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Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project FOLKit was an international youth exchange for young people between 18 and 26 years old. The project was attended by 5 different countries of the European Union: Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Poland. Each country invited 5 participants and also one coordinator from Poland, so in total it was 26 people. They all together created a working group for our meeting. The project took place in October 2015 around Polish Tatras, in the village - Poronin. An important and very extensive part of the traditional culture is folklore. It is an artistic folk art expressed in words, dances, songs, sculptures, paintings and other similar units. Folklore as well as other cultural fields, creates our identity. Nowadays, those countries which are preserving cultural identity grow up in the belief that they are unique and are affluent civilization. Polish mountains is a place that in comparison with other ethnographic regions, is distinguished by relatively constant cultivation of folklore. This is not folklore learned and artificially maintained, but in a natural way passed down to future generations. Moreover highlander folklore, especially Tatra is practiced every day - not like in other regions mostly just for the holidays and while celebrating important occasions. FOLKit was the project, which helped young people to exchange their customs and traditions of several nations and ethnic groups. We wanted young people to notice and appreciate the richness and diversity of the presented aspects of folklore, also to find out that by the differences we can connect. Folklore is not only about meetings, but also is treated as a tool used by our partners to continue on working with young people and local community. During the project, aspects of folklore represented by our regions were presented, which helped us in achieving goals. Individual sessions were conducted by a group from each of the participating countries, which helped us to know something more about partner’s customs and traditions through mutual education. By non-formal learning we’ve discovered important aspects of our self-awareness and acquired new experiences formed on the principle of self-education. By attaining the targets, young people could raise the level of key competencies and skills. Among other things, the ability to expand the use of information and communication technologies, developed entrepreneurial skills, strengthened the initiative and digital skills. Significantly participants increased cultural awareness and expression as well as intercultural dialogue. We also wanted to show the validity of non-formal learning and informal learning. We were trying to make people aware how important the initiatives supported by the EU in such small communities as Poronin. We also wanted to find ways of passing on knowledge and traditions adjusted to modern information channels and their receivers. Not only because of the film or mobile ringtones created from our folk tunes, but also by creating facebook group which could combine tradition with modernity. By interacting with the local community (city game in Zakopane, the meeting with local community at the village school) we supported an intergenerational cultural education. During the implementation of this project we established communication and cooperation between young people and representatives of vanishing cultures. Poronin, the town of about 3,500 inhabitants was the main location of the exchange. During the week while interacting with local community and getting to know the culture of folk from the local mountaineers we were able to bring attention to our initiative. We initiated the curiosity of residents by holding an open-meeting to show our cultures. The biggest result of the project is an audiovisual material - the film which combines other short videos showing our folklores as well as mobile ringtones . It is visible that thanks to these media our partners keep encourage people to visit presented regions and to get to know more about Erasmus+ program. Our main goal was to make folklore as a reason for pride, rather than a "shameful" heritage. All participating sides did their best to make sure that our activities were led in an unique atmosphere to encourage participants for future cooperation.

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