Living the Romanian Tradition of Round Dance at Village Prom
Last year, we spent the best holiday in the Romanian village of Iaslovăț. We packed up and drove to Bucovina. We were 10 hours away from home, living the most authentic experience ever!
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have real fun with real dance-loving people. It was the first time I ever attended such an event. Many Fb friends asked where did we take those pictures.
These proms are being organized in the Romanian countryside regions of Moldova and Bucovina. Attended by authentic peasant people, dressed in Romanian folk costumes. Don’t imagine some simple costumes! They want to wear their most spectacular blouses. In my naivety, I was hoping that my blouse was going to be the best looking blouse at the prom. In my dreams! You just can’t compete them! Their pride is too strong. When they make a blouse, they have their neighbors and all the villagers in mind. Each one wants to be the cherry on top. But not in a bad way, not exaggerated, they don’t brag. They just want to show their diligence, because the diligent is a worthy person. The lazy people are unappreciated by the community.
We spent all evening preparing for it. While grandma was watching all of us getting ready, I could see a light in her eyes. She was remembering her youth, living those times again through us. At 9 pm, we arrived at the community center.
Each family brought food and drink, because they cooked plenty. We took some pictures on the stage and then, the fun began. The singers Andreea Chisăliță, Solovăstru Emila, Natalia Coajă were amazing and the atmosphere was brilliant. Great traditional music!
We have been round dancing all night long, together with the dancing band from Vicov. Some extremely talented dancers! They are intimidating if you dance nearby them. Not for the faint-hearted. You can get very dizzy from watching them whirl!
VIDEO – Romanian Tradition of Round Dance at Village Prom
Can’t even describe how it feels to dance and whirl with all those people.
How The Romanian Tradition of Round Dance Proms was Brought Back to Life
What was the purpose of these gatherings? Aside from the obvious, when a girl was ready for marriage, her mother would put ornaments round her neck and allow her to go to the dance. This was an emblematic moment in rural life. A moment when the family would announce the availability of their daughter for marriage. By wearing the necklace at the dance, the girl signaled that young men were allowed to ask her to dance and woo her.
These Romanian round dance proms were brought back to life through the efforts of Romanian singer Călin Brăteanu.
Between 1920-1940’s, people got together at the wealthiest man, with the biggest house. In 1950-1970’s, when the community centers were founded, everyone could participate at these proms. In 1970’s they were organized by the wealthiest peasants and attended by the most prosperous families. Hence the name “The Diligent’s Prom”.