Activities 2015
Rite Folkhighschool assembly and 20-year anniversary
Annual report meeting or General Assembly of association «Rites tautskola» traditionally takes place every year in May. This year, Rite Folkhighschool members, friends, neighbors and supporters gathered both to the General Assembly, as well as the existence of Rite Folkhighschool twenty years anniversary. (see gallery)
The event were attended by over than 30 members from Latvia and 25 Danish support group members, as well as women's club "Kamenes" ("Bumblebees"), guests from the Republic of Lithuania Suvainiskis, invited guests from Rite, Viesite, Jekabpils and Nereta, and other people, who supported the idea of establishing the Rite Folkhighschool and were assisted building restoration.
During the first part of the event support group members looked back at the progress made, the financial statement and the Board elections. Association «Rites tautskola» chairman Mirdza Trakina gave a report on the progress made in 2014. School's principal Niels Bendix Knudsen illustrated Mirdza's stories with photos of the events. Lidija Ozolina evaluated the project «Culture guides for Active Ageing" progress and the contribution to seniors of Nereta society. Board spokeswoman Lis Hazel Nielsen informed about the planned cultural activities in 2015. Accountant Ritma Vainovska presented the financial statement. The first part of the meeting ended with the board elections.
After a short break school's pricipal Niels Bendix Knudsen invited guests back to the school's hall and together with Lis Hazel Nilsen briefly talked about their work on renovation of an old school's building, the establishment of Rite Folkhighschool, folkhighschool's idea outreach to local and Latvian society. They expressed gratitude for support to the neighbors, Rite parish administration, Viesite County council, Jekabpils County council employees and residents of Rite parish. All the time on the screen changed slides of the events and actions of past twenty years. They then presented the new book "Rites tautskola 20 years: 1994-2014." It is a memory book, which was written and memorized by Lis Hazel Nielsen and Niels Bendix Knudsen, with many photos, but the information is not straightforward, because over the years lot of things forgotten and disappeared from memory. The book as a gift was presented for each participant of the event only at the end of the evening, to prevent guests into its exploration, but to enjoy the concert, which after a short break gave singing family from Koknese.
Musicians sang, played and told short Latvian folk musical instruments' history, presenting its sound characteristics. Guna translated Danish narration, although Danish support group guests learned more about Latvian culture. The repertoire of the ensemble were made mainly of folk songs, so Latvians actively sang along.
After the concert a dinner part followed - hostesses of the school had organized a dinner together with Danish friends. When delicious meals were enjoyed, singing and games began for several hours in both Latvian and Danish, as well as singing and dancing. Everybody went home mentally and emotionally enriched. Thanks to Rite Foklhighschool hosts, association «Rites tautskola» Board, all members and guests for the nice event!

Lidija OZOLINA, Association «Rites tautskola» member, Board member.
Reprinted from newspapper "Briva Daugava".
Culture Guides Conference
We will have final conference for project Culture guides on 27th of July at 10.00 o’clock in Rite Folkhighschool.
This Nordplus project for Latvia, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania will end on 31th of July.
Conference agenda of issues to be discussed will be the following:
1. Telling about the project to local authorities and people.
2. Cooperation with foreign countries.
3. Ideas to continue on local level.
4. Coffee break.
5. How to spread the idea.
6. Handbook for culture guides.
7. End of conference.
We invite you to participate in our last conference in Rite on 27th of July from 10.00 to 13.00.
Download: Handbook Culture Guides for Active Ageing (~1 Mb).
Summer course for women
Again this year we had workshops with different content. We managed to get 5 Danish women to travel to Latvia and participate as teachers in the course. It was Lisse Kristensen, Ditte Bræstrup, Jytte Jensen, Margit Bræstrup and Lisbeth Andersen.
Lisbeth had been here last year and taught in knitting with pearls, this year she taught in patchwork and make pillows with fine patterns. One person also made a big carpet. Lisse taught in how to weave ribbons, Ditte and Margit crocheted and Ditte crocheted with large keys of clothing, which resulted in carpets. Jytte taught new models in wristlets. (see gallery)
From Latvian side we were taught to make candles out of genuine beeswax of Inga and Jolanta made soap and a little decoupage for the women who wanted to try it. The skilled teacher in wickerwork, Sandra came for two days and this time she taught how to make a nice basket with solid bottom and a little work, where pieces of wood glued onto cardboard and made a small work of art.
Then there was a workshop with paperwork where you rolled finely shredded paper flowers or insects and glued it on the map. Overall a week with lots of activities which resulted in a fine exhibition where a journalist from the newspaper "Briva Daugava" came and took pictures and heard about the course and school. The participants express their satisfaction with the result.
It was attended by about 30 women and they paid 5 EUR for participating. Every day Niels drove the small bus to Akniste 20 km away to retrieve eight women who wanted to be on the course.
Role playing
We wanted to try something new for the children at the school. It was role-play, since we were so lucky to get in touch with Tune Harbo, who is an educator from Denmark and has role-play as his specialty. He took two friends Katja and Nikolaj with him to Latvia. For four days they taught together with the Latvian teachers Natalija Grinvalde, Klavs Bajinskis and Lidija Ozolina 20 children who lived at the school. There are role-playing games in Latvia, but it is not yet as widespread and not in the countryside. It was attended by 20 children aged 8-13 years (7 boys and 13 girls of them).
The children were taught the rules for the use of swords and bows, and there were made beautiful tattoos and painted beautiful patterns on the faces of the kids so they came to resemble "elves". All had capes on, where you had even designed his own character, which was glued on. There were also taught how to make wounds out of latex and plastic, so it becomes very lifelike. All teaching was in a mixture of English and Latvian, and many of the children spoke fine English and were happy to use the language.
There was tremendous time in the big matches and all the kids got moved all day, so they fell tired pounding the evening. The four days went quickly and on the last day there was the big battle to be shown to the parents. It was unfortunately torrential rain, but the children and Tune, Katja and Nikolaj played on in the rain, while the parents stood in the rain and enjoyed themselves with coffee and cakes. (see gallery)
A success that we hope that we can repeat next year.
Animation Course
Animation Course with Lolita Steinberga as organizer.
Lolita is back again this year, she has paused because she has born a little girl. But now she and Natalija Grinvalde, Klavs Bajinskis and Maija Daugaviete made a summer camp for 22 children aged 8-13 years, many of which were girls. The children slept at the school and had a full program each day in one week. They also made genuine paper out of pieces of clothing with Ilze Dilane who is an expert in making paper and on top of that an artist. (See here) The paper was used as scenery for the animation film. Furthermore, all the kids made a figure out of plastic film, which they covered with clothes and painted faces. These figures were used in the animated film. But there was also spare time for play and sports activities with Klavs and to stay in the tent by the campfire and eat sausages and make bread on a stick, which is a Danish tradition. Again an excellent summer camp, we thank all the teachers and involved personnel. (see gallery)
Painting Course
In August Børge Pugholm and his wife Bodil visited the school. Børge teaches daily at the Pedagogical Teacher Training Center in Viborg. He had agreed to organize a painting course for advanced students. But it turned out to be a mixed team of experienced and novice users. 20 people were very engrossed and thrilled by Børge's teaching and many paintings were produced. Some of them were donated to the school afterwards. (see gallery)


150 years for Rainis and Aspazija
It is 150 years since the birth of poets Rainis and Aspazija. Therefore the school invited a Latvian specialist Astrida Cirule to give a lecture. She told continuously for 7 quarter of an hour and showed pictures of the two poets and all the 21 participants listened eagerly.
In Riga two streets are named after the celebrities: Rainis Bulvaris and Aspazijas Bulvaris and the city moat with water are between the two streets. Rainis and Aspzija were both famous poets. Rainis was imprisoned and persecuted for his political views but ended up being director of the Latvian National Theatre in 1921 and Education Minister from 1926 to 1928. Both worked hard for the Latvian nationality. (see gallery)

One-needle knitting
We had a course in one-needle knitting at Rite Folkhighschool on Wednesday the 4th of November. The teacher Madara Briede visited us and taught 15 women how to work with one-needle knitting.
One-needle knitting is a very old technique and the teacher showed us pictures from the Bronze Age where we could see socks and woolen gloves made by the one-needle technique. And this has been a technique which has been used all over the world.
The needle is made by a thigh bone from a cow and it should be very strong. We could buy this needle from Madara.
We started working with the needle taught by Madara and the technique was easy, but to get a nice result you have to practice.
If you would like to know more about the idea you can visit the homepage:
After the course we all had to go home and practice because Madara will arrive again on Saturday the 9th of January next year from 10:00 o`clock until 14:30.
At this time everyone will be able to get answers about their questions when they have been practiced at home.
Everybody is welcome on Saturday the 9th of January, 2016 also if you did not attend in the course the first time. You can buy the needle for 4 EUR and bring some good and thick wool with you.
No fee for the course, but bring some lunch with you to the common table. (see gallery)

Sincerely Yours,
Niels Bendix Knudsen and Lis Hazel Nielsen