On September 27, 2020, the church in Bolshoye Kuzyomkino, Leningrad Oblast, hosted a meeting on local history. The village church is an important item of historical heritage. The very walls of the building are living history that anyone can still touch. The congregation hopes many interested people including tourists find the church a point of attraction.
We would like to thank Valentina Pilli for her engaging talk about the history of the village and its church.
About Mrs. Pilli: She graduated from the Leningrad Library Tekhnikum (tekhnikum = vocational school) in 1966 and took a job at the library in Kuzyomkino. While on the job, she took correspondence courses at, and graduated from, the Leningrad State Institute of Culture. As she lived and worked in the land of Izhorians, a Finnic indigenous people native to the region, she became interested in the history and culture of this small ethnic group. She began to gather materials such as personal recollections, photographs, items of daily life, and literature on the subject. Soon, the materials she had been gathering could not fit into the village library space any more. In 2009, the administration of the Rural Settlement of Kuzyomkino provided a separate room which now houses a display of local history. The display has visitors, hosts temporary exhibitions, activities, and lessons on local history. While there was a secondary school in Kuzyomkino, reorganized in 2013, the display room was also used for the meetings of the school’s local history society. Mrs. Pilli continues to gather and promote awareness of materials on local history.