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After our visit to Thessaloniki in Greece we can draw a very positive conclusion. All the participants learned a lot about the Greek culture. Especially the history of Thessaloniki was really interesting and exciting for the international students from the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Italy and Germany. Moreover the „Flashmob“ for more tolerance and intercultural understanding was central issue of our week in Greece. During the days all the students learned about traditional Greek dances and songs. Together they practiced choreographies and dance steps as a preparation for our flash mob at Evosmos Square. The training lessons have been great fun for all of us. It was interesting to learn about Greek traditions and the close connection of Greek people to their own culture and traditions.
The performance at Evosmos Square was a great success. All our students danced and sang together and motivated some audience for participating, too.
The idea to cross borders between countries and to show more tolerance for others and their cultural identity was successful. The students felt like one team and haven ´t identified themselves no longer by their nationality but by the moment of tolerance and international belonging. It was a great experience for all of the participants and everyone enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the Greek team and the Greek host families.
Students and teachers learned how to be more tolerant and that it is worth it to be open-minded and interested in other cultures and traditions. We appreciate all the experiences and are thankful for this great intercultural exchange.
We all arrived at school at 8.10 am. As every morning, we gathered in the schoolyard and a majority of pupils prayed. The headmaster spoke through the microphone giving instructions for the day.
That day was a very special one as one day in a month the pupils do not have classical lessons but varied activities as sports, cultural activities videos, dances….
We visited the school which is the oldest of Evosmos and has about 380 pupils, 17 classrooms and 38 teachers. The pupils repeated seriously with a good spirit the Sirtaki for the flashmob at 1 O’clock in front of the town hall.
Thanks to a beautiful sun and surrounded by the inhabitants of Evosmos, the flashmob was a great success. The youngsters and their teachers gathered thanks to that dance. It was a moment of unity which was rebroadcasted on national television.
The mayor, Mandalionos Cléanthis was among us and received the teachers of this particular project at the town hall.
The third day of activities was dedicated to important and interesting visits to the most emblematic places in the city of Thessaloniki, sites that recount its millennial history. Teachers and students met at 9 a.m. in front of the Archaeological Museum. The visit showed us the civilization of Macedonian Greece from the Paleolithic era until late antiquity. The exhibition of the ‘Gold of Macedon’ is of particular interest and aroused much admiration and curiosity among the students.
We then went on to visit the White Tower, universally known as the symbol of the city of Thessaloniki which, besides offering a spectacular view of the gulf, the promenade and much of the city, also gave us the possibility to learn about the history of the Macedonian capital in the modern and contemporary age.
The tour continued with a visit to the church of Saint Sophia (Aghias Sofia), a splendid example of a ‘Basilica’ with five naves, built at the end of the seventh century. Worthy of note are the numerous icons and frescoes.
The visit to the city, passing through the large, suggestive and lively Piazza Aristotele, ended at the archaeological site of the Roman Agorà, the administrative centre of ancient Thessaloniki since the second century A.D.
A testimony of the palpitating and rich Roman domination which, thanks to the exhibits on display in the small museum, sheds light on a significant and lasting period of the city’s history.
The youngsters showed great interest and curiosity and really appreciated the various visits.
The teachers also experienced great satisfaction and positively and favourably judged the choices and the preparatory work done by the Greek colleagues.
At 2.00 pm students returned to Evosmos and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with their partners and their families.