Such a beauty

“I always say that a place without traditions or a cultural background is a place without life. Something unusual grabs my attention in the corner of Piața Victoriei.

I imagine that this place is usually full of people going about their shopping, or stopping for a coffee with a friend. But today is one of the first days I’ve been out of my apartment after I arrived during the quarantine.

….my first time to see Timosoara. I notice the couple standing in a corner, talking with each other. The woman takes my breath away!

Not just because of her beauty, but also the uniqueness of the traditional clothes she’s wearing.
She’s wearing a skirt like an explosion of colors. A rainbow that flows to her ankles.

Her hand reaches thoughtlessly for the edge of the scarf she wears tied around her hair, and she plays with the ends while she looks at the man.

She has many bracelets on her arm, and they make a sound when she moves that’s like music to me. She’s different from the modern women I’ve seen here. I imagine she’s from a small, rural village, coming for the day to the city.

I notice the way she looks at the man with innocence and affection, and I think to myself, I hope someday I will find a woman who will look at me this way. She looks happy and relaxed.

I catch myself staring, so happy to see the culture of this place, what seems to me like history alive in front of me. Traditional Romanian clothing on this beautiful woman. I leave the square and continue my walk.

Later, my curiosity made me ask about the history behind that Romanian woman. I’m told she belongs to the Gypsy community, and is definitely not Romanian. In fact, that she… that Gypsies… don’t belong to any country in particular.

I hear a bit of distaste in his mouth as he speaks. He doesn’t mention the creative, mismatched clothes that took my breath away. He doesn’t share my admiration for the simple beauty I saw.

Honestly I didn’t know many things about this country before I came here. But since I started going out and discovering the city, I continue to let my eyes look for – and find – the life… and beauty… in every corner.”

Author: Ali Hamdi

This digital story has been realised within the European project “Stories Behind the Cities”, founded by Creative Europe Programme, European Commission.