MY COMENIUS – HARMONY OF FRIENDSHIP FROM POLAND TO HUNGARY AND ITALY 2010-2011
Everything started in a beautiful Hungarian city Szombathely in November 2010. Of course, all coordinators of our Comenius project from Hungary, Italy, Catalonia and Poland had known one another before - we were still in touch by mails, we prepared the programme and were organising all things, shows and exhibitions about partners in our schools. But the first Comenius meeting of the partners in November was very important- we could meet face to face in the country of the coordinator of the project- Hungary. It was so exciting and wonderful!!
The place and time were exceptional – Hungarians are traditional and historical friends of Poles and we also were in Hungary during the day of St Martin on 11.11 which is also the national Polish holiday- the Independence Day. We all met at the welcome party in Szombathely school in the afternoon – I was welcomed by Anita and Gerti, by the headteacher Kinga and by the all Hungarian teachers who were very friendly and kind…and then I met Catalan friends Maria, Mari and Laura…Finally Italian group arrived with Rosalba, Barbara and their pupils .
Our Hungarian friends were taking care of us and wanted to show us all kind of their culture so we could take part in music show of old Hungarian instruments, in traditional Hungarian folk dance and we tried traditional Hungarian delicious cuisine. We were able to discover and experience rich Hungarian history from the ancient times to contemporary times.
We got to know the ancient Romans influence in this region because it was the Roman province of Pannonia and inhabitants of Szombathely celebrate to this day the festival of such traditions and organize special shows in traditional costumes which we could even wear and feel like Roman soldiers. We had also possibility to know old Magyar costumes and weapons as well as try on Baroque costumes and visit museum of the II World War and post-War exhibits.
We travel l ed in time and took part in the old route of St Martin pilgrimage. Szombathely is well-known as a place of birth of St Martin of Tours – this Christian tradition influenced all Europe and St Martin track was a part of the longest pilgrimage tour- to Santiago de Compostella in Spain!!!. We were like modern pilgrims in this ancient route and started our way in St Martin Visitors Centre in Szombathely; then we visited Vamoscsalad and Pannonhalma monastery- the center of Hungarian culture and religion, when the idea of Hungary as the modern kingdom was born- there we admired a thousand years history present in buildings, museums of manuscripts and books: I could even see the first Bible printed in Polish!!!
During our meeting we participate d in lessons at school – our Hungarian friends taught us traditional songs, however Hungarian language was very difficult for me – but I tried a lot!! Our hosts were really helpful and patiently answered all our questions and were our guides in visiting Szombathely- they showed us the picturesque center of the town full of history – we could also see the exceptional murals which depicted the ancient history of Szombathely, the hellenistic temple and the Jewish synagogue and many more…
We visited the modern fashion design school as well as we talked about contemporary situation with the mayor of the city. There were many more activities, visits and meetings which gave us a real picture of Hungarian culture; there were a lot of talking, exchanging ideas, planning and school workshops connecting new methods of teaching and practical activities. This meeting gave us all the strong feeling of friendship and allowed us to know all aspects of Hungarian culture and great Hungarian hospitality.
The second meeting in Italy in March 2011 gave us a great possibility to make a lot of new fantastic friends – there we met the first time Rosy, the headmaster Vito, Annalisa, Antonio, Salvatore and the others great Italian friends as well as other partners from Catalonia – we were full of optimism, energy and joy and ready to work in Comenius and have a really wonderful time. Our Polish group consisted of 3 teachers and 4 students – our students stayed in the families of Italian pupils where they found a lot of joy, care, friendship and warmth.