Video released: Elderly Europeans’ Community College
[24.03.10] Around 1940 Spanish María García began as a shepherd taking cattle to the mountains. Another small girl, Ilga Dravniece, started school at that time in Liepāja. As her parents didn’t let her go to a Soviet childrens’ summer camp, she was probably saved for Latvia. And in Denmark Winnie Østergård Nielsen was raised by a lonely father: A strong communist believer whose disappointment with the Soviet Union may later have caused his death.

Twenty years and a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they all met in the small rural village Amayuelas de Abajo in Palencia, Spain. Together with another 30 European citizens of rural background from Denmark, Latvia and Spain, they shared memories of and visions for the country side life before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

And it was a true treasure trove of 20th centuries’ life stories that unfolded, when the elderly Europeans stayed at the CIFAES residential facilities in Amayuelas de Abajo.

The video offers a glimpse into it, when María García, Ilga Dravniece, Winnie Østergård Nielsen and others are telling about it. And it offers a glimpse into a rural life world that is long forgotten by most Europeans of today.

One inevitably wonders, if a new generation of Europeans could learn from the ‘community spirit’, the ‘balanced yielding’ and the ‘equality imposed by conditions’ that are mentioned among memories of old days’ country side life.

The video report is available in English, Danish, Latvian and Spanish.


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