Click SLIDE SHOW: snaps of Latvian Children attending KURSA-2013.
Latvia and it’s capitol, Riga, are a long way from the Pacific NW. There are about 2 million people in the tiny, but fiercely independent nation. Only roughly half are Latvian. The others are largely unwelcome ethnic Russians given the keys to the country by Stalin not long after WWI. With perestroika, glasnost, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the ancient Latvian people are once again free from tyranny and Communist oppression. What makes this miracle all the more amazing for a fertile but flat land devoid of natural barriers to invading armies from its much larger neighbors is only 1 in every 7,000 people on the planet is a Latvian speaking native–an ancient people long predating the Russians themselves and a virtual endangered ‘species’.
The Latvian people’s antipathy toward their ethnic immigrant Russian interlopers might be more easily understood given their recent WWII hardships caught between the Communists to the east and the Nazis to the west. Their love for their land, their language, their heritage, traditions, history, culture and, above all, their children, stands as a remarkable example of courage in the face of adversity.
In the wake of WWII, those Latvian refugees who survived became part of a diaspora. Many struggled to arrive in the U.S. where they remain today. Although they left their home thousands of miles away, they continue to maintain a bond to their kin and countrymen. They encourage their children, 2nd and 3rd generation Latvians, to do the same. Part of this article of faith resides in the Latvian Village situated a few miles outside of Shelton, WA, abutting a large parcel where State Prisoners are housed in a penal/corrections institution. For all that, the Latvian Village property is beautiful, lush, and covered with firs, a lake, streams, and a climate somewhat milder, but reminiscent of the home they were forced to leave behind. Some still make pilgrimages to Latvia to attend cultural festivals. Those who cannot manage that expense often send their children for several weeks to the Latvian Village summer camp held exclusively to promote the Latvian language (related to Sanskrit and believed to have migrated up the Indus valley thousands of years ago), their ancient tribal history, customs, dress, dance, and music.
Through the magic of modern multimedia communication technology, you can see, hear, and perhaps feel some of the bright spirit with which they imbue their children, hoping to preserve what is precious in both.
The 15 or so video clips posted on Youtube are from the culminating event/performance of the KURSA dance/music festival from which children are ultimately awarded a graduation certificate after years of summer attendance, work, and the fun of each other’s company as kindred spirits. HD DVD’s of the performance and snaps may be purchased from Maija Reikstins, the Latvian Village music director. All proceeds will go to the Latvian Village only and scholarships for the Latvian children who could not otherwise attend.
A full Latvian:English translation of the lyrics, as well as links to a slide show of snaps taken at the event can be found at: amicuscuria.com/wordpress/?p=10969
The first 5 or so clips are largely the invocation, prayer, awards of recognition, diplomas, acknowledgments, and attributions of those who made the event possible and participated. The children’s names can be heard. The spelling of the same is beyond my ken as I don’t speak the language.
It’s self evident the camp building used to host this event was not a studio. Hence, the lighting is difficult, hard to reach, and the fire exit signs need a bag over their heads during the performance. Some concessions were made to the photographer in blacking out the windows and doors which would have back lit the subjects. There were too many folding metal chairs unnecessarily within the frames, but the children were universally beautiful and gave a stunning performance for all of only 3-weeks they had to learn a language in which they were not fluent. Thus, except in the dance numbers, their eyes (and windows to their souls) are averted downward to read the Latvian songs they perform. There were many tears and hugs at the end while they bid their goodbyes to one another. Norman Rockwell could scarcely have created a warmer ambiance for his subjects. Roll over, Beethoven!…all this heartfelt goodness is available to you only through your local Latvian Village, right here in the woodsy glens of Mason County.
Kursa-2013 @ Latvian Village, Shelton
MĀRAS MIĶELI MĀRTIŅI
KURSAS PROGRAMMA 2013 g. 3. augustā CLOSING PROGRAM KURSA Aug. 3, 2013
Dziesma: Nāk’ Rudentiņis t.dz. Song: Autumn is coming (folk song)
Māras diena iezīmē vasaras beigas, ražas Maras Day signals the end of summer
vākšanas laiks,un ka dabā sākas pirmās and the beginning of harvest. Mara cares
vēsuma jausmas. Māra rūpējās par visu for all living things and works Laima, with who
būtību un strādā kopā ar Laimu. Un, ja līdz determines the fates. And, if šim laikam meita nav saderēta, by this time of year, a maiden is not betrothed, she will have
tad būs jāgaida uz nākamo gadu. to wait for another year.
Līgo saule vakarā, līgo gani sētiņā The evening sun sways, the shepherds sway in
Līgo pati mīļa Māra telītēm vārtu vērt. the yard. Mara sways as she opens the gates for the calf.
Salmi čaukst, salmi čaukst, kas tos salmus čaukstināja? The straw crackles-who is crackling the straw?
Mīļa Māra čaukstināja, sav’ telītes barodama. Dear Mara crackles the straw, feeding the calves.
Kas iemeta zelta rīksti manā govu laidarā? Who has thrown a golden rod into my stockyard?
Mīļa Māra iemetuse raibaliņas skaitīdama. Dear Mara threw it as she counted the spotted cows.
Gotiņ, mana raibuliņa, kas tev raibi norakstīja? My spotted cow, who made those spots?
Svētā Māra norakstīja, svētu rītu ganīdama, Mara made the spots, as she herded them on a blessed morn.
Mīļa Māra rotajasi mūsu jumta virsiņāi Dear Mara plays upon our roof
Mīļa Māra mums jautāja, kādu dzīru mēs dzeram; She asks what drink do we have?
Nāc iekšā, mīļa Māra! Come in, dear Mara!
Mīļa Māra mani sauca: Nāc meitiņa sieviņās! Mara calls me to come to wife
Es neiešu, mīļa Māra, vairāk sievu, ne meitiņu. I will not, Mara, many wives- few maidens.
Svētā Māra, gausā Māra nāc pa logu istabāi Blessed Mara, lingering, come through the window into the room
Jau māmiņa galdu klāja pirmajai meitiņai. Mother already lays the table for her first daughter.
Kas rīb, kas brauc, gar istabiņu? Who rattles, who goes by the room?
Svētā Māra rībēja, svētā Māra brauzdeja. Dear Mara rattles, Mara rustles.
Nāk, Māra, iekšā, svinības dzērt. Come inside Mara, share our celebration.
DZIESMA: Pie Dieviņu gari Galdi- t.dz. SONG: God has full tables – folk song
Miķeļi iezīmē rudens saulgriežus. Nu saule Mikel marks the fall equinox. The sunlight
dilst, un tumsa pieauga. Iesaistīts ir ražas shortens, the dark lengthens. Celebrations mark the harvests. Jumis is heralded in the
novākšana izdarības un svinības. Jumis tiek harvesting. At this time, the regional fairs
godināts lauku novākšanā. Šinī laikā notiek are held where folk may buy new implements,
pagastu tautas tirgi, kur ļaudis var iegādāties handiwork, livestock, and etc. Here young
darbu rīkus, rokdarbus, lopus, utt. Te ari people meet each other and jaunieši satiekās un priecājās. share good times.
Trīs Miķeļi bungas sita vārtu staba galiņā; Mikels’ drums hit the gateposts
Nākat, meitas, skatīties, kur sitās maizes tēvi. Come girls, look how the fathers work!
Lieldieniņa, liela sieva, tā atnāca tukšu roku; Easter was a big day, she came empty handed
Miķelītis, mazs vīriņš, tas atnāca pilnu roku. Mikel, a little man, he came with full hands
Miķelītis, bagāts vīriņš, tas atnāca zābakos. Mikel, a rich man, he came wearing boots.
Jānīts dienu sasēdēja, ar Jēkabu runādams. Janis sat the day, talking with Jekabs.
Jānīts skaita siena kaudzes, Jēkabs savas rudzu kaudzes Janis counted his hay stacks, Jekobs counted his rye bunches.
Miķelītis nokliedzās auzu kaudzes galiņā. Mikel cried aloud on top of his wheat stacks.
Es izcepu kukulīti, vidū dūru caurumiņu; I baked a loaf, poked a hole in the middle.
Es mielošu Miķeļīti caurumainu kukulīti. I will serve Mikel an indented loaf.
Jānīšam alu daru no sējiņas paliekiem; Beer was made for Janis from leftover seeds
Darīš alu Miķeļam no jauniem miezīšiem. Mikel’s beer is made from new grains
Ak tu Miķelīti, salds gan ir tavs alutiņš. Oh, Mikel, how sweet is your beer!
Trīs graudiņi,sešas mucas, caur saknēm tecināts. Three grains in six barrels, filtered through the roots.
Miķelītis kas par vīru, iet pa ceļu dancodams; Mikel, what a man! He goes dancing down the road
Miežu svārki, rudzu krekliņš, apenīša cepurīt’. Coat of wheat, shirt of rye, a hat of hops.
DZIESMA: Div’ pļaviņas es nopļāvu – t.dz. SONG: Two fields I plowed – folk song
Rudzu druva lielījāsi nolocīt man muguriņu. The rye field boasts that it will break my back
Smagas vārpas, viegli stiebri, pļāvējam kājas lauž. Heavy heads, light stalks, will break the harvesters’ legs.
Nelielies, rudzu druva, es sanemšu dziedama. Don’t boast so, rye field; I will gather you singing.
DEJA: SPRIGUĻA SIŠANA DANCE: Threshing game
Visu dienu Jumi dzinu pār to visu tīrumiem. All day I chased Jumis over the entire field
Tur sadzina, tur saņēma pie tā lielā akmentiņa. Chased him and caught him by the big rock.
Pie tā lielā aknemtiņa tīrumiņa vidiņā. By the big rock in the middle of the field.
Bēdz, Jumīti, bēdz, Jumīti, meitas dzina pakaļā; Run, Jumi, run! Girls are at your back!
Ja nevari citur bēgt,bēdz gubiņas galiņā! If you can’t escape, run onto the stack’s top!
Bēdz, Jumīti, bēdz Jumīti, puiši dzina pakaļā; Run, Jumi, run! Boys are at your back!
Ja nevari citur bēgt, bēdz klētiņas cekulā! If you can’t escape, run into the storehouse crest!
Nu, rudens beidzās, visi lauku darbi Well, autumn ends. All the field work is done.
padarīti, klēts ir pārpildīts ar ražu, gotiņas visas The storehouse is filled with grains and hay, all
ir stallī, lopi nosargāti savās vietās….nakts palieka the livestock are in their barns. The nights
gari un tumši un mēs dzirdam…. Mārtiņš nāk! grow long and dark.. and we hear- Martins arrives!
Eit ārā, eit ārā, kas ārā rībināja? Go outside, go outside, who rumbles outside?
Mārtiņš savus kumeliņus uz istabu dancināja. Martin brings his horses to dance in the room.
Vakar Mārtiņs, no Rīgas, laidās, šodien sētā ierībināja. Last night, Martin arrived from Riga. Today he rumbles into the yard.
Deviņi rati, simts kumeliņi, trīssimts sulaiņu, bruņoti vīri. Nine carriages, 100 horses, 300 armored servants.
Atbrauca Mārtiņš, atrībināja, pakāra mēteli vārtu Martin arrived, shook, hung his stuburā. coat on the gatepost.
Aizbrauca Mārtiņš norībēja, aiznesa mēteli zobena Martin leaves, rumbles, carries his galā. coat on tip of his sword.
Ei Mārtiņ, labais vīrs,baro manus kumeliņus. O Martin, good man, feed my horses.
Sukādams, barodams, sēsties siles galiņā. Comb them, feed them, seated at the manger’s end.
Devu, devu, Mārtiņam,ko es biju solījusi I gave to Martin what I had promised.
Melnu vistu kankarainu ar visiem nadziņiem. A black tattered chicken, with all the claws.
Cekulainu vistu kāvu Mārtinīša vakarā A crested chicken was killed on Martin’s eve
Lai aug man raibas govis kā vistiņas cekulainas. So that my cows will grow as the the chicken’s crests.
Paldies devu Dieviņam,man rociņa labi gāja; I give thanks to God; my hand did well.
Pilna kūts govju, vēršu, pilns stallītis kumeļiņu. A barn full of cows, stalls full of horses
Dietu, deitu, saiminiece, Mārtinīša vakarā. Dance, dance, our hostess, on Martins’ eve
Lai telītes dietu veda par vasaru tīrumā. So that our calves will dance in the summer’s fields.
Ej Mārtiņ, nu uz Rīgu, nu mēs tevi pavadām; Go, Martin, now to Riga. We will see you out.
Nāc atkal citu gadu, tad mēs tevi gaidīsim. Come again another year, we will await you.
Visi saka, visi saka; Mārtiņdiena, Mārtiņdiena! All say, all say, Martin day! Martin Day!
Kad varētu Mārtiņdienu aiz ausīm noturēt! If only I could hold on to Martin by his ears!
DZIESMA: Latviešu gadskārtu kantāte, SONG: Cantata of the Latvian Year,
IV daļa – “Miķeli-Mārtiņi” – Maija Riekstiņa Part IV, “Mikeli- Martini” – Maija Riekstins