Nordplus Junior project "Dialects and old folk crafts" has started at Võru Kreutzwaldi school today on November 26, 2019. The students and teachers from Latvia Pastende basic school, Kupiškis Povilas Matulionis progymnasium and Võru Kreutzwaldi School are taking part in this project.
The morning of November 26 was started with the ice breaking and getting to know games. The leader of the project Kai Laanemaa congratulated and introduced the participants with the activities of the day. The headmaster of the school Taavi Karu has also delivered his warm welcome. The introductions of the 3 schools made a good start of the project. The students took a tour around the classes, leisure areas and communicated with the local students and teachers in the first part of the day. In the afternoon we were all studying the Estonian language. This language belongs to the Uralic language family the Baltic Finish languages subgroup and for this reason absolutely differs from the Indo-European languages spoken by Latvians and Lithuanians. It was attractive to get to know to the basics of the Estonian language and sing their songs. The rest of the time before dinner the students spent playing various physical movements requiring games and dancing the traditional Estonian dances.
The activities of November 27 started with the collection of information about the countries taking part in the project: Estonians collected the data about Lithuania, Latvians about Estonia and Lithuanians about Latvia. The students had to fill the data into 4 meters long posters together with the illustrations and present it to other participating groups. These posters later were exposed in the school hall and attracted the entire community. After the presentations the participants walked to the artist’s Ruti Jogi atelier were they were introduced to her creation and exhibits. Before the lunch break the students were making the decorative hearts out of various materials and tasted the sweets of the local town. After having lunch at school canteen everyone walked to the youth center and played various games, were introduced with the activities of this center and finally were divided into mixed groups of twelve (4 students from each country) and took a town tour to visit the main sights. In the evening the students enjoyed themselves at the school disco.
Today in the morning after playing a short game just to wake up the students of the three Baltic States designed, cut and glued various handicrafts. A great challenge occurred handicrafts which required using hot glue and secondary raw materials. Later both students and teachers played a get to know game with the aim to find out which month was every participant of the project "Dialects and the old folk crafts" actually born and then fill the data collected to a specially prepared form. This day will remain in the memory of the students as the dances and games day due to active participation of the students while singing, dancing and playing the games of the three Baltic States.
The morning of November 29 was started with a warm up game. Later the participants of the project prepared the decorations and puppets out of the secondary raw materials according to a freely chosen fairy tale of a certain country. After that, the groups performed their fairy tales in mother tongue as if it was an authentic puppet theater. At the end of each performance there was a short comment in English to clear out the main facts. After taking a short break the representatives of each country had to cope with various life situations. For example: the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian arrive to a public institution without being able to speak any foreign language except mother tongue and ask for help. The receptionist also experiences the same disadvantage of speaking mother tongue only. Smart situations and creativity of the students to perform the problems to solve was the reason of laugh to cries as well as surprise. In conclusion, it became clear that using gestures it is possible to solve funny situations without words and get some help anyway. In the afternoon the students cooked their own national heritage dishes in the technologies and crafts class. Once the dishes were ready everyone was happy to find out about each country’s cuisine. Both students and teachers were amazed of the gorgeous tastes!
On the last day of the project "Dialects and old folk crafts" we left for a city tour of Tartu, which is about 70 kilometers away from Voru. The day occurred to be sunny so everyone was in a good mood. Tartu is the second biggest city in Estonia and it is known for the University of Tartu, and it’s all about science. As a coincidence we were lucky to find out that at the very same day Tartu celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Estonian-language University of Tartu. On the first part of the day we visited the largest science center in the Baltic States named “AHHAA” where science is closely related to playful adventures. Due to this fact we gained practical knowledge. Most of the exhibits are interactive because the students could try them all out themselves, find out the operating principles of various gadgets, touch, explore and experience the extreme impressions. For example, ride the bike on the outstretched rope or ascend to 30 meters height on a special armchair, pass the shaking tunnel, experience a free fall, get lost in the maze of mirrors or absolutely blind room and many more attractive things. What is more, there was a new exhibition opened where we could observe the different species of birds that live in Estonia. On the second part of the day, after having a mouthwatering lunch at the Italian restaurant, the participants of the project visited the sights and the old town of Tartu City. After that, both teachers and students went shopping to nearby shopping malls where could grab some souvenirs before taking a home trip. Many thanks to Kai Laanemaa from Võru Kreutzwaldi school for coordinating the first part of the project "Dialects and old folk crafts" and perfectly arranged activities. We look forward for you all coming to the second stage of the project which will take place in Pastende School in Latvia in spring 2020.