Editor’s Note: At the Table is an international exchange program that connects high school students in Philadelphia and Riga. The program, undertaken by the National Constitution Center in collaboration with the National History Museum of Latvia, hosted “Sunday Suppers” in various communities around Philadelphia and Riga simultaneously. These conversations will culminate in a student developed service project and a collaborative documentary film about civic engagement. One student participant, Dmitry Piotrovsky, recaps his experience at his second Sunday Supper in Riga.
On February 24, we had our second Sunday Supper at Riga Secondary School N10. The common aim of the supper was to learn more about the Third Awakening and the civic engagement experience of those involved in the historical processes of Latvia regaining its independence. We invited school administration, some teachers, our interviewees and two people from the National History Museum of Latvia.
The table and the room were big enough to accommodate all people willing to come. So we welcomed all our guests to the table! Eating together made the group feel closer to each other. Fellow student Victoria Koshel and I were the announcers for the event. The discussion was very productive and atmosphere very friendly.
At first, we watched some performances by our school’s students. Then, we showed the mini documentary pieces we created, using footage from our interviews with participants of the Third Awakening, and discussed them. Some people told their own stories, so the evening was exciting. It was really interesting to communicate with all those people!
There have always been different opinions about the Third Awakening. We expressed our own opinions about this as well. The dinner turned out to be a great way to share our ideas!
I am really happy that I was able to take part in this great project called At the Table. This project helps us to understand the opinions of different people, and about those events that changed our lives, and our society and everything that we have today. Thanks to those events, a bit more than twenty years ago, we have a new independent country. While it is still full of hardships and problems, we now have hope for a brilliant future, since it is now in our own hands.
At the Table: Connecting Culture, Conversation and Service in Latvia and the U.S. was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with American Association of Museums. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State.