VISIT TO KURZEME IN LATVIA
STORYTELLING AS DEMOCRACY
We visited Kurland/Kurzeme in June where we had the opportunity to be the first guests at Kimale mansion.
Four wonderful days of meeting researchers of storytelling, the democracy club, tradition carriers, the municipality of Kuldiga, storytellers and learn and perform.
Our second physical event was situated in Kurland. close to the town of Kuldiga, which somehow has given the project our name. Kuld for Gold.
We had the opportunity to be the first guests at the Kimale Mansion, where a Swedish-Latvian family just had started a B&B-business. A house with a fantastic history to inspire the project.
Include the surroundings
At Kimale we could try the culture heritage café in a new setting. We baked cakes with eggs and cream from the neighbour farm. Inese and Kim, Kimale owners, invited people through their social media channels getting friends, neighbors, history interested people and individuals that went to school in the mansion a couple of decades ago.
We spent a whole day in Suiti, the relict area that still is a catholic enclave.
We met Lidija Jansone at the online session in October, but now got to visit her family farm where they teach younger generations about culture heritage, songs, stories, handcraft etc.
Lidija engaged us in a schal ceremony that the Suiti people used for weddings.
We also got to drink and eat traditional food - Cikoria coffee, carrot pie and Riga Balsam.
This was picknick food for the Maysinging that according to catholic tradition was brought to the roadcross to honor Virgin Mary with singing. Very similar to our Blekinge tradition.
Storytelling and democracy
To own the skills to both tell stories and listen to stories is about the right to the spoken word. It's a matter of democracy. This is especially present in cultures, such as the Estonian and the Latvian, where speech has been suppressed up till very recently. And the present history in Europe shows that this can change very quickly. The straight forward methods of traditional storytelling has a very important role to play in moderna society.
A sustainable network
Creating a strong and sustainable network is always about people. Individuals that meet, build trust and then create things together.
To aim for the future we gathered the last night at Kimale around four major focus areas and tried to come up with solutions. All these ideas will be gathered to go for the next level with Kuldrum. We don't believe we are done yet! This is just the beginning!
Four fantastic days
We had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Latvian Folklore Archives at the National Library in Riga. Ieva Vivere gave us a first lecture about Dainas, the more than 250.000 verses that was gathered in cigar boxes a hundred years ago.
The cupboard where the verses were kept can still be seen as an icon at the National Library.
Connecting to the common generations is of utter importance for tradition, especially immaterial traditions that need to be passed on from person to person. We have brought in our next generation into the project.
KULDRUM - storytelling project
Sponsored by Nordic Culture Pointwww.nordiskkulturkontakt.org