Spain, Galicia, January 2014
Jan. 30th – Feb. 3rd
international meeting & grand meeting
the story of this meeting:
Compostela, Jakobsland, at the end of the land
It rains in Compostela, my sweet friend.
The Estonians Liis and Kulno were the first ones to arrive in the rainy town. Jerjena and Eugvenija, from Slovenia arrived along the afternoon. The Lithuanians Mindaugas, Laura and Anne from Porto came by car. Irena, Natalija, Magda and Ala from Poland meet the Austrians Edeltraum, Regina, Ali and Daniel and flied together landing Thursday the 30th at late night. Lara, Mateo, Chus, Andrea and Brais were the hosts. Welcome evening and brief history-telling we had in a pub in town.
The Museum of the Galician People (Museo do Pobo Galego, MPG) hosted the first study visit, on Friday morning. Manolo took us through a short tour. Carminha and Ana shared “Café da memoria” and “Living Library Tesouros vellos para xente nova” experiences.
*Café da Memoria.
Intergenerational dialogue event taking place twice a year in the MPG. Selected informants are invited to share an open talk after-lunch while taking a coffee. The talks are facilitated by an expert and video-recorded for archiving and research purposes. Audience can also part thus ensuring intergenerational dimension. The chosen topics aim to provide visibility to untold stories and not enough known aspects of Intangible Cultural Heritage
*Living Library “Old Treasures and Young People”
First Living Library ever in Santiago de Compostela. Promoted by AXC ITACA in cooperation with the MPG and University of Santiago Education Department. 8 Living Books who made their living out of old traditions adapted to modern times, shared some life stories with about 100 university students.
That same morning a bus took us to Valadares, rural area of Vigo, Galician biggest town. Some neighbours NGO board members and the regueifeiros Luis Caruncho and Josiño da Teixeira had lunch with us and performed their skills in the “after-lunch/sobremesa”. “Regueifa” is a improvised singing as a duel where one makes fun of the other while greeting the audience and taking advantage of any casual and spontaneous feature going on. Over a standard melody, every singer makes up 4 verses strophes (with rhyme in the 2nd and the 4th).
After a tour around the Neighbors Cultural Centre guided by its president, Gregorio, the group faced the Ocean and Natalja, from Janowice Welkie, was the first reaching the seawater in Samil beach. As the Sun was setting, the VERBUM House of the Words, opened its doors to show us some good practices promoted by the Council of Vigo Language Normalization Department (Servizo de Normalización Lingüística). Ana, Maica and two Martas told us about the Centro de Interpretación Oral de Vigo, CIOV (Oral Interpretation Centre in Vigo) and some of its job on intergenerational dialogue through storytelling and place-names.
Later on,Telmo and Carlos were waiting for us in a seaside tavern to have a drink and have a chat. Telmo is member of the Vigo’s historical memory recovery (Asociación Viguesa pola Memoria do 36) and quite successful Living Book in the first Living Library that ever happened in Galicia (Verbum, Vigo, 2011). He shared his experience as Living Book and told us his story as history researcher since he retired at the age of 63… That was a learning experience!
After returning to Compostelaq, those who had energy enough attended the Xth Anniversary of the “Gentalha do Pichel” NGO community center. It was a 10 bands festival with dozens of people enjoying and dancing traditional music.
On Saturday the city market was crowded, the Virgin in Santa María Salomé was pregnant and the views from A Casa do Cabildo were great. We were asked not to walk in groups inside the cathedral (!) and then departed all together to ITACA. Nerea introduced us the history of the NGO and its main features, including the summer camp and the Living Library that took place in 2013 summer camp. ITACA families came at lunch time for “cocido”, play music and dance. About 50 people gathered, and the sun shone for the first time! After a break to have a walk, Mateo, Daniel and Hadri delivered the first Far-fán in English ever remembered. It was fun.
César -drummer who attended Estonian meeting- and Mauro -hurdy-gurdy player- joined for dinner. That night the Estonian bagpiper Kulno Malva played Galician tunes for the first time…
On Sunday the morning session on Living Libraries was a bit too long before the elaboration of catalogs among partcipants… It made us reflect on the little we know each other… Evaluation round took place in ITACA as a closing circle. Lunch took place in an octopusery restaurant with musicians drinking around and then we had some free time to meet the world heritage town. Magda and Edeltraum went to the end of the land. Kulno and Mauro met Pauline, Estonian musician living in Compostela, and this night performed some Estonian music in a pub in town, by their own and together with a band of local musicians. The Estonian bagpipe and the Galician hurdy-gurdy player seemed to get on very very well. The Dialogue for Tomorrow meeting in Galicia ended with aplause.