Budapest - a capital of Hungary-is one of the most beautiful city I have ever visited .
We were given to know there are numbers of antique shops stands along the street a few minuets south from the Hungarian Folklore museum.
There Anna’s shop stands, carrying large collection of beautiful linen hand works.Her collection is very nicely selected, and every item is in good condition, neatly cleaned and pressed.
I have learned that Hungary has very complicated long history. In ancient time, Huns from orient invaded there, Carapatian basin, then later controlled by Ottman Turkey, then reigned by Hapsburg as the region of Austria-Hungary Imperial, then annoyed by Nazis-Germany and next controlled by Communists, under the influence of Soviet Union…
It is hard to remember throughly by quick reading for me.
Anyway, I guess it is because its geological condition as a huge fertile plain of Carapatian basin, it could have been a meeting and conflicting place of many tribes getting into this place with abundant resources.
Looking of beautiful antique linens, suddenly I was caught by the thought this beautiful city had been occupied by Communism, nearly unbelievable for me to have Communists regime in this place.
That thought made me ask to the lady at the working table, and then conversation started.
I asked to her,
‘Have you had this kind of shop at the time of communist era in Budapest?’
Her answer was
‘Off course Not. I had opened this shop in 1997.’
So I was given to know this lovely lady is the shop owner, Anna.
Then she told me her story…
She was born in Transylvania, which is now in Romania, but a part of Hungarian culture.
‘When I was younger, it was a horrible time there. Do you know Ceausescu？（I nodded apparently) it was the time of his control, so my friend suggested me to move to Hungary or Germany, anywhere but not in Romania, so I decided to move to Budapest.
Then I married here and raised children. After the Ceausescu era ended, I could get back to my home country, Transylvania.
Now I go back there every 3 months. I have father still living there, and also its nature, and warm hearted people… It is so important for me. I can be refreshed touching those Transylvanian life and soul. I always think about there…’
The Hungarian Folklore Museum has been exhibiting those folklore cultures.
According to it, such kind of colorful hand works had flourished after Emancipation in mid 19th century.
And also, Anna’s shop carries beautiful white works which is similar to what you can also find in western Europe such as France. I guess, those white works were for aristocrats from Austria-Hungary Imperial, on the contrary the colorful or reddish works were done as folklore culture.
Anna also told me that she goes to purchase to each home directly when they clear out those old stuff. It is exactly the same way as Japanese antique dealers do here in Kyoto.
‘Then I clean, press and patch or mend those old linens.
You know, most of them are hand woven. Please imagine how long it took time to weave by hand. I always think about those people who had been working so hard and carefully. It makes my heart so warm. I do love those hand works of old days…’
Anna is a lady who speaks in very gentle and friendly way. I thought she loves linens, but also loves and cares about those people who made them.
And I understood how she long for her home country all the time.
She added at last,
‘ So, I am living double life for a long time. My life is in Budapest mostly, but my heart is always in Transylvania.’
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