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[TURIBA, LATVIA] Visiting Suiti Cultural Space in Latvia

On August 2-3, 2020 the project team of Turiba University visited the Suiti Cultural space as part of project dissemination and valorisation events. This place was selected because one of our modules is about Suiti Cultural space.

Suiti is a Catholic region in Lutheran Kurzeme with a centre in Alsunga and a history of almost 400 years. Once all this was the property of one family – Count Šverinas – which roughly covers the present parishes of Alsunga, Gudenieki and Jūrkalne.

We started our trip with a short visit to Gudenieki where we could see the Lutheran church and some historical houses preserved there. Nowadays, Gudenieki Parish is an administrative territory of Kuldīga municipality to the West of Suiti municipality.

Then we proceeded to Alsunga where we spent a day participating in a regional ethnographic fair ‘Suitu tirgus’ disseminating the Project. On August 3, 2020 we had a meeting with the mayor of Alsunga District Council, as well as a meeting with NGO ‘Ethnic Cultural Centre “Suiti”. In the 20th century, Alsunga, the centre of Suiti region, was the last place where folk costumes were worn in Latvia on a daily basis.

We finished our trip in Suiti region with visiting Jūrkalne, one of the most picturesque shores of the Baltic Sea in Latvia with an impressive sea cliff, almost 20 m high.

We can conclude that Suiti sense of identity is still alive and vital today, and Suiti believes that they will continue to enrich their glorious identity for future generations.

The trip gave us very valuable experience at getting to know the rich cultural heritage of Suiti and ideas of how to make the module more interesting.

Eliza Liena Laksa

Turiba University team member