Oj Wiosna Ty Wiosna (O Spring, you Spring)… The folk music festival in Suwalki in the northeastern part of Poland became a real summer adventure.
We were 10 members from Baltic Sea Inter Cult who visited the festival.
We took the ferry across the Baltic Sea, and then drove through the northern Polish country. 400 km in Sweden would have been executed fairly quickly, but in many places there were only twirling 70-roads, so it took some time. We drove through the night and ended up in the middle worst thunderstorm of the year. In three hours we had at least one thunderstorm in each direction.
But once we arrived the storm had disappeared. At 2 o’clock in the night Jerzy met up with us at the Krasnopol church and showed the way to the little farm in Czarna Buchta where we were to hang out for 10 days. The farm has been converted into a hostel and has its own dressing room, a lake and a sauna.
Every day there were workshops going on – singing songs, playing Polish songs or crafts. The activities you had to pick up gradually, since there was no really fixed schedule…
A major asset of the camp were all older tradition bearers who showed up every day. Among others we had three older gentlemen who played the violin and accordion – mixed aged oberek with operett pieces and Abba – and drank vodka and played into the early hours.
There was a lot to learn, and they were eager to share their knowledge. Interestingly enough, they were very careful in teaching the rhythms of a tune, whether it was played in minor, major or in between seemed at the moment of teaching to be less important.
We also had the great privilege of visiting one of traditions in his home. We (ie, a bus load of 40 people) were kindly received by a tasty dining table and a fiddler who played his tunes for us.
Another experience that we keep smiling at was when the owner of Czarna Buchta invited us to a traditional sauna. It was a carefully thought-out ceremony and all of us probably felt that we had ended up in a movie from the 40’s…
One day we all went on an excursion to see some of Polands amazing nature where we also had the opportunity to have an outdoor concert. We were amazed that a nice little crowd had found it’s way up in the hills.
For those who weren’t really into playing instruments or singing there were workshops in photography and handicraft.
But the rest of us, we couldn’t help ourselves, we played, sang and danced for 10 days without a break…
The Kursznia crew who made it all possible – Kuba, Jerzy, Pawel and Piotr: