The Youth Day and The Quiz game “Meet you neighbour” engages locals in Rūjiena

Rūjiena is small border town in the up-north of Latvia and currently is the BSR Cultural Pearls 2024 title holder. To strengthen the social resilience in the city, they wanted to address the challenges such as the outflow of young talents from the region, intergenerational cooperation, and the need for knowledge transfer and networking. The main priority of the Culture and Resilience Plan prepared by Rūjiena is to create the conditions for an open, democratic, civically active society and a socially resilient community.

To address the challenge of young people leaving the city, to promote active involvement and ownership as well as strengthen a sense of belonging and developing mutual trust, on 31 May the Youth Day took place in Rūjiena. The aim of the event was to get to know better young people living in the city and the neighbourhood, learn more about their traditions, habits, interests, feelings, goals, and dreams for the life in Rūjiena. Youngsters from Rūjiena Youth Centre, The Rūjiena Secondary school student parliament as well as ERASMUS+ volunteers were invited to create their day, their event with the cultural activities they like such as brain games, conversations, meetup, and a DJ party. This was the first time the city administration collaborated with youth in such a way, and they admit that the process was not easy, but the results where rewarding. It was obvious that culture unites people, creates inclusiveness and the youth is no exception.

Another aspect of Rūjiena’s Culture and Resilience action plan as a BSR Cultural Pearl 2024 is to build closer ties between residents – to get to know neighbours in neighbouring houses, to meet residents in the neighbourhood and villages around Rūjiena, as well as develop closer cooperation with neighbours in Estonia.

To support this goal, on 13 June in Rīgas Street 8, the quarter to be developed as a new gathering place for the locals, the first event of the Quiz games series “Meet your neighbour” took place. The inhabitants of Rūjiena and Valmiera Municipality were invited to participate to get to know each other and the place they come from or live in. The quiz had multiple levels and the questions for each of them were prepared by different local enthusiasts, organizations, or associations. Among them – 10-year-old boy Domeniko Karanna challenging others with the questions on the history of Rūjiena and Latvia, the brass orchestra “Tālavas taurētājs”, an erudite senior Mr. Eduards Dimitris closely related to the local amateur theatre “Vitrāža” and having brought knowledge on the poetry and cultural life of Rūjiena, and Ms. Līga Siliņa from the Rūjiena Exhibition Hall and the city library.

The presents for the quiz winners also were prepared by local businesses and homemakers.