Houses of culture are now far from what they should be, opinions

The rural houses of culture created for propagandistic purposes lost their mission after the dismemberment of the USSR. The newly created state, the Republic of Moldova, could not propose a new mission for these. Veaceslav Reabchinski, director of the Cultural Policies Center, told IPN that 1,218 houses of culture are now active, while another over 400 are in need of capital repair works. The process of destroying the houses of culture started when the institutions were transferred under the management of the local public authorities without sources of financing for these being planned.

Veaceslav Reabchinski considers the new mission of the houses of culture should not be general, common for everyone, as it was in the Soviet period. Each of them should focus on the problems of the village. The village Băhrinești in Florești district can be taken as an example. An oven was built in the house of culture there and the people cook food there during holidays and sit at the table all together.

According to Veaceslav Reabchinski, in the situation in which the Republic of Moldova is now, only the house of culture can solve one of the biggest problems of society – division. The houses of culture are a resource that is not used because of the lack of policies. Even if the Culture Strategy for 2020 provides that by 3% of the houses of culture will yearly become cultural, community centers, this hasn’t yet happened.

Diana Josu-Braniște, director of the House of Culture situated in Cigârleni village of Ialoveni district, said the houses of culture today revive the localities, unite generations, promote talents by organizing different cultural, artistic events, etc. A number of festivals started to be organized in villages during the last few years and this mobilizes the people to go to houses of culture. It is regrettable that not all the houses of culture are outfitted according to the activities they host. In the absence of working conditions, their mission cannot be fulfilled as expected.

The director added a crossborder project through which to annually renovate extensively by a house of culture in each district is needed. The stimulation, support and promotion of young specialists by the authorities would maintain the cultural life in the village.

Tamara Coșciug, a member of the folkloric ensemble “Colinda” of Soroca town and senior specialist at the Culture and Tourism Division of the Soroca District Council, said the houses of culture in Moldova’s villages are now outdated. These are institutions where the door is opened and closed in the best case. There are such institutions that work appropriately, but these are few in number. Owing to the low number of people and the absence of qualified staff, the houses of culture reached the current state. The modern technology keeps the young people hostage on social networking sites, while the funds allocated by the mayor’s offices to these institutions are inadequate. It is a bad signal that points to the degradation of the population.

“We have great treasures that we should put to good use,” stated Tamara Coșciug. According to her, a national program to safeguard the institutions of culture is needed so that the houses of culture become community centers with dance, sport, music and other activities where it is possible. These houses should be managed again by the district councils that can maintain them. A solution is to employ experts who would organize events to make these houses visible.

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