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A beautiful way to celebrate the history of your home village

Local history

An idea worth spreading to parish guilds, home associations and engaged neighbours everywhere.

I live in the countryside, just outside the village of Varnhem in Västergötland. The area is called Norra Lundby and has an unusually active parish guild for our time. My work often makes it difficult for me to attend film nights, Midsummer celebrations and lectures, but every time I see a notice about a new activity I get a warm feeling in my chest. The Parish Guild does a fantastic job of bringing people together and anchoring them in local history. Belonging means something. It's that sense of belonging that makes up a person's roots.

One sunny day not long ago I walked down to the cemetery to look at a grave. On the notice board at the church was a handwritten note from the parish guild and Valle Parish, who together had come up with an appropriate arrangement in coronation time: the residents of the area were invited to join a walk in the cemetery to hear some selected life stories of the people who rest there. In my email I then found some more information. Last year's memorial walk was very well received, the message explained, and it had therefore been decided to organise another one.

I wish I could have been at the memorial walk, which took place a few days ago, but that day I was at work. Now I hope to have the opportunity next time. Gathering together to remember the people who once lived in our houses, farmed our fields and trod our trails is a beautiful way to acknowledge the local history that surrounds us. It's an idea worth spreading to parish guilds, homeowners' associations, and engaged neighbors everywhere.

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