Exploring spring in Beverīna district: the third trip of the interest clubs
On April 23 – Jurģi day which for Latvians since ancient times has been associated with moving, roads and the beginning of new life and place to live and work the project participants, too, are going on a trip. Armed with maps and the description of the route we take our seats in the bus. This time our destination is Northern Vidzeme.
The participants of the third interest trip are welcomed by the people of the fabulous Beverīna district. Being one of the smallest districts in Latvia as regards the territory, it combines three rural municipalities– Kauguri, Brenguļi and Trikāta; the population is only 3500 inhabitants. However, the small size of the district is misleading- the willingness of the local people to act, their initiative and creativity allows them to carry out great intentions.
The first stop is in Kauguri rural municipality. The coordinator of this event and the leader of the association “The Door of Opportunity” Linda Krūmiņa meets us. The young singers from J. Endzelīns Kauguri primary school give a moving musical performance; representatives of the local municipality express their greetings and offer a virtual insight into the history of the district and tell proudly about the popular people of the district – the linguist J. Endzelīns, the writer Z. Mauriņa, army generals J. Balodis, R. Dambītis, K. Gopers as well as the athlete O. Melbārdis who at present is at the pinnacle of his glory. The project participant Jana has some observations already: „I really like how you speak about your Motherland. The country is small but you love it with all your heart and soul. This is seen in every place we visit. Maybe it is because people live here for several generations and this sense of belonging is inherited.”
With interest the participants look into the classrooms through the open doors. Together with children of Kauguri primary school we “learn a bit” of history, music and visual art. Having talked with the first graders Alexander fro the Ukraine says: „I could actually stay with you. It would be good to learn the Latvian language together with you.” The words of agreement are heard in response and a girl even encourages him saying – „but you already know a bit!”.
Then our route takes us to „Kalnķeņģi” – to meet the potter Līga Mergina and the cherished thing developed by her and her relatives – „Siltumnīca”/Hothouse/. Having changed city to the life in the countryside she had started from the zero. Now this is a place of active life – concerts, performances, potter’s workshop, excursions, outings and many other different events. Līga’s wish to the project participants: „I am telling and showing you to encourage you so that you saw that you can start from the zero. You have come from different places. Show your national identity to others. It will be different and at the same time interesting to others. I want to inspire you!” And she really manages to do it- the questions filled with interest about the possibilities of family entrepreneurship serve as the proof to that.
We enjoy lunch and new inspiring meetings in Brenguļi. The director of the Elementary school Sandra Kaufmane tells sincerely about her small school: „I am really proud of my pupils, parents, and teachers. We feel as a large family. Parents bring their children to our school even from the town because here every child counts and is valued.”
Next the winding road takes us to the farm "Jaunupītes” situated in Trikāta rural municipality. The owners of the farm Marita and Madara with pride show us around their horse-breeding farm and tell us how the colt is reared into the horse that participates in competitions, the cart horse or the entertainment horse. The modern and tidy stable, the special attitude to animals and the environment cause respect and admiration. It turns out that the horse’s character is moulded not only by trainings and teaching but also good music that is playing in the background! The story of the hostesses that this is a truly family business and its history is measured in four generations allows us to understand better the importance of work in the culture of Latvia.
Our last stop was in Trikāta Community house „Depo”. The people from Trikāta municipality meet the project participants and willingly tell about their hobbies and businesses. They reveal the secrets of felting and demonstrate how to make warm slippers and fragrant ‘soap in the jumper’ as well as bijouterie. This experience is very useful for all those who are interested in crafts and creative activities.
The fact that all depends on ourselves and that each of us can find an interesting occupation if only we have willpower and the desire to do this is proved by the production manager of “R Chocolate”, Ltd., Raisa Jablonska. She tells that she took up business after Trikāta dairy plant was closed down. Initially she had been cautious about the success but now the demand for chocolate sweets is increasing and they have full hands with work. Both the chocolate and the producers of the sweets receive heart-felt compliments and best wishes from the participants. Trikāta is famous for its cheese making traditions and cheese constitutes of the tastes of Latvia. The cheese making expert Inese Ziemane reminds about this and offers different chesses she had made for tasting. Inese’s personal story, too, is about daring and that Latvia is made of enterprising and inspiring people.
The participation in the quiz about getting acquainted with Beverīna district is a joyful surprise for everyone- there are only winners- each has gained knowledge about the rich history of the district, ingenuous people and ideas how to build one’s life in Latvia.
We would like to express our gratitude to the organizers, the representatives of the association “Doors of possibilities” Linda Krūmiņa, Sandra Kaufmane, Iveta Rambola and all those involved in putting together this event for the warm welcome and opening the doors to the heart of Latvia!