experience romania

The traditional spirit of Romania: a stroll through the weekend markets in Bucharest

Guest Writer Yvette Larsson went to several weekend traditional markets and flea markets in Bucharest to discover the true spirit of Romania.

The first thing that met us in the market was the amazing, autumnal smell from grilling chestnuts, ‘castane’ in Romania. With a small bag of chestnuts in our hands we cruised the antiques and then headed towards the handicrafts and home made foods. I was looking for a unique gift for my mum and Elena, back home.

The smell from chicken pastrami and mici welcomed us as we entered the food- and handicraft -court.

Something that always draws my attention are the white blouses, the dresses and colorful scarfs that the ladies make by hand. They are amazing. What a job. No quick fix. Slow. I like that. I like to see those people doing things slowly, according to traditions.

I’m thinking of the word culture. It means ‘to cultivate’. It means to transmit your knowledge from one generation to the other. That makes us human. Sharing knowledge. It can be handicraft, it can be values. It can be anything we want to give to the next generation.

During another week-end, I visited a market just outside the Athenaeum. This one had vegetables, new “must ” : the non-alcoholic drink from the new grapes, wine, honey, bread, deserts, sarmale with mamaliga, barbecued pork, flowers. It had some clothes, jewelery and handcrafted wooden items, out of which I chose a “Spoon of Life” . Check out the pictures I took.

By Yvette Larsson, Guest Writer

Yvette Larsson is Swedish and in the last 12 years has lived in Norway, Denmark, England, France and the French Reunion Island.  She holds qualifications in languages and journalism from Umeå University, Sweden and has 10 years experience in sports management. Yvette now owns her Coaching and Leadership Consultancy business and is   currently blogging and writing a book about Romania, while searching for project opportunities in Bucharest. 

(photos by Yvette Larsson)

Week-end markets are usually organized at the Romanian Peasant Museum or at the Romanian Village Museum, as well as in the yard of the Agronomy University. Keep an eye on these markets as they are great opportunities to understand the Romanian spirit.