Project “Rāndakēļ min jemākēļ” – a modern way of learning endangered language
Contributing to the International Year of Indigenous Languages NGO Kolka Creative group (Kolkas radošā grupa) from Dundaga region, Latvia organizes Livonian language on – line courses for those with previous knowledge to rehash, strengthen and improve their language skills.
Livonian language is included in the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in danger. There are no native speakers of Livonian language and only handful of fluent speakers. However, there are many people who have had opportunity to have an insight in Livonian language, whether it has been at language courses years ago or at children and youth summer camps.
Although originally Livonians come from the Baltic Sea shore area of Latvia, nowadays life has taken them to different areas of Latvia and the world. According to the territory inhabited, they call them-self rāndalizt (coastal dwellers) and their mother’s tongue – rāndakēļ. The project Rāndakēļ min jemākēļ units all those, who feel belonging to the coastal folk and are keen on to perfect their mother’ s tongue no matter where in the world they actually are.
Project has been launched in very beginning of January and has gathered 10 active participants, who meet online once a week to declaim, decline and conjugate, to discuss and think about Livonian language. The final event in March 16, will be a public event held on at the Livonian community house in Kolka, Dundaga region, welcoming local municipality representatives, villagers, and anybody who is interested in sharing the aim to resonate the project results in local society. As a result of the studies, the participants will produce a short performance. In addition to that each participant will be welcome to present a story about his – own motivation to study Livonian.
The project is a part of the project “Civil Society Network for Preserving and Revitalizing Indigenous Languages” (www.uralic.org) funded by the Baltic Sea NGO program of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
NGO Kolka’s Creative group main objectives are to promote the development of the cultural environment in the Kolka parish and to activate the inhabitants of Kolka parish by involving them in community in order to improve the quality of life. The organization, in co-operation with local authorities, is involved in organizing various social activities in Kolka parish and in the territory of Dundaga region. One of identities of Dundaga municipality is the unique Livonian culture; the NGO has tried to preserve and cultivate it in various ways.