The village of Branesti

The main attraction in the village of Branesti is its annual folklore festival “Ziua Cucilor”

The village of Branesti is host to a number of secondary educational schools for the Illfov County, among them a school for foresters. Thats why you will also find the teacher training centre called Casa Corpului Didactic here. The institution is a resource centre that provides additional courses and support for staff from the whole county. My background from drama education was attracted to this arena, what would they think about using drama in education? As a partner in the project of documenting and developing the Ziua Cucilor ( Cucu’s day ), I did not want to touch their traditions, I wanted to focus on the future, education and communication! So in 2015 I held a number of workshop in prosess drama (Forum Theatre) for teachers and students at the CCD. Drama is a powerful way to engage students in topics that otherwise seem dead and of little relevans to them, such as history. But most of all drama teaches us to be more expressive and emphatic in our interactions with other people. Augusto Boal, who was critical of the development of drama where actors and audience was separated, emphasized the collective unity of theatre. Siting the Dithyrambic processions from ancient Greece as an ideal. Like the people parading through the streets of Branesti, the ancient Greeks were involved in a collective narrative shared by their fellow citizens.

My cooperation with the local government in Branesti, a part of Illfov County, started in 2014. As a foreigner, my knowledge of Romanian spring rites was scarce. As I was taken around monasteries and historical sights I started to see the similarities with Norway. Most people in Romania can trace their roots back to the traditional rural farmlife with very few steps. Wheather it was southern Calarasi, western Gorj or northern Maramures, they are all represented at Ziua Cucilor. This exposition of crafts, music and colors from all regions of Romania celebrate the rural superstitions and values. A significant influx of Bulgarians arrive to take part in the event, showing that folklore traditions run deeper that borders and flags. Multi ethnic is indeed a good way to describe the gathering of old and young who now parade through the streets of Branesti. This rite of spring celebrates fertility as well as bringing people together for a traditional meal and festive drink!

Strong, bright colors compete with the rhythmic rattle of the bells calling for the arrival of spring.

Project PromotorStatusEnd
Local Government of Branesti, Romania.Concluded2015