Vepsia is nowadays separated into districts with no connections
between them. It was invoked by
Russian communists' politics of enforced assimilation. Thus in a dense taiga
arouse a belt of emptied settlements.
It was an idea of mine to pass around all Vepsian territories with my school
show them our beautiful country lying disrupted, let them listen to different Vepsian tongues and
admire the variety of tribal cultures. Another burning idea was to collect stuff for
a Vepsian folk museum.
Traveling on vacations we used to stay for a couple of days in a
Vepsian community and then made our way
to another one by crossing extended areas of
deserted villages lost in the heart of endless taiga forests.
Just imagine us walking along an old way last time driven before the World War with huge logs lying across
or climbing over a
rotten bridge . In the evening twilight we arrive to a next village,
lighting the way with our pocket lapms. It is unpopulated as well, but is looking quite undestroyed and you can choose
among a couple of massive pine or spruce
wooden cottages, what you'd prefer to stay in. But no hurry!
It's rather cool in the house and there are no facilities in the village
(electricity was cut off some twenty years ago). First of all you'd cut enough dry firewood
(not so easy after it has been raining cats and dogs all these days) to make fire in a
brick or clay stove middle the cottage.
The stove is large enough for all of us to go up and bask on its bed-like upper
part just under the ceiling. It is the favorite privacy place
Vepsian children prefer to sleep and a so called white oven is especially designed
for this purpose. It isn't just an accommodation, but to some extent a sacred place,
where thrilling folk myths are told in darkness...
Please place your mouse over a portrait to see this pupil
telling his story
click a portrait to read the story in Vepsian & English
We loved these trips and I really tried my best to organise everything in the traditional Vepsian
way: we spoke Vepsian and we ate food of real rangers and fishermen and .. we had much time to
discuss the future of our nation...|
When we came home and vacations were over the children were so vigorously
inspired by their wandering experience that I proposed to hold a literary party
where everyone could produce her or his impressions to public as short stories
in Vepsian illustrated with own-handed pictures. There were much fuss and merry
happenings during preparations for those festivals. Teachers
of Vepsian from the neighbourhood were invited to be a jury and
their pupils and parents
to listen to our adventures..|
I believed a sort of such a literary competitions to be very important
for revitalisation of the language if we bear in mind that although Vepsian is
understood but as a rule not spoken any longer by the young generation.|
Some of these essays I've quoted above as samples of living middle Vepsian. They
are very easy by structure and our
online dictionary may be of some use here.