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“Polish – Italian picnic – learning about the distinctive characteristics of our regions”

Joining the European Union aroused Secondary School XI students' interest in Western European countries. In the times of free mobility, crossing borders easily and dissemination of European culture a tendency to lose national identity is noticed. Young people view mass culture as more interesting than the culture of their own country and region. The fascination of common Europe shades the values of one's own tradition and region. Noticing this phenomenon we wrote and got our students involved in the project entitled 'Polish – Italian picnic - getting to know the distinctive characteristics of our regions.' There were 21 Polish and Italian students aged 15 -18 who participated in the project.The aim of the project was both the developing of unity with Europe and awakening interest in one's origin. We wanted our students to learn about the originalities of our region in certain cultural aspects such as legends, myths, folk art and culinary traditions. They also had a chance to know the everyday lifestyles of teenagers from Italy. The project gave our students an opportunity to present the traditions and culture of their region as well as the country abroad. They were willing and pleased to play the role of "ambassadors" of Poland and proudly represented Świętokrzyski region.As the part of the project our school organised or coordinated a number of cultural events , interesting meetings, displays, conferences and after school activities which helped to create a positive image of our school in the local community. The actions undertaken served as positive example of cooperation with the citizens of the housing estate where the school is located and helped to solve socioeconomic problems which can be observed in our district. One of the main objectives of our project was to encourage the learning of modern languages among our students by cooperating with Italian peers. The Polish students took part in an Italian language course, run by the native speakers.
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