Christmas is getting closer and much as I, being an old traditionalist, like to ignore it until Christmas Eve, I can’t do that as far as sending Christmas cards is concerned. So today I’ve devoted to making some.
This year I thought I’d do something with pictures of Romanian decorated eggs; decorated with Christmas scenes and symbols is not traditional, nor is feeding a ribbon through so it can be hung on the Christmas tree. I think I can take ‘credit’ for this as a suggestion made when I was working in a project to try to increase the income of the ladies who decorate the eggs.
I cannot take any credit for the one below – again it is not ‘traditional’ but the relatively small number of women making these wonderful paintings on hens’ eggs have no artistic training – it’s a natural talent. Some of the nuns in the monasteries paint eggs like this too.
However, I have some people I want to send a Christmas card to who cannot see – tenants in the houses supported by the small charity for which I work and a couple of work colleagues. What about them?
What better than enclosing a CD with some of the wonderful Romanian Christmas carols, very beautiful and very different to the carols I was used to before I went to Romania.
Here are just three from the ‘Christmas card CD’ I have made this morning (hopefully if you click on them they’ll play on your computer – they’re MP3 files not the CD audio files).
22 Colindul clopotelor 21 Linu-i lin 19 O, ce veste minunata
22. The carol of the bells
21. I can’t translate it – smooth (like the music)
19. O, what wonderful news
– sung by the superb ‘Mira’ choir of the ‘Lord’s Church of St. Nicholas’ in Iasi, Romania (Lord in the sense of ruler, of Moldova, Stefan cel Mare – Stephen the Great). The only musical instrument in the Romanian church is the human voice, if you discount the bells and the toaca (the wooden board drummed to summon the faithful to prayer), of which this Iasi church has neither. I have been lucky enough to hear this choir many times when I lived in Iasi, not just at Christmas. The church is the one in which I was married.
The third carol is my favourite, perhaps because it is the first I learned by heart and surprised my pupils each year by singing it to them. For you, I can assure you that Mira is much better!
You’ll find Mira on YouTube: