I created visual records of winter customs traditions in contemporary Romania, especially in the region of north Bucovina- Suceava and Vatra Dornei, following The National Festival of Winter Traditions and Customs – “Porniți Plugul Feți Frumoși.”
The festival hosted a parade of popular costumes and winter customs, such as the horseman, the deer, the plowman, the ox cart, and the mask dance of bears and goats. The costumes and traditions are kept from generation to generation and re-contextualized in the present day.
Because many are leaving the country, it becomes harder and harder to keep the traditions, but communities are doing their best to keep the traditions as long as possible in this modern world. Many youngsters and adults of different ages come from far away villages, waking up very early in the morning to be at the Suceava town and Vatra Dornei to join the “ big meeting” with the other people from other villages to present their diversity of costumes and winter song for the upcoming New Year.
Documenting this visual series, I became more aware of the cultural diversity of my own country. In these photographs, you can have the feeling of the past and present/modern day. The youngsters are trying to keep up with traditions, but they also want to be involved in the modern day as well.