|Title||ASEF “Cultural Loom” Weaving Event & Exchange|
The 4th Primary School Ymittou and Zaneio Experimental Junior High School organised an exchange programme with two guest schools from Asia Mark’s Senior Secondary Public School, Meera Bagh (India) and the Zhukovsky English School No. 3 (Russian Federation) from 10 to 17 April 2016 in Greece. All 4 schools are part of the ASEF ClassNet Online Collaboration “Cultural Loom”. We had the opportunity to meet face-to-face in Athens to discuss and subsequently implement the “Cultural Looms” Online Collaboration. During the visit, the Indian delegation was hosted by Greek families while the delegation from the Russian Federation stayed in a hotel in the downtown area.
On the first day, both delegations visited the Zaneio Experimental Junior High School. They met their peers, prepared and rehearsed for their cultural performances which they presented during the Opening Reception. Representatives from both host schools, their principals, parents, Governors, Indian and Russian Ambassadors, Greek educators, representatives from the Greek Ministry of Education, school advisors, the media representatives, teachers and students, enjoyed a magnificent performance by the students. The performances demonstrated how people from different cultures are united by learning from each other and by living together in cohesion across different cultures around the world.
On the second day, the delegates went on a sightseeing tour around the Pireaus port after visiting the Archaeological Museum and the Laskaridi Library.
On the third day, all delegates visited the 4th Primary School Ymittou where they attended various classes, played, danced, and sang together. Greek, Indian and Russian students jointly put up an intercultural performance. The Greek students thanked them by singing “All My Loving” to their peers and gave them little handmade tokens as memorabilia. Later that day, the delegates made their way to the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion where they enjoyed the sun and breeze at the beach and collected sea shells. In the words of some delegates, it was the first time they experienced sea water. Without doubt, it was truly an unforgettable experience for them!
On the fourth day, the delegates participated in a fantastic tour of ancient and modern Greek civilisation. The programme included the Acropolis Museum, the Acropolis Hill with Parthenon, the Ancient Herodion Theatre, Plaka, the Greek Parliament, Thission and the Monastiraki Flea Market. On the fifth day, the Indian delegates flew to Santorini, a picturesque volcanic island off Greece. The Secondary School of Emporeio in Santorini welcomed the delegates by. They participated in activities such as diving, exploring volcanic remains while enjoying the marvellous view and sunset as well as the local cuisine.
Back in Athens, the Russian students and teachers had the chance to visit monuments such as the Benaki Museum, the Constitution Square where they witnessed the Change of the Guards ceremony, the National Gardens and the University, amongst others.
As the delegates left Greece, they unanimously said that “they had an unforgettable stay and wanted to come back again!” They concluded that they all left Greece feeling “richer”, having found “new families and new brothers and sisters of their own”, from whom they learnt about “others’ cultures”, by accepting cultural differences and living together. As the motto of the programme goes “if you take off our skin, we are all the same…..”.
Please follow Artem, a student from the Russian Federation on his short feedback about the exchange programme – https://youtu.be/qm_cDHY1Gv8 I would like to thank Mrs Anjali AGGARWAL, Mrs Ritika ANAND, Mrs Seema ARORA, Mrs Valentina VASILIKOVA, the hosting Principals, the Parents’ Associations, the Greek, Indian and Russian families, teachers, students and all the people involved for their trust and for making this weaving of cultures project a reality.