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Mobility in Croatia

C2 04.04 - 9.04.2022

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After two long years of waiting because of the pandemic, this school year we were finally able to start our Erasmus+ project. The first meeting took place in Spain in November 2021 and it was a teachers’ meeting so now has come the time for our students to meet here in Zagreb, Croatia. Our friends and Erasmus partners from Poland, Spain, Turkey and Italy arrived a few days before the beginning of the mobility so they got the chance to find their way around Zagreb even before the workshops started. In the meantime, Croatian students, from Linigra- private high school, were doing their final preparations for hosting this event.

Day 1

Linigra – private high school was the place where we started the workshops connected to the second mobility named ‘Tolerance will win’ in the project ‘Dance with me’. All partners met at school and were given a warm welcome by Linigra students, teachers and the principal. The students Luka M. and Chiara prepared short presentations about Croatia in general, Zagreb, the capital, and our school, so that everyone gets familiar with who we are since this was the first mobility involving students. All partner countries followed our lead and introduced their countries, schools and even dances. After the presentations, we did a little tour around the school and students got the chance to meet all the other students at our school and talk to them about our school, teachers and the educational system in Croatia in general. Then we had a little break for coffee, drinks, snacks and fresh fruit and then we continued talking about the main topic of the project which is dance.

Traditional dances are part of our intangible cultural heritage and therefore very important for our country because of cultural tourism, and since we are a school that educates future workers in the hotel and tourism sector, they are very important to us, too. Luka D. talked about traditional costumes in Croatia, Jana B. taught us something about traditional festivals and events that take place all around Croatia and Jana G.V. talked about the types of dances and musical instruments that accompany the dances. During the teaching and learning part, we encouraged students to memorize some of the facts which they would need for the quiz later on. Dora talked about the most famous opera which includes traditional customs, costumes, music, instruments and especially dances. We also watched an excerpt from the opera ‘Ero the joker’ named ‘Final Kolo’ (which is a type of dance danced in a circle). Petra spiced it all up with a Kahoot quiz to test the participants’ knowledge. Everyone enjoyed the quiz and the winners were Marina, Carolina and Luka.

After hard work, it was time for lunch. The lunch was held at a restaurant opposite the cathedral named ‘Kaptolska Klet’, which featured some of the traditional Croatian dishes such as štrukli. The interior showed the beautiful sights of Zagreb so we could easily pinpoint where we were going on the following days. After lunch, we had some free time until our final workshop for the day and the most important one for the project- which was the dance class at KUD ‘Frankopan’ Remete. We learned a traditional dance from Prigorje region and sang a song named ‘Kriči, kriči tiček’. It was not that easy, but we had so much fun with our friends and made many lasting memories.

Day 2

On the second day, we continued with our workshops. First, we met in front of the Croatian National Theatre. Luka M. (yes, the third Luka) gave a presentation on the theatre and its important aspects. We also talked about Ivan Meštrović, the greatest 19th-century sculptor, and about his famous sculpture- the Source of Life, since we were sitting around it, in front of the theatre. While we were there, some of the students decided to have a little dance rehearsal out in the open and it was so nice. We enjoyed the sun for a short time and then went to Ethnographic Museum to see the exhibition of traditional costumes and headcovers. The museum was interesting and the guide showed us the most important pieces of garments. The ground floor of the museum included an exhibition on games Croatian students played in their childhoods so everyone had some more fun there.

Then it was time for a short coffee break, at café bar Dobar Zvuk, during which we could discuss some things related to our countries and our project. Lunch was organized at Stella bar & Vip restaurant, which has walls hand-painted with the motifs of Zagreb. It created a really nice atmosphere, which we enjoyed together with delicious food. The best tour guide around Zagreb, Purgerica, was in charge of the afternoon activities. She told us many interesting stories about Zagreb that even the locals don’t know about. She also talked about traditional events, festivals, dances and many places relevant for the culture of Zagreb and Croatia.

After some free time, we met our friends again at the Bowling Club, where we shared some really nice moments together in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. But it was also a competitive event in which some teachers and students even won medals!! Go Poland, Croatia and Spain!!

Day 3

On the third day of our Erasmus+ mobility in Croatia, we wanted to show our Erasmus friends Croatia in its full beauty so we took them on a trip to the Plitvice Lakes, a place listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

During the ride there, we had a few workshops in the bus. One of the goals was to teach the other students a song in Croatian. We chose 2 songs: the first one was ‘Što na nebu sja visoko?’ from ‘Ero, the joker’. And the second one was ‘Kriči, kriči tiček’ because of the catchy lyrics and the rhyme and this was the song we danced to. The second activity was a speaking activity for the students to bond. They got a sheet named ‘Find someone who…’ and the idea was for them to talk, get to know each others better and find similarities and things they have in common.

When we got to the Plitvice Lakes, we enjoyed the sun and the peaceful atmosphere. After a short walk and taking many photos, we went on a boat ride. After that, it was lunchtime and we spent some more time outside in the sun. Then we headed back to Zagreb and we gave our Erasmus friends an evening off so they could relax and be ready for the final day.

Day 4

On the last day, we decided to take things easy. We took our friends to the Zoo and to see the football stadium. We had a lovely walk around the Zoo, went for a coffee and talked a bit about our future plans. After that, everyone had free time for lunch, shopping and some more sightseeing on their own. And, of course, some time to rest before the final dance workshop, the closing ceremony, the dinner and the Latin dances party.

We chose Hotel Diplomat/Big Mamma Pub as our venue for the final dinner. The place had a nice dance floor for the activities and for the dancing party afterwards. The awarding of the certificates of attendance for the second mobility to Croatia was followed by a dinner. The food was delicious and everyone had a great time, especially during the dancing sessions afterwards. Teachers had a short meeting at the hotel’s conference room to discuss the details for the next mobility in Italy. At the end of the evening, everyone was sad to part but happy that we still have 3 mobilities ahead of us and that we will all meet soon.

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