How to continue

The three activities of Europ Ludens were a strong event. What next? Who takes initiative for further activities. Playing together with people in other european villages was more than a nice event. But who takes the lead for further actions?

For next year there is the idea of organizing the Village Games for Young people.o Paxos. (Young) People from the villages will be one week together and compete for the prize of the best team. Will the villages already start and prepare their team to take part?

There is another activity in Wijk aan Zee. Making music on themes  and melodies from ‘The New World’, the 9th symphony of the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. This composer was Always on the search for melodies from the countryside from the folk music. And with these elements he composed his symphonies. That is the way we want that the world treats the countryside. Pick up the fruits and make something tasteful of it. It will be the music of 2014 when Wijk aan Zee celebrates the 3rd lustrum of Cultural Village.


Rural Song

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Seventy singers from European villages are together now in Mellionnec in Brittany. They prepare themselves on the spectacle ‘singing in the villages’ on Saturday 27th of April at 20.30h. Last winter small choirs prepared themselves for this remarkable event. The most important they want to show is just singing. The singers communicate by singing together and this is possible even when not everybody understands each others language.

It is the third thread of the Europa Ludens project.

The story of the doors


During a long walk on the beach with Martha from Bystré we were talking about an art- project in the spirit of the Europe Ludens projects. Martha had seen in my home on the wall an old door. I told her that this piece of art had been made with people from our village in Spain, where we lived for some years. Together we changed this old Catalan door into a work of art. A real community art project. This was the starting point for us to let our ideas flow … it became the door project in Bystré on the summer festival of 2012, where the members of the Cultural Village Network should meet. The idea was … every village takes its own door and changes it into a piece of art during an afternoon-long workshop. The doors together placed on a field would symbolize the openness of the villages towards each other and towards Europe. The Wijk aan Zee door turned out to be our gate door.

First we went to Spain, where we wanted to visit our Catalonian friends. With the door in our car in parts disassembled. Arriving in Bystré we were warmly welcomed by our friends and we  put the parts together again. Martha had collected in no time some beautiful doors. Even some beautiful antique doors! Once there all needed tools and materials were available, facilitated by the art school of Bystré. The villages each had their own input on editing the door: it was a motley collection of carved doors made by each village with a number of people who enthusiastically worked on their door with their own specific and direct village characteristics. It was a wonderful project and also a great collaboration between the villages.

The ddors are exposed in the centre of Bystré on an open field where the villagers every day can see the fruit of this cooperation.

Saskia Scheffer



Europa Ludens Music Tour

On May 19th two jazz musicians Bas Kisjes and Elmar Klein set off to make music across Europe, looking to play with other musicians in the European countryside. Why? Out of curiosity. The sound is different everywhere, moreover, making music is counted among the more pleasant ways to spend time. And in these times of depression about differences and uncertainty we can use a good mood. To which music certainly contributes.

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The Cultural Village of Europe network is a major aid to this. Those who live in one of the eleven villages comprising the network has an excellent introduction in any of the other villages. In eleven years the villages have demonstrated great hospitality. With these musicians it was no different. Bas and Elmar travelled to all the villages in the network. In each they found music local to that region. This CD and the accompanying DVD are the physical products the travels of the musicians have produced.

Nativity scene in Bystré

The goal of Bystré’s 9th woodcarving symposium was to create a traveling nativity scene, that will be installed in a different church of one of the villages participating in the ‘Cultural Village of Europe’ each year. The co-authors of the theme were Bert Kisjes, from Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, and Terezie Uherková from Bystré in the Czech Republic.  Both Bert and Terezie wanted to help extend the existing informal relationship amongst villages participating in this project. Fifteen woodcarvers, from eight countries accepted the invitation to come to Bystré.

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Rural Song

Europa Ludens Rural Song is a cultural cooperation action which aspire to bring together singers from most of the Cultural Villages of Europe. Professional and amateur ones are involved in the project. A total of 70 participants are directed by choir leaders coming from the villages themself : music teachers, music scool director, amateur singers or experiented musicians. Together the singers will build a performance named « Singing in the villages », a patchwork of the rural european songs and sounds.

All the village singers groups will meet in Brittany in April 2013 for a rehearsal week, which will lead to a performance in central Brittany, in a Mellionnec nearby village. The final concert will be on the 27th of April at 20.30 h

The creation project :
As a starting material, each villages provied three songs representative of their culture : traditional, popular or classique ones… Two of theme would be used in the performance. The european choir will present one song per village and each village will arrange one song from an other village. All interpretation is permited ! The choir will also play a song lay out by a professional composer, inspirated by the provided rural européan songs, on the lyrics written by the villagers.

This cultural cooperation action holds a few surprises in store !

As a project launching, the choir leaders met in Mellionnec from 26th to 29th of October to make the performance framework. Recording, phonetic, sight-singing, facilities visits, meeting with the composer Frederique Lory, reflexion on the performance concept. The choir leader sayed about it :