Kupiškis community and its life in the 20th century

Eglė Udraitė

The relations within the Kupiškis community in mid-20th century are analysed in the paper. The author reviews the communication inside a family and with neighbours, as well as participation in the tolokas and festivities. Conclusions are given at the end.

During the summer of 2012, performing a qualitative investigation about the life of the Kupiškis community in mid-20th century, 18 respondents had been questioned, their age ranged from 42 to 84. The so-called structural interview method has been applied. The respondents are not only from Kupiškis, but also from nearby settlements, such as Puponys, Virbališkiai, Palėvenė.

First of all, general features of that time and community of Kupiškis environs are discussed, then family relations, neighbours and tolokas are dealt, and finally general conclusions are given.

The interviews of respondents make an impression that in the 1930s-1970s people lived as a perfect community, because they told their stories with nostalgia. The family relations are described as a respect between each other, and communication with neighbours was friendly. Young people and children were very active to socialise with peers living in the neighbourhood; they used to help each other, played together, used to meet when grown, to party, to speak.

The tolokas (communal works) and their principles are discussed. With the time being, traditions of communal works are changing, also they are different in a town and a village. In Soviet times, a custom started to appear to repay for such works not only by refreshments, but also by money to hired workers.

The author stresses that the information obtained depends very much on the age of the respondents and their reminiscences about the youth years. The present paper is based on the case-study of the community of people living in the Kupiškis area and consists of real stories of real providers; thus, the conclusions of this investigation depend on the information the respondents had provided.