Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

June 1st May 31, 2008

Filed under: 1 June — ivasil @ 7:20 pm
Tags: , ,

Tomorrow is June 1st, the International Children’s Day. We celebrate it here in our families, schools and the local authorities organize events for kids.

As teachers, every day is Children’s Day for us, as they are our raw material and our final product, and our live revolves around them day-by-day.

May they be healthy, happy and good! Although one of our proverbs says:”There’s no such thing as a wise child and a pretty old woman.” (“Nu exista copil cuminte si baba frumoasa”).

Happy Children’s Day to you and your pupils!


Tradition of religious tolerance in Poland May 29, 2008

Filed under: tradition of tolerance — ligregni @ 10:56 pm

While Europe was experiencing religious wars Poland (as a multinational country) also had many conflicts, wars but they were never provoked by religion.
Poland could actually be seen, according to Jan Drewnowski a professor of Polish University in London as a kind of pioneer of tolerance. Even in medieval times Jews found religious tolerance and economic opportunity in Poland.

from the

Under King Sigmund II. (1548-1572), the teachings of Martin Luther, Jean Calvin and of the Bohemian Brethren found followers throughout Poland. The diet of 1555 introduced FREEDOM OF CONFESSION (TOLERANCE); Poland discontinued to pay St. Peter’s Penny [ which was a Papal tax on all Christians which went straight to Rome] Protestantism had it’s most ardent followers in the cities of Danzig, Thorn and Elbing, which still were German in character. The majority of Poland’s nobility had converted to protestantism. Poland’s tolerance policy attracted those who were persecuted because of their confession, from the Netherlands, France, Silesia.
The policy of tolerance resulted in political gains : Lutheran LIVONIA (with Courland) in 1561 asked for Polish protection (against Russian incursions) and became an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Poland. In 1569, the Estates of Catholic/Protestant Poland and Catholic/Greek Orthodox Lithuania established the UNION OF LUBLIN, merging the two countries and their institutions. Religious tolerance was a necessary precondition for the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian state.

From Wikipedia (

In 1573 the Warsaw Confederation formalized, in the newly formed Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the freedom of religion that had a long tradition in the Kingdom of Poland. The first extensive Jewish emigration from Western Europe to Poland occurred at the time of the First Crusade in 1098. Under Boleslaus III (1102–1139), the Jews, encouraged by the tolerant régime of this ruler, settled throughout Poland, including over the border into Lithuanian territory as far as Kiev. The Tatars who settled in Lithuania, Ruthenia and modern-day eastern Poland were allowed to preserve their Islamic religion in exchange for military service.

John Paul II was the first pope was also an advocate of religious tolerance promoting peace and reconciliation in the world. He was the first pope to enter a mosque (in Syria) and the main Jewish synagogue in Rome. He was the first to go to Greece and establish relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church after a thousand years of no relations between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman churches.

Ewa A. Golebiowska examined Poles’ present attitudes toward four religious minorities: Jews, Muslims, Russian Orthodox Christians, and Protestants. The study demonstrates that Poles, as a group, are highly tolerant of religious minorities. A. Glebiowska writes: ” (…) extent of their [Polish people”s] tolerance varies with the group and activity to be tolerated. How tolerant or intolerant Poles are depends, in addition, on their social circumstances (education, age, and religiosity) and political (interest in politics and perceptions of threat to Poland’s independence) and psychological (xenophobia) characteristics.”

designed by a Polish artist Piotr Młodożeniec for a competition organised by “The Museum on the Seam for Dialogue, Understanding and Coexistence” in Jerusalem and made famous by Bono from U2

Gimnazjum nr 18, Poland


Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale)

This is one of the most popular Romanian traditional dishes. It’s mostly a winter dish, but we also eat it at weddings or any kind of celebration.

1 large soured cabbage, 1 3/4 lb/750 g ground meat (mixture of pork and beef is recommended), 2 large onions, 2 tablespoons rice, 2 tomatoes or 500 ml tomato sauce, salt, pepper, sweet paprika and sour cream (optional).

Grind the meat with a raw onion. Place in a bowl and mix with rice, pepper, salt, paprika, and finely chopped onion. Mix everything well. Core the cabbage with a sharp thin knife. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves, one by one, so that they do not tear. Cut larger leaves in 2 or 3 and then place a little meat in each cabbage piece and roll in. The smaller the rolls are, the tastier they are. Place a layer of rolls in the pan (take a deep one), then cover with a layer of chopped (julienned) cabbage and the bay leafs, then a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes. Do this layering until all the rolls are made. The last layer must be tomato slices and add tomato sauce. Then place in the oven so that the liquid is reduced. Serve hot with sour cream and with polenta, if you like it. It’s better to make them the day before you eat them, the flavour has to “settle down”.

It’s not the only way they can be made . You can read more here.

* When soured cabbage is not available, use cabbage leaves scalded in water.

Class 8A from School 92, Bucharest


“ Pasta al ragù” ( Pasta with minced meat sauce)

Spesso la Domenica le nostre mamme preparano questo piatto:

Pasta al ragù


Salsa di pomodoro

Carne macinata



Pasta (qualsiasi tipo andrà bene)


Tagliuzzare le carote e il sedano, mettere in una padella con olio e far rosolare fino a che non diventino dorate, aggiungere alla carne macinata, poi aggiungere ancora il sugo con un filo d’olio ed il sale. Far cuocere per  un’ora o più. Intanto,riempire una pentola d’acqua e portarla ad ebollizione. Quando l’acqua bolle aggiungere del sale e versare la pasta , aspettare per circa 15 minuti o meno ( dipende dal tipo di pasta). Poi scolare la pasta, condire con il sugo e formaggio grattugiato, meglio se è Parmigiano, e servire.


Speriamo che vi piacerà!!

Often on Sunday our mums prepare this dish:

“ Pasta al ragù” ( Pasta with minced meat sauce)


Tomatoe sauce

Minced meat




Pasta ( any kind is right)


Mince the carrots, the onions and the , put them in a pot with oil and let it fry until they become gold, add the minced meat, then add the tomato sauce with a little bit od oil and salt. Let it boil for about an hour and more. In the meantime, fill a pot with water and let it boil. When the water is boiling add some salt and pour the pasta and wait  15 minutes or less ( it depends on the type of pasta). Strain and dress with ragù and grated cheese, better if it’s parmisan cheese, and serve.

Let’s hope you ‘ll like it!

Anna e Mattia- classe 5^B-scuola primaria “A.Ciancia”-

Francavilla sul Sinni (PZ)-Italia


“FRITTATA” with wild little onions and asparagus

LA FRITTATA con cipolline selvatiche e asparagi:

In primavera, dalle nostre parti, molti vanno in campagna in cerca di cipolline selvatiche ed asparagi ottimi per preparare la frittata. Ecco la ricetta:

Ingredienti :

§ 5 uova

§ formaggio

§ sale

§ olio

§ cipolline

§ asparagi


Aprite le uova,sbattetele in una ciotola insieme al formaggio.Tagliate le cipolle e fate bollire con gli asparagi, uniteli alle cipolline tagliate in una padella con olio e fateli friggere un poco. Aggiungete le uova sbattute e fate friggete fino a che le uova diventano solide. È un delizioso piatto rapido!

Buon appetito.

“FRITTATA” with wild little onions and asparagus

In Spring, in our part of the country, many people go to the field and bushes looking for wild little onions and asparagus that are very good to prepare the omelette. Here’s the recipe:


§ 5 fresh eggs

§ salt

§ oil

§ grated cheese

§ Wild onions

§ asparagus


Break the shell eggs and put the inside in a bowl, beat them with the cheese. Boil the asparagus then add them to the minced onions in a pan with the oil and let them fry a little. Add the betted eggs and let it fry until the egg become solid. It’s a delicious quick dish!

Good appetite!

From Gianluigi and Antonio –Classe 5^B-Scuola Primaria “A.Ciancia”-Francavilla in Sinni (PZ)-ITALIA


Cracovienne (Krakowiak) – Polish traditional dance and the Bugle of Cracow May 28, 2008

Filed under: traditional dances — ligregni @ 7:08 pm
Tags: ,

It is a fast dance that dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The dance comes from the region of Krakow, Kraków was the old capital of Poland, and Little Poland. It is still regarded together with mazurka and polonaise as ” a national dance” of Poland.

The popular ballroom dance once (even in Vienna and Paris) is set for several couples.

The leading male dancer, from the first pair, sings and indicates the steps. He usually improvised words addressed to his partner. The band followed the melody, and the couples moved off in file and form a circle.

If it is performed on the stage it includes not only turns but also jumps, running and stamping steps.

Before the dance you can actually listen to the bugler of Cracow.

In tourist guides one can find the story of this bugle call. Here is one example:

From the tower of the Church, for centuries past, the Hejnal, or Hymn to our Lady (whose Church it is), was played by a trumpeter. He played it four times to the four winds, and he played it every hour.

One day, many, many years ago, as he played, the trumpeter saw in the distance a cloud of dust which grew bigger with every passing moment. It was a large army of Tatars galloping towards the city. These cruel invaders from the east had more than once advanced to Krakow, nay, even farther, and they had pillaged and burned, looted and murdered and carried off the young people to be slaves in their camps. The trumpeter was horror stricken. How could he warn the city, how could he convey to the people the approach of danger and give them time to prepare their defense? There was only one thing he could do. To go down into the town and spread the alarm would be foolish, for it would waste precious minutes. He must play the Hejnal, over and over. That would surely arouse the citizens, they would certainly be aware of approaching danger. So he played, again and again. At first the people of Krakow were puzzled.

Why was the trumpeter playing over and over? and with such loud urgency? But they quickly realised that it was a warning and that from his lofty tower ha had seen danger approach. The soldiers sprang to arms and took up their stations on the walls of the city. The burgesses ran to secure their houses and place their wives and children behind locked doors. The apprentices seized their arrows and their cross-bows, the artisans seizes what tools they could lay their hands on, and they all marched to the defense of their city. Suddenly, the sound of the Hejnal ceased abrubtly.The notes had reached the ears of the Tatars as they approached, and their keen eyes had espied the figure of the trumpeter. As soon as they came within bow-shot, their leader, the surest marksman of them all, loosed his bow, and the deadly projectile logged in the trumpeter’s throat.

But his task was accomplished, and Krakow was saved. Thanks to his warning, the people were able to defend their city, and they inflicted a crushing defeat on the Tatars, killing one of their princes.

And since that day, the Hejnal has been broken off at the same note on which it was broken off by the Tatar arrow in honour of the trumpeter who gave his life for the city.

The bugle from Cracow ( the Hejnal Mariacki) traditionally announces the hour on the national radio.

Below there is a video of Cracow with its bugle being played:

Gimnazjum nr18, Gdańsk, Poland


In this way we make the olive oil! Così facciamo l’olio di oliva!

Filed under: Typical activities — Mario @ 4:57 pm
Qualche notizia sulla pianta/ Some news about the plant
In giro per i frantoi /Around the oil mills 
Visiting oil mills 1          

  Venerdì 7 dicembre, gli alunni della classe 4^B dell’Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco”  hanno compiuto una visita didattica al Frantoio “De Marco”. La visita era stata programmata da tempo ed ha dato inizio al progetto “Così facciamo l’olio” inserito nell’attività di partenariato  che da alcuni anni la nostra scuola porta avanti. La visita ha avuto inizio alle ore 15.00 e termine alle ore 16.00. Gli alunni, accompagnati dagli insegnanti di classe sono stati accolti dal proprietario del frantoio che si è messo a loro disposizione  illustrando le varie fasi di lavorazione e i diversi processi necessari all’estrazione dell’olio dalle olive. Ha spiegato inoltre il compito delle macchine presenti nello stabilimento ed ha risposto  con competenza, unita a grande disponibilità, alle domande che i ragazzi gli hanno rivolto. L’esperienza diretta dei processi di lavorazione e i macchinari presenti nello stabilimento hanno interessato molto i ragazzi che lo hanno dimostrato sia con le domande , precise e pertinenti, che hanno rivolto al frantoiano, sia con le discussioni che si intavolavano tra i vari gruppetti, sia nella discussione collettiva seguita al rientro nella classe. La visita è stata documentata sia con numerose fotografie scattate sul posto, sia con la registrazione dell’intervista rivolta al signor De Marco. L’attività proseguirà con un’altra visita da fare al frantoio “Gioia”, prevista per il giorno 11 di questo mese, per mettere a confronto due diversi modi di molire le olive, con i lavori da svolgere a scuola per conoscere la storia dell’olio e le zone di coltivazione dell’olivo, con una indagine condotta tra gli anziani per conoscere il modo di produrre l’olio prima dell’avvento delle macchine moderne, ed infine con un’esperienza diretta, eseguita dai ragazzi a scuola, con il tentativo di estrarre l’olio con mezzi più a portata dei bambini.

 On Friday 7th December the pupils of the class 4 B from the Istituto Comprensivo ”Don Bosco”  have had a didactic visit at the “De Marco” oil mill The visit had been planned some time ago and has started  the project “ We make oil in this way!” included into the partnership activities that our school has been promoting. The visit started at 3.00 and ended at 4.00.The children accompanied by the  class teachers have been received by owner of the oil mill that put himself at their disposal illustrating the different  oil working phases and the different  processes that are necessary for the oil extraction from the olives. He also explained the usage of the machines  that are in the factory and answered  the children questions with  authority linked to a big helpfulness .The direct experience with the production processes and with available machines in the factory interested a lot the children who shown that whether through the questions, precise and pertinent,  that they  asked the  oil mill owner or through the  begun discussions  among the many little groups, or through the sequential collective discussion when we came back to the classroom. The visit has been documented  whether by many photos taken on the place, or by the recorded interview  addressed to Mr. De Marco. The activity will go on with another foreseen visit to do to “Gioia” oil mill on the11th of the current month, to compare two different ways to process the olives, with the school works about the knowledge of  the oil history and the olive cultivation areas, with a survey to do among  the elderly to know the old oil production way before the advent of the modern machines, and, finally, with a direct experience, done by the children at school, with the attempt to extract oil with tools within children’s reach.

  Visiting oil mills 2 


Lo scorso 11 c.m. gli alunni della classe 4^B della scuola primaria dell’Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco” hanno effettuato la visita al frantoio “Gioia-Morelli”. E’ stata una visita interessante che ha coinvolto molto gli alunni,  perché già a conoscenza dei metodi di lavorazione delle olive, avendo già visitato il frantoio “De Marco”, ma soprattutto perché hanno potuto confrontare i diversi metodi di lavorazione e vedere passo passo il cammino delle olive dalla tramoia alla molazza, al torchio, al separatore ed infine nei contenitori e da qui alla pesa. Già, perché il frantoio “Gioia-Morelli”, a differenza del frantoio “De Marco”, che è completamente automatico, è un frantoio meccanico tradizionale, con le ruote che girano sulla molazza, con la pasta delle olive che viene messa nei diaframmi ( in sostituzione degli antichi fiscoli), con le presse idrauliche che schiacciano la pasta e con la presenza di alcuni lavoratori che dirigono e completano manualmente il lavoro delle macchine. Gli alunni hanno immediatamente notato la differenza dei due frantoi, anche per la presenza all’interno del locale di un grande cumulo di sansa  che nell’altro veniva depositato meccanicamente al di fuori del locale stesso e che rendeva scivoloso il pavimento costringendoli a camminare  guardinghi. Si sono soffermati incuriositi dal movimento delle ruote che giravano instancabili sulla molazza schiacciando le olive, e dal solerte lavoro degli operai che impilavano i diaframmi, carichi di pasta, sul carrello, che poi veniva spinto sotto la pressa idraulica che sostituisce l’antico torchio manovrato dalle braccia degli uomini. Dopo aver osservato con crescente interesse i vari processi, hanno rivolto numerose domande al giovane proprietario che ha soddisfatto la loro curiosità con cortese sollecitudine. Infine,con le scarpe sporche di olio e di sansa, con qualche conoscenza in più e con in testa una domanda che non avevano osato porre al giovane imprenditore ( Per quale motivo in questo frantoio non lavate le olive prima di metterle nella molazza?), sono rientrati a scuola giusto in tempo per evitare un furioso acquazzone che subito dopo si è abbattuto sul nostro paese

Last 11th c.m. the children of the class 4B of the primary school of the Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco” visited the “ Gioia – Morelli” oil mill. It was an interesting visit that involved very much the children because they already had the knowledge of the different olive working processes , as they had already visited the “De Marco” oil mill, but especially because they could compare different way of oil production processes and see step by step the olives journey from the hopper, to the millstone, to the press, to the decanter and finally to the containers and from here to the weighing machine. Yes, because the “Gioia-Morelli” oil mill, instead of the “De Marco” oil mill,  that is completely automatic, is a traditional mechanical oil mill, with the wheels  that turn  on the millstone, with the olive paste that they put into the diaphragms ( in replacement of the ancient “fiscoli”), with the hydraulic presses that mash the paste and with the presence of some workers that guide and complete by hand the machines work. The children noticed in a spot the difference between the two oil mills, also for the presence inside the room of a big  husk heap that  in the other one was put down mechanically outside the same room and that made the floor slippery allowing them to walk  cautious. They fixed their attention  made curious about  the wheel s movement  that turned tireless on the millstone crushing the olives, and about the diligent work of the workers that piled up the diaphragms, full of paste, on the trolley, that then they pushed under the hydraulic press that replace the ancient press handled by the men arms. After looking  with growing interest  the many processes , they asked  many questions to the young owner who satisfied their curiosity  with friendly promptness. Finally, with their shoes dirty of oil and husk, with some more knowledge and  with  a question  that they didn’t dare to ask the young entrepreneur in their head ( Why in this oil mill don’t you wash the olives before putting them into the millstone?) they came back to school just in time to avoid a furious storm that immediately afterwards  hit our town.

Facciamo l’olio a scuola!/ Let’s make the oil at school!

Let\’s make the oil at school!


Le visite ai frantoi sono state molto interessanti: i ragazzi hanno osservato con grande partecipazione  il lavoro nelle sue varie fasi, hanno rivolto domande pertinenti e chiarificatrici ai frantoiani, hanno discusso animatamente tra di loro ed hanno svolto con grande entusiasmo i lavori di conclusione all’interno della scuola. Quando tutto sembrava concluso, un bambino mi ha rivolto la domanda che  mi aspettavo e che stavo per sollecitare: Maestro, l’anno scorso abbiamo fatto il vino e il sidro, ora perché non facciamo l’olio? Gli altri alunni hanno accolto con entusiasmo l’invito del compagno e così ci siamo messi subito al lavoro: abbiamo cominciato a discutere su come organizzarci, su cosa ci occorreva per simulare le varie fasi, su cosa portare a scuola, su chi, sul come, sul quando e così via. È stato deciso anche di documentare il lavoro fotograficamente e di farne partecipi gli alunni inglesi del nostro partenariato.Quando gli alunni hanno portato a scuola una quantità sufficiente di olive e gli attrezzi ritenuti utili alla bisogna, abbiamo cominciato il lavoro seguendo passo passo il procedimento osservato durante la nostra visita ai frantoi. Un gruppo ha lavato le olive, un altro gruppo le ha snocciolate ( si è deciso di snocciolarle non avendo la possibilità di frantumare i noccioli), un altro ancora le ha rese in poltiglia utilizzando un frullatore ed infine un altro gruppo ha cercato di pressare la pasta infilata in sacchetti di stoffa con un piccolo torchietto ( lo stesso utilizzato per fare il vino). Ha cercato, ma senza riuscirci: le maglie della stoffa erano troppo fitte per cui il liquido molto denso non riusciva a filtrare. Presa coscienza del problema ed individuata la soluzione ( fare dei sacchetti con della stoffa a trama larga), abbiamo rimandato il lavoro al giorno successivo quando finalmente siamo riusciti a condurre a termine l’operazione. Il risultato è stato un liquido molto denso che avrebbe avuto bisogno di essere centrifugato. Non avendo però la possibilità di farlo, abbiamo deciso di ricorrere al procedimento della decantazione e pertanto di  depositarlo in un recipiente di vetro e di  conservarlo in un armadio per un periodo di tempo  sufficiente allo scopo. L’olio che otterremo non sarà certamente dei migliori e non ci sogneremo neanche di utilizzarlo, ma lo scopo che ci eravamo prefissi è stato raggiunto: i ragazzi hanno saputo mettere in pratica i procedimenti osservati organizzandosi, progettando, utilizzando attrezzi di vita quotidiana e sapendo superare gli imprevisti senza abbattersi ma riprogettando il loro lavoro
 The visit at the oil mills has been very interesting : the children looked at the work in the its various phases with big participation, made  pertinent and explaining questions to the oil mill owners, discussed animatedly each others and made with much enthusiasm the concluding works at school. When everything seemed completed a child asked me a question I was waiting for  a time and I was pressing for: “Teacher, last year we made the wine and the cider, why we don’t make the oil now?”. The other children agreed with enthusiasm the mate’s invite and so we began to work soon: we start to discuss about how organizing, about what we needed to simulate the various phases, about what to bring at school, about who, about how , about when and so on. We decided to document  the work with photos and to let the English pupils of our partnership take part in it. When the children had brought at school a sufficient quantity of olives and the tools we considered useful at the need we started the work following step by step the working process observed during our visit at the oil mills. A group washed the olives, another one left the olive- stones ( as we hadn’t the possibility  to press and crush the olive- stones we decided to leave them from the olives), another one blended them with an electric blender and finally another group tried to press the paste inserted in a little  cloth bag using a little press (the same one we had used to make wine). they tried, but without can do it: the stitches were too tight so the too thick liquid couldn’t filter. Conscious of that and found the solution ( making  little bags with some large stitch cloth) we postponed the work till the next day when finally we could to complete the operation. The result was a very thick liquid that would have needed to be centrifuged. But as we hadn’t the possibility to do it, we decided to have recourse to the decanting process and for that to pour it into a glass container and keep it  in a cupboard for a period of time sufficient for the purpose.The oil we’ll obtain surely won’t be among the best ones and neither we won’t dream to use it, but the aim we set has been reached: the children could have practiced the observed processes organizing themselves, planning , using daily life tools and getting over the unforeseen events without going down but planning again their work.


 Le musiche che accompagnano le foto nelle presentazioni sono tipiche dei nosrti luoghi:  “Quadriglia”e “Tarantella”( in due diverse versioni).
The music that accompany the photos in the presentations are typical of our places: “Quadriglia” and “Tarantella”( in two different versions).

Classe 4^B-Scuola primaria “A.Ciancia”-Francavilla in Sinni (PZ)-Italia