Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From Poland to Hungary – last Comenius meeting

A group of 7 teachers and 3 primary school students from Mszana Dolna took part in the Comenius meeting in Szombathely, Hungary. The meeting lasted from 22 to 26.05.2012. It was the last meeting of teachers and students from Italy, Poland and Spain. For 2 years, the partners from schools in Barcelona, Vietri di Potenza, Savoia di Lucania, Szombathely and Mszana Dolna had the opportunity to visit each other’s and to present their own original culture, customs and traditions. They made lots of projects, exhibitions, shows and presentations in order to display and show their schools, countries, and local communities from the best side. Thanks to the Comenius meetings, the students and the teachers had the chance to develop their communication skills in English. Both, the students and the teachers took part in various activities in the countries they visited. The teachers could observe different methods of teaching and exchange their experience during long discussions. The students had the chance to stay in the homes of their host-families. Our Hungarian friends did their best to make our last meeting interesting, pleasant and valuable. We learned a lot about the ancient Roman history of Szombathely (Savaria). The Comenius group of teachers and students visited the Savaria museum and the heritage park of a typical Hungarian village. We also had the meeting with the Mayor of Szombathely and the Hungarian hosts summarized the 2 - years’ time of the whole Comenius project, its actions and positive effects. Then, we met in a big school theatre hall, where the Hungarian students presented their traditional and contemporary dance, songs and music, together with a show in English. Then, our Hungarian friends treated us to some their traditional dishes of Hungarian cuisine. On the next day we learned a lot about the geography, history and the culture of the Lake Balaton region. The medieval Sumeg castle was also the part of our trip through the western region of Hungary. We visited Balatonfured which is the typical tourist resort, full of tourist attractions, with its mineral spring waters and beautiful park. The next stage of our trip was the Tihany peninsula (Veszprem Country). It’s the historical part of Balaton. We could visit one-thousand years old Benedictine Abbey founded by Andreas I. On the next day all the Comenius partners went to Peruska Maria shrine and we took part in mass. The shrine is the place where Croatian, Hungarian, German and Romanian people make their pilgrimages. In this international mass all the teachers prayed in their own languages for tolerance, understanding, respect and cooperation between our nations. After the mass we were invited to Horvathzsidany village by the priest who celebrated the mass. We spent there unforgettable moments in the great friendly atmosphere. The next stage of our stay in Hungary was the show of ancient Magyar horse riding and the techniques of fighting with the Magyar bow, the hatchet and the saber. The last part of our trip was beautiful Koszeg town on the border of Austria and Hungary. In 1532 about 700 Hungarian inhabitants’ repulsed huge Turkish army and they stopped Turkish invasion towards Vienna. Koszeg is called “the Hungarian Termopile” and this is the end of our Comenius project this year, but this is not the end of our friendship and our acquaintance. After the 2 years of this project we all are full of new experience, knowledge of history, traditions and customs of our partner countries. We will always have all Comenius friends and meetings in our memory. By Jerzy Karczewski, teacher of English