Demeter Miklós – instrument maker

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My name is Miklos Demeter. I was born on march 27, 1974 in Saint George. I finished my High School studies in my hometown in 1992 at Mikes Kelemen High School. After that I studied folklore at Pecs University. In 2008 I finished my studies in Hungarian at the aforementioned university.

Handcrafting has been a part of my life since my childhood. I spent a large part of summer vacations at my grandmother’s weaving shop. I started playing music and making instruments during my high school years. It was during my university studies that I got serious about these hobbies and started playing ancient music as well. I have played at the puppet theatre for several years as well as in the Famous Pannonia ancient music group. During these years I made folk and ancient music instruments, folklore toys and household items. Besides regular orders I went to traditional handcraft markets.

I met my wife Petrova Anastasia during my university studies who is of Udmurt nationality, and being a Hungarian-Udmurt major, was studying as an exchange student at the University of Pecs. After our acquaintance I have paid more attention to the Udmurt folk culture. Between 1999 and 2001 we conducted numerous collection trips to Udmurts living in Tatarstan and Mari republic, where traditional Udmurt violin music still exists. It was then that I decided that my life goal will be to preserve and hand down Udmurt violin music. I started making Udmurt violins and began to learn Udmurt violin playing. I made violins for Udmurt folk groups and played the violin in Ekton Korka folkdance studio. The theme of my folk and Hungarian thesis is the folklore of the Udmurts.

We lived in Hungary until 2007. In 2001 our daughter Gyongyi was born, and our second daughter, Kata in 2004.

Between 2007 and 2011 I worked at the National Udmurt University as a lectorate of Hungarian Language as a colleague of the Balassi Institution. During these years I also have visited Udmurt villages in Udmurtia, Tatarstan and Baskiria, to learn their Culture.

In 2011 we have returned to Transylvania, and have chosen to settle in Bikfalva. At the present we earn our living from handcrafting and farming in our backyard. I am a member of the Folklore Association of Hungarians in Romania as well as the member of the Szeklerland Handcrafters Assoiation. My wife makes felt items and I make ancient and folklore instruments and old toys for children. We attend markets for handcrafters on regular bases, and also conduct handcrafting seminars for children. We appreciate nature’s gifts: trees, wool, walnuts, peanuts and clay. Our goal is to make handcrafted items through which one can feel the warmth of the hand and the words of love.