘Universal Day of the Ia’ on July 13 and admirers and wearers of the delicately hand-embroidered blouse will read a special „Proclamation” issued by the mayor of Washington in honor of the iconic handcrafted garment.


VIDEO | Romanian rap, wine and pottery making at festival in Washington to celebrate Romanian-American friendship


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