The project "Story Cleanup" has been completed

On October 24, story collectors and storytellers from Gulbene region gathered at the closing event of the project “Story Talka” at the Gulbene County Library.

The project started in May, when the narrator Agita Lapsa from Valmiera Library visited the library. We listened to the stories and told them ourselves, gained insight into how to prepare and conduct an interview. Stories were collected throughout the summer with the involvement of parish librarians. The inhabitants of the county shared their memories of childhood - how they got to their name, where they lived, where they went to school, what they did and did not do. Children and young people learned a lot about their family's life and past by interviewing their grandparents. The stories have “come” from different parts of the region - Litene, Druviena, Ranka, Tirza, Stari, Daukste, Galgauskas, Stradiem, Lizuma, Kalniena, Gulbene. Although people have lived in similar conditions, every story is unique, each narrator has their own experience, their own adventures, their own outlook on life.

Many stories were recorded and collected during the project - 30 video stories, more than 70 audio stories, as well as 16 stories in recorded form. Stories from different parts of the county show the richness of the language of the county - therefore it is important to make a video or audio recording of the story, thus preserving the peculiarities of the language of each place. The stories allow you to feel the value system of that time, imagining what life was like at that time.

At the closing event, which was held as a narrator's evening, we looked around and listened to some of the stories collected. Narrators Anna Zīle, Maiga Klimaševska and Maija Suntaža shared their childhood memories in person. The audience was also inspired by Māra Mellēna, a member of the board of the Latvian Storytellers' Association, who showed how exciting it is to tell and collect stories, how valuable it is to acquire and preserve them. During the event, the Vītols family from Druviena parish delighted with their songs.

Some of the obtained stories will be posted on the Gulbene County Library website in the County section. The life story of the poetess of Gulbene region Vija Poļaka has been published in the digital archive of the Latvian Folklore Repository in the collection of autobiographies, where anyone can get acquainted with it.

Although the project will be over, we invite you to still share your memory stories by coming to the Gulbene district library or contacting the librarian of your parish - tell your life story, bring long-written diaries, memo pads or other notes.

We hope that the project “Story Talka” will have “moved” the storytellers' movement in Gulbene region and we will be able to meet at similar events in the future as well!

Thanks to everyone who got involved in collecting the stories!

The project has received support in the cultural project competition “Vidzeme Culture Program 2019 supported by the Latvian State Forests and the State Cultural Capital Fund” announced by the Vidzeme Planning Region.

Inese Kalēja,
Gulbene County Library