The 11th of February 2012…the small village Kuterevo is covered by a big, white and smooth, but cold blanket of snow and still snow is falling. It was everywhere calm and soft, even the typical noises of dogs barking and chainsaw seemed to be less loudly and numerous on this day. Was it really everywhere quiet and peaceful on this Saturday? No, not in the Volunteers and fireguard station! There you could hear hectically voices, people practicing their speeches, sparkling of boiling water in big cooking pots and frizzle noises of frying pans.
We volunteers were all in our preparations for the festival which would take place in a few hours. The first festival, we organized, to gather all the people from Kuterevo, young and old, to eat and drink and to have a good and funny time. But let us spool a little backwards…
The first question we ask ourselves was: “How can we inform and invite the people of Kuterevo to our festival and how can we motivate them to come?” It was a helpful and lucky coincidence that we also had to give to every house in Kuterevo the new telephone-book we made. On this the distribution of the new telephone-book was also a good possibility to present us volunteers to the people. Many people from Kuterevo never were in contact with the volunteers and now they could see who we are and recognize some faces. Also for us it was good to have a possibility to visit the people from Kuterevo, to talk with them and learn some new things about the village.
So we went during at least one week to every house in Kuterevo, knocked on the door with the word: “Dobar dan, mi smo volunteri iz utocište za medvjeda Kutereo I došlismo zato napravilismo novi telefonski imenik za svi ljudi iz selo! Ovaj je naš poklon i bez platan!” Good day! We are Volunteers from the Bear Refuge Kuterevo and we came here, because we made a new telephone-book for all people from the village. This book is our present and for free!
The villagers were very friendly and thankful for the new telephone-book, although it was difficult for many to believe, that it was for free and they don’t have to pay. After lot of Rakija and coffee the last houses were finished and we concentrate on our event…
Our goals for the event were on one hand to present us Volunteers, our work here in the last month and the plans and project we plan for the future. On the other hand our goals were also present our home countries and culture (France, Spain and Germany), through traditional food, games, picture and playing with prejudices. Therefore we prepared one official presentation in front of the people and also a kind of fair with stands to every country, traditional food and activities.
But the most important goal which stood over all the other was, to get in first contact with the whole village in the same time. Also to be more close to them, that more people have a more concrete, recognizable impression of the 5 young, foreign people from somewhere else. Related to these points we asked the children from the traditional culture club KUD-Dangobica Kuterevo, if they want to sing with us Volunteers traditional song from the region LIKA for the visitors. We also plan to organize some clubs or events in summer and spring to involve more the young people in Kuterevo. Therefore we made one stand with info-material about this. Now let’s spool forward…
Around three, our preparations were finished and the first guest arrived. We welcomed them and let them take seat. In the end a lot more people came then expected, at least one hundred people gathered in the DVD-Dobrovoljni Vatrogasci Dom (Voluntary Fireguard station) to see, try and hear the things we prepared. At first we prepared a presentation in connection with pictures of our work in past etc. Then we invited the people to see our stands, make our games and try our traditional food and drinks. But before that we planned a little “gig” with the kids from the KUD-Dangobica. We gathered all in front of the audience and then…we sang!!!
„Preko kapele and Vjećni Sokol” (The unofficial hymn of Kuterevo 😉 were the song we Volunteers, sang together with the children from KUD-Dangobica Kuterevo. At the beginning a little shy, but later with the support of many voices in a big choir we preformed these song, spontaneous, without practicing. And it was great, the children laughed about our Croatian grammar mistakes and all were in a happy mood. Also the audience was applauding and jelling. It was one of the best moments for me in the event.
After our performance we opened the fair. The people in Kuterevo are not so used to go to fair, to look at different stands, to try and to be curios. But all were very open and willing to try, especially our food and drinks. During the fair some of us played music, together with some kids from Kuterevo. It was a nice surprise and all the people were very talkative and in a good and happy mood. This is left to say…
“Preko kapele lički gore zelene, tamo su cure garave…i motivirani volunteri!!! Behind the green hill „Kapele” the entrance of Lika, there are the girls sooty and swarthy…and some motivated volunteers” This are the lyrics, a little bit changed, of the first song we sang with the kids, but from now on there are also a symbol for me! A symbol of contact, interaction and a little unity with the people of Kuterevo, especially with the kids. To sing, eat, drink and have fun together is good beginning of something new and good. We Volunteers hope that our event helped to get more in contact with the villagers and that in summer or spring we can organize together sport, music and other funny activities together will the people from Kuterevo. Let’s see what the future brings! 😉
That all folks!!!!
Max iz Njemačke.
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