The exhibition Around the world on foot. The story of the 497 pairs of opinci was made within the project of the same name, financed by a grant offered by Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the Government of Romania, carried out between 2015-2016. Project details here.
The exhibition Around the world on foot. The story of the 497 pairs of opinci brings to the public's attention a unique heritage, unique in the country, related to the personality of the first Romanian globe-trotter, Dumitru Dan, a prominent figure in the history of tourism whose performance is recorded in the 1985 Book of Records. in the atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century when, on April 1, 1910, from Bucharest, Dumitru Dan together with 3 other young Romanians, Alexandru Pascu, Gheorghe Negreanu and Paul Pîrvu, embarked on a journey around the world, accompanied by the shepherd dog, Harap .
Throughout the trip, Romanian globe-trotters wore Romanian national costumes, broke 497 pairs of opinci and, in order to sustain material, held small conferences-performances performing Romanian poems, songs and dances in the big cities and capitals of Romania. to the world, some of them real shows in which they displayed their multiple talents.
The exhibition is written in various foreign languages: documents (manuscripts, typed, printed), articles published in the press about the visit of globe-trotters in various cities of the world, show posters, illustrated postcards, theater contracts, photographs and goods ethnographic objects, objects of medalism and sigilography, badges and medals, cockades issued by aid companies operating within the Romanian communities in the United States of America, audio recordings of D. Dan from the 1970s and documentaries, reconstructions made within the project through EEA Grants funding.
Who was Dumitru Dan?
Dumitru Dan he was born in Buhuşi, on July 14, 1890 and died in Buzău on December 4, 1978. He was a Romanian geographer, geography teacher and traveler. He was one of the 7 children of Maria and Tudorache Dan, a church singer and a plumber. He finished primary school in Buhuşi, the Commercial High School in Brăila and the Faculty of Geography in Paris. He worked for 30 years as a geography teacher in Brăila and Buzău.
During the period 1910-1916, 1923 he took part in the competition organized by the Touring Club de France, a competition interrupted due to the First World War and completed in 1923 in Paris, where he was awarded the prize and the title of world champion. He also traveled through Europe during the interwar period: in Italy (1924, 1927, 1930), Switzerland (1927), etc. His grave in the Heroes' Cemetery in Buzau was redeveloped in October 2017 following a donation from Gheorghe Dan.
Dumitru Dan, the first Romanian globe-trotter, went walking around the world with 3 other colleagues, Alexandru Pascu, Gheorghe Negreanu, Paul Pârvu and were accompanied by nearly 90,000 km of Harap the shepherd dog. The journey of the 4 young Romanians would take them on the meridians of the globe, meeting, at the beginning of the twentieth century, various personalities, cultures, populations and facing all kinds of funny or downright dangerous situations. Over 1,500 localities from 74 countries, on 5 continents, traveled on foot, in national costumes and costumes, traveling thousands of kilometers on the deck of ships, breaking 497 pairs of glasses and 28 national costumes.
The whole thematic construction has as its main "voice" the globe-trotter's accounts of this daring journey. Exposure is one engaging (auditory, visual, tactile, motor, even olfactory) and aims to highlight the importance of this long journey on foot, the constant effort of the main character, Dumitru Dan and the critical situations he experienced. The exhibition has a narrative structure configured on 15 different themes and reproduces through dioramas some of the most difficult moments during the route. In the central area, the 4 personalized mannequins of the young globe-trotters are placed on the stage, thus reconstituting, in a spectacular atmosphere, one of their moments of glory. The reconstruction was made starting from the only known photograph of the four Romanians, a photograph that has now disappeared. Also on display in the hall are 497 pairs of opinci made by the popular craftsman Doina Mușat, to highlight the extraordinary physical effort, as well as the perseverance, will, physical endurance and outstanding psycho-moral traits of the one who completed this journey. walking around the world.
Are exposed goods which belonged to Dumitru Dan, most of them being documents from the trip, issued by prestigious institutions or personalities of the respective period: governors, mayors of big cities, presidents of states, etc. The exhibition is complemented by information on the most important moments of encounters with various peoples of the world, more or less friendly, with funny or dangerous events with natives and wildlife or other events lived on various seas and oceans on board ships, events from ports and incidents of all kinds.
The exhibition aims to bring to the public's attention the personality of Dumitru Dan and his unique sporting performance up to that time, to highlight the role of "Ambassador of Romania" and the bearer of traditional Romanian values on all the meridians of the globe, which he had at the beginning of the 20th century.
One of his most beautiful thoughts captures, perhaps best, the essence of this daring adventure: Traveling, moving as far away from the borders of the country as possible and getting to know other peoples, you get to better understand the soul of your people., stated Dumitru Dan in 1978.
Starting from the exhibition theme, interactive storytelling lessons are regularly held in the hall Travel the globe and craft workshops Traditional sewn signs. The exhibition was nominated for the European Academy of Museums Awards in 2017 and has its own Facebook Page Dumitru Dan globe-trotter - Buzau County Museum Project as well as the Youtube channel Dumitru Dan Globe-trotter.