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IA Day, the Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse

The Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse was celebrated on June 24.

IA Day / photo: Agerpres
IA Day / photo: Agerpres

, 25.06.2024, 13:50

Every year, on June 24, the Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse – IA Day is celebrated by the Romanian communities all over the world. Aside from their timeless beauty, these blouses are special as valuable anthropological artefacts, communicating through hand-embroidered symbols the identity of their wearer. Whether it has large and colorful hand-made embroidery, or is simply white, it is a symbol of ancestral traditions and an value of the Romanian culture. Originally made from home-woven hemp cloth, it has always represented the main piece of traditional Romanian women’s clothing.

 

As time passed, it began to be made of linen and silk thread, the festive ones, or of linen and hemp with cotton warp, the ones that were worn every day. The difference  between traditional blouses depended on the region, having different motifs and decoration techniques, passed down from one generation to another. As a rule, the colors used for sewing are in two or three chromatic shades, but they are also sewn entirely with black thread, as is the case of the blouses in Mărginimea Sibiului. In keeping with the specificity of the area, pastel colors, metallic threads, flowers, butterflies and beads are added, and the motifs used for decoration include flowers, geometric figures, animals, cosmic elements, all rendered in stylized forms.

 

The online community “La Blouse Roumaine” proposed, in 2012, that June 24, when the birth of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated and the ancient feast of Sânzienele and Drăgaica is marked, should become IA Day, a day dedicated to the traditional Romanian women’s blouse, a good opportunity to promote a wonderful Romanian tradition and also to create a country brand recognized all over the world. On June 2013, the first edition took place with the theme “Fairies dress the Planet in IE”, which triggered a real cultural movement and revived the traditional Romanian blouse and costume.

 

This year, the theme of the Universal Day of IA was “A New Beginning – Give Credit”, all international fashion brands being invited “to come to Romania, respect our culture and if they want to be inspired, recognize the origins and involve creatively the people who, from generation to generation, have created, enriched, preserved and passed on the IA, the blouse and our traditional garment”, La Blouse Roumaine said in a Facebook post.

 

The Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse is currently celebrated in over 60 countries and 130 localities, with hundreds of events organized annually. The event entered the program of museums and cultural institutions in the country and abroad, being marked by both Romanian embassies and diplomatic missions, and, starting December 1, 2022, elements of “The art of the high-necked shirt – an element of cultural identity in Romania and the Republic of Moldova” have been included on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

This year, on this special day, Romanians from all over the world wrote history in Nuremberg, as the “Dumitru Dorin Prunariu” Romanian-Moldavian-German Cultural Center in Germany managed to enter the World Book of Records twice: for the longest Romanian traditional belt manufactured in three months, which measures 1,667.41 meters and for the heaviest traditional belt, which weighed 70 kilograms. The item was measured by a Book of Records delegation. More than 1000 people from numerous organizations, from New Zealand to the Republic of Moldova, participated in its manufacturing. (EE)

 

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