CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE 2014 IN PRESOV
Start date: Jun 18, 2014,
End date: Feb 18, 2015
The main purpose of the event is to bring together 60 students and 40 teachers from different European countries each year in another region to celebrate the rich variety of traditions relating to Christmas, in the areas of food, costumes, legends, and music. This year's edition takes place for the first time in Slovakia. In December 2014, students and teachers will gather in Presov, a town that counts a lot of different religious communities, whose local representatives the delegations will meet during their parade throughout the city, while stopping at the different houses of worship. This religious diversity will be the starting point for a presentation of the different ways of celebrating Christmas as well as a debate on 'the importance to get united in diversity ( to raise awareness about EU values)' as well as on tolerance, exclusion, racism and xenophobia. Moreover, all countries are encouraged to take part in the event with at least one participant with disadvantaged backgrounds and fewer opportunities from either a social, economical, health/medical, educational, cultural or geographical point of view to foster their inclusion, mobility and employability. On the other hand, the event provides an opportunity for students and teachers to network with a view to future collaboration in terms of arranging student and teacher exchanges, and of planning participation in European programs.
The main part of the event is an exhibition build up in the large Sports Hall of the hosting school, where each delegation gets a stand to be decorated with typical Christmas items from their regions and where they offer small products for tasting from their country. They should distribute documentation on their region and discuss with the visitors about the different Christmas customs in Europe. The hosting partner will above all organize with the local Municipality visits of pupils from primary schools to visit the Exhibiton, thus giving them an opportunity to have a "European look" at Christas and its customs. After the official opening of the exhibition to the public, the event continues with a Parade, to promote the event amongst the local population, in which the participants march in their traditional Christmas clothes ( e.g. Saint Lucia for Sweden, Beffana for Italy, St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) and Black Pete (Zwarte Piet) for the Netherlands or Housécker for Luxembourg, Christkindel for Alsace, St Nikolaus and Krampus for Austria, Father Frost and the Little Snow Child for Russia, aso) with their flags and those of the AEHT and the Erasmus+ Program fluttering in the breeze along a route decided by the organizers. On either one or two days (at lunch time or/and in the evening) students prepare and serve the European Buffet, where they prepare and serve traditional food for Christmas from their region. The guests are the participants themselves as well as guests invited by the hosting partner who helped him set up the event. Another day is reserved for a Cultural Program with presentations by each delegation on Christmas traditions in their respective countries. A religious Church Service may be considered an optional extra, and attendance will be free choice. A Tourism program as well as a sociocultural program will be offered by the hosting partner to the participants during their stay to get even more acquainted with the hosting city and region as well as its traditions. At the end of the activities, an assessment session will take place, which will help the AEHT to improve the organization and guarantee the smooth running of the event in future years by means of enhanced guidelines.
The organizers expect significant improvements of youngsters' linguistic, cultural and transversal skills as well as main key competences. Through exchanges with their peers and new practical experiences, students will also broaden their horizons, get more responsive to sociocultural diversity, develop their professional abilities and enhance their employability. These improvements will be recorded in a Youthpass handed over to the participants.
The AEHT Head Office will disseminate the outcomes of the projects via its newsletter and Internet site to all 400 AEHT member schools. All other partners will also contribute to the dissemination of outcomes among their school community.
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