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While Gladiola is talking, gentle Ibi, with her long hair, stands quietly next to her and smiles. She exudes calm. We meet them both in Galdiola's shop, where Ibi works. She serves customers but most of the time she sits hunched over the table and makes jewellery out of glass beads. The jewellery sells well, but that's not all it’s about. Because making colourful bracelets or necklaces out of glass beads has a long tradition in the Bihor region. “Every girl used to learn how to do this,” says Ibi. “The women sat at home in the evenings doing handicrafts.” The jewellery was worn on Sundays in the church or at weddings. Ibi has embraced this tradition, making new parts based on old models and repairing damaged originals. She has even developed her own technology. She searches for historical pieces on Facebook so people don't throw them away. She needs old pearls for the repairs as today's glass pearls are larger and come in different shapes. Quiet Ibi blossoms when she talks about her jewellery. She shows us the chequered sheets on which she draws the pearl patterns. And places old and new necklaces side by side to show us the differences. It is Gladiola who is quiet this time.

 

Text:  Jasmin Jouhar
Photo(s): Nafez Rerhuf