House of Languages

Final phase of the project: the last partner meeting


From February 5 to 8, representatives from the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture (Nynorsk kultursentrum) in Norway visited House of Languages to participate in the project’s final seminar and other project activities.

Although there is no physical Language Museum in Latvia yet, the closest to it is the Museum of Literature and Music. The museum is currently located in the premises of the Museum Storage Facility, and one of its experts, curator and manager Elīna Drulle, has also participated in the development of the concept of the virtual exhibition Linguapolis, which is being created as part of the project. Therefore, together with Tone Slenes, Mari Tveiti and Stina Aasen-Lødemel from Norway, under the guidance of Elīna Drulle, we went to visit the Museum Repository and get acquainted with the most modern data storing methods in the Baltics, getting acquainted with a part of the archives of the Museum of Literature and Music. Also, in cooperation with other experts of the museum, the guests, accompanied by a guide, had the opportunity to take a look at the most current exhibition of the Museum of Literature and Music.

During the visit, a meeting with the partners of the project, representatives of the Latgalian culture movement “Volūda” was organized in order to get to know and discuss the current issues of activism, protection and preservation of lesser-used languages. The guests also met with Edeite Laime, the head of the board of the Latgalian culture movement “Volūda” and journalist of the Latgalian culture news portal, to give an interview about the project, the upcoming exhibition and the work of the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture for the Nynorsk language.

A cordial and valuable meeting also took place at the Embassy of Norway, getting acquainted and discussing the project and other cooperation possibilities with the Norwegian ambassador to Latvia Ine Måreng and secretary Ineta Balule. The ambassador was very interested in the project’s activities and made several suggestions on how to spread the exhibition to a wider audience in the future. Cooperation in this matter is planned.

During the seminar, the work on finalizing the exhibition’s content was done so that it would soon reach its audience, as well as a meeting with the technical developer, Ričards Mucelāns, took place to get acquainted with the content placement and other.

The Norwegian Museum of Written Culture represents the oldest museum in the world dedicated to a language. It was created using the museum of the creator of the written language of Nynorsk (literally ‘New Norwegian’) Ivar Aasen (1813–1896), which was established in 1898, as a base and still honours the prominent linguist.

House of Languages is cooperating with the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture, to develop a virtual exhibition about the written languages of Nynorsk and Latgalian. Both languages have a lot in common, but at the same time they have developed and are used differently: Nynorsk gained official status from the state as early as 1885 and is used by about 600,000 people in Norway on a daily basis, along with Norway’s second official language, Bokmål. On the other hand, the Latgalian language has encountered obstacles in its development caused by the lack of democracy in certain periods of Latvian history, so even after 30 years of independence it has not regained the status it had before the authoritarian regime of Kārlis Ulmanis, although, according to census data, it is used by around 150,000 people.

The exhibition, which is created with the financial support of the Fund for Bilateral Relations of the EEA and Norway grants 2014-2021, developed by House of Languages (Language Museum Association) in cooperation with the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture and the Latgalian culture movement “Volūda” (previously LgSC association), will give visitors an opportunity to get to know both languages, to find the similarities and differences between them and their history, as well as inspire and encourage people to use both these and their native language with pride. House of Languages believes that languages can make the world a better place, and with this belief, the virtual exhibition is being created to reach as many people as possible around the world.

More about the project and involved organizations: Exhibition on Latgalian and Nynorsk: cooperation and experience creating modern digital solutions.

For more information:
Elīna Kokareviča,
Project Manager

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