People of culture
People of culture are milestones that preserve our heritage.
While visiting the Podlaskie Region we may meet many such people. Jadwiga Konopno, from Knyszyn recently restored the well-known custom of the sixties and seventies of carollers visiting neighbours` homestead. In 2004, the Knyszyn Cultural Center will organized the 3rd annual series and they visit 150 houses. They wish the farmers big crops and young girls and boys that they soon get maried.
Since centuries, the playing of the ligawa (a traditional folk instrument) informed people living in Podlasie about the begining of Advent. To follow this tradition, every year, the Museum of Agriculture in Ciechanowiec, run by director Kazimierz Muszyński, organize an Polish Country-wide Competition of Shepherd Instrument Players.
Further yet into folk tradition, we arrive in Radziłów where the staff of the Municipality Office organize “Zapusty”. In this way they restore the old tradition of throwing parties and having fun at the end of Carnival.
The folk tradition of the borderland people has been recorded by the Association of Folk Culture in Czeremcha. This is where Barbara Kozub-Samosiuk organizes unique fair “Homestead Folk Meetings”, well known throughout the country and also abroad.
In Sejny, we meet another interesting person-Krzysztof Czyżewski, founder of the “Borderland Center of Art, Cultures and Nations” and the winner of the Polityka Passport Prize. He is responsible for implementing many interesting projects which aim at bringing all nations closer together.
While in Słupia during the “Integrart” International Open Air Granite Sculpture Workshop we may have the opportunity to meet a famous artist, Professor Andrzej Strumiłło who is creating another milestone for future generations.
People working for institutions under the Podlaskie Voivodeship Marshal`s Office are true goldmines of information about art and culture and contact with them could be beneficial for a modern man who is nowadays mostly fed with mass culture.
In closing Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said that to give someone culture is to give him a desire. The rest will come naturally.