Pál Péter Haszmann, the guardian of Szekler traditions has passed away

Pál Péter Haszmann, folk artist, museologist and the retired leader of the Haszmann Pál open-air museum in Csernáton/Cernat, has passed away. His sense of mission, rock-solid faith and his deep love and loyalty for the Szekler nation shaped the museum in Csernáton and the spiritual workshop built around it.

The Haszmann Pál Museum was founded by Pál Haszmann, his father, who started collecting decorative objects early in his life. The institution opened its gates to the public on February 25, 1973. To avoid being a mere pile of objects, the Community College of Csernáton was founded at the same time for creative young people. Summer camps also take place continuously, offering the opportunity for all those interested to learn the art of wood carving, furniture painting, blacksmithing, carpentry and the wheelwright’s trade.

Under the leadership of Pál Péter Haszmann and thanks to his dedicated work, the collections grew year by year, and the museum became the richest open-air museum in Transylvania. The Haszmann Pál Museum consists of a permanent exhibition, an exhibition of agricultural tools and machines, a cast iron collection and a collection on the history of the radio in Háromszék.

“Our parents raised us with an awareness that we have to take care of our values and our heritage. We are standing here, right in the center of the open-air museum, where we can see the Szekler types of houses, houses with porches, the Szekler gates, relics of our built folk heritage. One by one, we also managed to save the tools from decay. But there is a perpetual question: Is there a need for them or will they die out? Only crafts that were necessary for the community survived in the villages: builder, carpenter, bootmaker. This is life. We are the guardians of our past, of our roots, because we cannot live without roots. We have to cultivate our folk, dance and linguistic heritage. It is ours. It is our duty to preserve it.”Pál Péter Haszmann, museologist in a TransylvaniaNOW exclusive interview in 2020.


Featured photo: Pál Péter Haszmann, museologist (Wikipedia)

Author: Blanka Székely