Senior Citizens from Sarata Veche: What It’s Like to Be Important When You’re Elderly| 10.01.2022
In 2017, a senior citizen group named “Tarancuta” was founded in Sarata Veche Community, Falesti District, simultaneously with those in several other localities. Since at time, the group has been involved in several types of activities; the most important ones are those related to culture and maintaining cultural heritage, and also volunteering and charity activities for the local elderly people.
In Sarata Veche, there are residents who need someone to visit them and to talk to them; therefore, the seniors from the group “distributed” the elderly people among them in such a way that they could communicate with everyone who needed that.
Ecaterina B. is among the members who cope with this mission excellently: her sociable nature perfectly matches the seniors’ craving for communication when they stay at home. Ecaterina spends most of her time raising her grandchildren, which has been her basic occupation for 8 years. Their parents had to travel to work abroad, leaving all 4 grandchildren to grow up in their grandmother’s house. She does her best to give them enough parental love and care.
Ecaterina is also a member of the “Sarateanca” Senior Citizens’ Group. She visits it at least twice a week and is glad to be among her fellow villagers who share the same interests and values.
Recently, the group was granted financial support within the “Age-Friendly Community” mini-grant program, part of the “Aging and Health” project; as a result, they were able to set up a Social Center for practicing various activities for and with the local elderly people. This is where they hold multi-generational/intergenerational meetings with the elderly and young locals; they discuss the history of the village, the symbols, traditions, and customs of the locality, and also the ideas they have, and spend useful and pleasant time together: the young and the elderly people say they have something to learn from each other.
“Recently, many of the old traditions have been revived, including those from the village. We gladly join the locals’ life, presenting and promoting these traditions. Nowadays, children and young people no longer know any winter traditions which we remember since our childhood, and currently, we have an opportunity to join them and organize them.” Maria Chilaru, group member
They assumed the noble mission of collecting materials and writing the history of the village of Sarata Veche. To do this, they walk around the locality with voice recorders in their hand and talk to the elderly who still remember the history of these places.
The “Tarancuta” senior citizen group is a platform for its members to assert themselves and share their experience and talents. Thus, folk crafters have a place to exhibit their beautiful works and to take part in events where they can share their crafts with the others: the group regularly organizes workshops.
Alexandra Railean, a group member, says knitting is her “lifelong” hobby. She knits various clothes, and even made socks for the entire group to keep all of its members warm. She also knitted socks for the mascots of the “Grandma & Grandpa Fest,” an event she has been gladly participating in since its first edition. At the group meetings with the elderly and the young community residents, she speaks about the most interesting customs she remembers since her childhood, and most of the old songs she sings with the other group members are the ones she learned to sing as a kid, together with her sisters, when they were going to the field or leaving it.
“The fact that we are part of the “Tarancuta” senior citizen group has changed our lives. Almost all the ladies in our group have a hobby to share with us, and I’m no exception here – I make dolls of corn leaves. These passions have radically transformed our lives. We used to watch TV, and now, we have no time for it, because we work diligently on our crafts,” Eugenia Voinotinschi, another folk crafter, confesses.
Another achievement they are proud of is a project obtained with the support from the LPA which provided equipment and materials for a carpet-making workshop. 4 carpet looms were installed, and, with the careful guidance of Mrs. Eugenia, who is also a group member, they weave true fairytales and keep the craft alive for the future generations. Many senior citizens used to make carpets when they were kids, and this activity helps them feel young again…
Most of the ladies in the senior citizen group are also members of the local ethno-folklore ensemble, and as they work in the carpet-making room, real live performances take place: the songs they sing also deserve to be collected and kept as sacred treasures.
Their agenda for December is busy: they will be taking part in various events related to the winter holidays. They say jokingly they have no time to muddle their children’s brains, and they are the ones who call them to hear whether everything is fine. In recent years, they have become real stars, and are frequently invited to various popular TV shows in the country.
“We sing, we dance, we craft, and we grow old actively” – this is their motto they keep to, and it helps them to go through the challenges of life.
They are eager to learn and take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, taking all sorts of trophies home: they are proud to be among the pioneers of a concept new to our country yet necessary for them to feel good – aging in an active and positive manner.
“Life in the “Tarancuta” senior citizen group is very interesting. Before joining it, we lived a more monotonous life, we thought about our own concerns and the problems we had. Now we have no time to think about the things that trouble us, we forget about our diseases, and life is full of events which make us happy. We are in demand, people keep asking us… We are asked for our opinions; we have an active cooperation with the local stakeholders who support and appreciate us. We have lots of things to do and we are deeply pleased with the way the group’s activities keep changing our lives.” Lucia Hutanu, Senior Citizen Group Coordinator