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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

Czech Republic (Brno) Hungary (Sárospatak) Poland (Gdynia) Turkey (Gaziantep) United Kingdom (Bath)

Gymnázium P. Křížkovského s uměleckou profilací, s. r. o www.gymum.cz

Árpád Vezér Gimnázium és Kollégium www.avgsp.hu

Gimnazjum nr 4 www.gimnazjum4.gom.pl

Gaziantep Ticaret Odası Güzel Sanatlar ve Spor Lisesi www.gtoagsl.meb.k12.tr

Saint Gregory´s Catholic College www.st-gregorys.bathnes.sch.uk

Comenius Partnership


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

2010 – 2012

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

Contents:

Foreword

…………………………………….………..……………………………………………………... 2

Czech Republic By the Hungarian team .………………………………................................................................ 3 By the Polish team ...…………………………….………………………………………………. 5 By the Turkish team …………………………………………………………………………….. 8 By the British team ………………………………………………………………………..….... 10 Hungary

By the Czech team ………………………………………………………………………………

13 By the Polish team ...…………………………….……………………………………………… 16 By the Turkish team…………………………………………………………………………….. ? By the British team …………………………………………………………………………….... ? Poland

By the Czech team

………………………………………………………………………………..? By the Hungarian team .………………………………................................................................ 3 By the Turkish team …………………………………………………………………………….. ? By the British team …………………………………………………………………………….... ? Turkey

By the Czech team

………………………………………………………………………………..? By the Hungarian team .………………………………................................................................ 3 By the Polish team ...…………………………….………………………………………………. ? 3


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy By the British team …………………………………………………………………………….... ? United Kingdom By the Czech team ………………………………………………………………………………..? By the Hungarian team .………………………………................................................................ 3 By the Polish team ...…………………………….………………………………………………. ? By the Turkish team …………………………………………………………………………….. ? Video section

Video ………………………………………………………………………………………..…….

? Movie clip …………………………………..……………………………………………………. ? Background of the project ……………………………………………………...………………. ? Epilogue

…………………………………….………..……………………………………………………... ?

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

Foreword

In August 2010, five schools from five countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and the UK) unified around a project idea of exploring and mapping partner countries to create a ”tour guide” brochure Ad fontes rerum Europae from the Pupils´ Point of View with information on the visited countries of all the host schools. As the title announces, we focused mainly on the sharp sight of the pupils´ perspective. We started in the Czech Republic in October 2010, further went to see Hungary in April 2011, flew to Turkey in June 2011, visited the United Kingdom in October 2011 and finally met in Poland in March 2012. During the meetings as well as in history classes, pupils were acquainted with important cultural achievements of each country. There were 50 teachers and 300 pupils involved in the international project. Of course, not all of us had the opportunity to explore the partner countries – and this is why those lucky ones (aged 15-18) and their teachers worked together and gathered their experiences into this brochure. Using English as the project language, the pupils shared their impressions in the guide section

displayed

on

the

project

websites

(http://afremeetings.shutterfly.com

and

http://afre.shutterfly.com). The aim of this work is to point out differences; things which are common for us but give foreigners the impression of peculiarity or simply an interesting distinction. The investigated aspects supported our cultural, social scientific, historical as well as biological/geographical European awareness.

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

CZECH REPUBLIC Observations from October 2010, when the project named Ad Fontes Rerum Europae started in the coordinating Czech school.

By the Hungarian team The first meeting took place in Brno, the Czech Republic. Apart from the fact that the city is the second largest one in the Czech Republic, we hardly knew anything about it. Not to mention the Czech people, students, culture, language, habits, so it was a great chance for us to learn and widen our horizons. Our journey began on 12th October. With two teachers and a driver we had an eight hour ride from Sárospatak to Brno. Naturally, as we were getting closer to our destination, our excitement grew. Questions kept running through our mind: What are the Czechs like? What are our hosts going to be like? And so on. But after the first encounter with them, we became much calmer. They were helpful and very hospitable indeed. When arriving to an unknown country, place people can only rely on former notions, prejudices. And then, after spending more and more time with the hosts, we start to put the pieces together and the experiences change what we had thought before. This is exactly what happened to us as well. Every day we learnt something new about everything. First, we would like to talk about the people. In Hungary –we think- the communication would be much more difficult. In Brno we saw that people spoke very good English, let it be a passer-by or a student. And as a result of speaking languages we may think that the Czechs are more open-minded than the Hungarians. They were more helpful as well. For example, when two of us were asked with the Polish girls to do a field research in the streets of Brno (about Czech literature we had previously worked on), people were surprisingly helpful. We worked in groups and had more than 15 questions but in an hour or so more than 20 people did our little “quiz”. We were prepared that we would be refused but fortunately people helped us. We believe that in Hungary people are busier, more stressed, we don’t like being bothered. In a similar city in Hungary a successful field research could not have been finished in such a little time. All in all, the people were very helpful and kind. On the 13th October we visited a new museum which is quite unimaginable in our country. It was the Museum of the Romani Culture. In Hungary there are lots of gypsy people so it was not new to us. However, the attitude toward them was totally different. The Czech people seemed to be more understanding, liberal, so to speak. This unique museum was dedicated to show the Romani culture. It puts a great emphasis on education (educating local, minority children and educating the majority as well). We were shown the neighbourhood and in the museum a really interactive programme started. We discussed the major prejudices about the Romani people, why these prejudices are wrong and what we can do in order to reduce these negative point of views. In Hungary such a museum is not a need, unfortunately. In Hungary, people are often impatient with gypsies, have very strong negative prejudices toward them. In Hungary they often live in the outskirts of towns, villages. In Brno these people seem to live actually next to the most fashionable part of the city which was a bit strange for us. The following pictures show some Romani flats (they are very similar to those of Budapest) and the museum interior. What are the Czech teenagers like? To tell the truth, they seemed not much different from us. After talking to each other we realised that we have lots of things in common. We listen to similar music, watch similar films, etc. They definitely were very helpful and kind; they did their best so that we could feel all right. At the last lunch we spent together it was a great feeling to sing the well known English/American songs with them (and with the other students as well). It was great to see how other students from the school were involved in the programmes. Czech students (who were not hosts) escorted us, talked about their city (in a professional way) and 6


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy everybody seemed to be very enthusiastic. If we look back, we can only recall happy, smiling faces. Probably this good relationship was formed because even before our travel we could have our hosts’ email/Skype address so we were not entirely strangers to each other. ¨ In connection with the school system we saw not much difference from the Hungarian one. However, we were bit envy when our hosts told us that they usually start school at 9 or 10 (in our school our first lesson begins at 8). On the other hand, they often get back home later in the afternoon. We really liked about the school that all the walls are decorated with pupils’ work. It makes the atmosphere of the school better, we believe. For us it was strange that students were wearing slippers at school. It is something we don’t have at secondary grammar schools at all, but the idea seemed logical, practical and convenient, too. The Czech language seemed very different from Hungarian. For most of us it is too hard, we could hear too many consonants next to each other. While preparing for the final presentations of the last day, some of us (who were in the Literature/Language group) had to “learn Czech” because they were to sing in Czech. As they told us, it was not easy, but they listened carefully, practised pronunciation and we liked their songs very much. What were the cities like in the Czech Republic? In a nutshell, beautiful. Brno and Prague are full of historical, old buildings. They were in very good condition; we could feel that the locals do care about their environment. In both places we saw cathedrals, wide and narrow, intimate streets full of cafés, little shops, so in most places the whole atmosphere was fantastic. However, we saw what socialism and communism did to these cities as well. Around these cities, in the outskirts there were lots of blocks of flats that did not really fit into the landscape. It is something we can see in Hungary, too. And naturally there were very modern buildings from the last 20 years. It was strange for us that at crosswalks cars slowed down, let the pedestrians cross the street. It is pretty new to us, because in Hungary the “traffic morals” are far too poor. Drivers do not care about by-passers, sometimes crossing a street can be “interesting”, mainly in big cities. We did not experience it in the Czech Republic, fortunately. So, it was something we could get used to. Another thing we really liked in Brno –in connection with transport-was the tram. We were simply not able to count how many tramlines you have. They were of various types, old, modern, but it was very convenient (and environmentally friendly). After getting home one of our teachers asked us to say the very first thing that came into our mind about Brno. Without hesitation we replied: “Trams!” Our overall impression was that streets were clean, just like in Western Europe-unlike in some parts of Hungary. Another strange thing was to see that people used special bags for the needs of their dogs. These bags (with a picture of a dog) were attached to refuse bins in the streets and people used them because we saw no “dog signs” anywhere. We really liked this idea, because it does not cost much, and with a little effort and attention dog owners can help keeping their environment clean. We feel that we are lucky to have been able to see Prague. Maybe teenagers find older cities boring, with lots of old buildings, but actually we were looking forward to the trip to the capital city. And we were not disappointed at all. Prague is a little piece of pearl in the heart of Europe. It is definitely different from Budapest, our capital. We saw very nice and famous buildings (the National Theatre with its gilded rooftop and interior, the Charles Bridge, the Prague Orloj (astronomical clock), Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle as the biggest castle complex in the whole world) and learnt about their history. It was something we will never ever forget. The pictures show the Wenceslas Square and the National Theatre. 7


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy And last but not least, we would like to talk about the food and drink. We had the chance to try new, unknown dishes day by day. We can say that the Czech food is a bit different from the Hungarian one, but delicious, too. The drinks were interesting as well. We knew that the Czechs are proud of their world wide famous beers, so we had to check it… We had the chance to visit the Starobrno brewery, where we learnt how beer is made and it was interesting. Another interesting drink we tasted, was the Kofola. It is some kind of national cola for the Czechs and in bars, pubs it is served from the tap, just like draught beer. And we did like its taste. Unfortunately, this kind of cola is not available in Hungary…. As a conclusion we can say that we have learnt lots of new thing, have seen lots of beautiful places, saw some familiar things, but one thing is for sure: we liked Brno and the Czech Republic, its hospitable, helpful people and after 6 days we returned to Sárospatak with memories we will never forget.

By the Polish team After a long journey by car we arrived in Warsaw early Monday morning. Warsaw wasn't our final destination because we still had to fly to Prague and then to Brno. The flight was a thrilling experience for all of us because we've never flown before. After arriving in Brno, we went sightseeing with one of the Czech teachers who showed us all the attractions of the city. It was very exciting and we found out many interesting facts about the historic buildings here. There are many areas in Poland which are poor economically but what we saw in the Gipsy area in Brno was an indescribable experience for all of us as we had never seen so many devastated buildings, poverty, lots of children hanging out with their peers and adults listening to loud music and smoking cigarettes in the same place. We also had an opportunity to talk to a Gipsy woman who answered our questions. Some of her answers were a surprise for us - e.g. most Gipsy children don't go to school at all because their parents don't see any point in education, as none of them will get a job in the future. We then took part in workshops led by another young woman. She is a person who wants to improve the standard of living of Romany families and wants them to believe that they can control their own lives. She and a few other Czech people received some fund from the EU to provide Gipsy kids with proper education which means that they don't spend all their time playing outdoors now beyond the control of their parents. Taking part in several different types of workshops, gave us a great opportunity to find out and enrich our knowledge of a number of European languages and our historical connections. We were divided into two groups: a history group and a literature group. The history group went to Olomouc with our history teacher, a few Turkish students and the Czech history teacher-Mr Tomasz accompanied by his assistant-one of the Czech students who was also his interpreter. Since Poland and the Czech Republic are near each other, our history is closely connected. We learnt about it during our trip to Saint Wenceslas cathedral - a fine Gothic building from the 15th century which was a fascinating experience for us even though we've got many similar buildings in Poland. We also found out that Olomouc was one of the most important settlements in Moravia and the seat of the Premyslid government, ruled by one of the princes. In 1306 King Wenceslas III stopped there on his way to Poland, where he fought Wladislaus I the Elbow-high to claim his right to the Polish crown. Before we started our trip Ms Kasia told us about the Polish king Jan III Sobieski who stopped in Olomouc on his way to Vienna in 1683 to feed the soldiers' horses. The recent history of Olomouc was also connected a bit with Poland: during 1942-1943, the remaining Jews were sent to the resienstadt and other German concentration camps in occupied Poland. John Paul II visited Olomouc several times which underlined even further Polish and Czech relations. We are glad that the Comenius trip provided us with an opportunity to extend our knowledge of Polish and Czech history. It's much more beneficial when you can experience history with your own eyes. We enjoyed our trip to Olomouc very much. The literature group worked on the origins and similarities of many different Polish, Czech, Turkish and Hungarian words. We realized that some words are so similar 8


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy to Polish ones that it was even hard to distinguish which was Polish or Czech. We had to listen very carefully to tell the difference between some of them. However, it was quite challenging and funny to say Hungarian words which seem to be impossible for us to pronounce. Obviously we were not the only ones who tried very hard to pronounce words properly. The same was true for the Czech and Hungarian students who wanted to say Polish words. We all had a lot of fun during the workshops. We also went to Slavkov by Brno (in German: Austerlitz). We learnt that it is a country town east of Brno in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. The town is widely known for giving its name to the Battle of Austerlitz which actually took place some kilometres to the west of the town. After the defeat of the Teutonic Order in the battle of Grünwald, the town became the property of a number of noble owners until, in 1509, the local gentry family of Kaunitz assumed control for more than 400 years. We all know this place from our history classes. So it was good to see it and imagine what it would've been like at that time. Two of us worked with the Hungarian students and teachers on questionnaires concerning Czech famous people, poets and novelists. Before we came to the meeting we'd prepared a presentation about Czech history so that's why it was easy for us to design a poster and to devise questions. After drawing them up we went onto the streets of Brno to get them completed by asking, at random, Czech citizens the questions we'd prepared. Afterwards, we discussed the outcome of our survey with the Hungarian students. We have to admit that the Czech people didn't disappoint us. They knew a lot about their national 'heroes' and what's more important they're genuinely friendly people. There wasn't anyone who refused to answer. We all know that Polish beer is said to be the best in the world but honestly we have to admit that Czech beer is very popular in Poland too. In fact, many people agree that Czech beer is the second best. That was the main reason we wanted to visit the Brno brewery. Our guide told us that lots of beer was exported from Brno to Poland before World War I. As souvenirs we all bought glasses with the logo of the brewery on them. On our way to the Czech capital we stopped over in a mini museum of Josef Lada who illustrated 'Good Soldier Svejk' which is a very popular novel in Poland - there's hardly anyone who hasn't heard of this character. Then we went to Václavské náměstí where we saw a statue of Saint Václav with other patrons: St Anežka, St Prokop and St Vojtěch and learnt about the legend of St Agnes. She was canonized by the Polish pope in 1989. The Charles Bridge was the next stop on our visit to Prague. It was something that we were looking forward to seeing. It's beautiful and we would've liked to have stayed there for longer but as the weather was gloomy we moved on; the National Theatre - a Neo-Renaissance building which was truly impressive. On our way we passed the cafe in Prague where coffee was first served. This delicious drink was shipped to Prague from Turkey. Since we were a bit short of time we went to Hradčany. There were good views from the castle which is the biggest in the world. It reminded us of another large castle which is located not far from Gdynia - a castle in Malbork where Teutonic knights used to live in medieval times. Tired and a bit wet but happy and full of new experiences we returned to our bus. We all got together at a club where all the students had the opportunity to have a go at bowling. Since we don't do it very often, we weren't very enthusiastic about it. Finally, we were convinced by our teachers to prove to ourselves that we were good at it. While bowling we talked to many students which was great because at last we overcame our shyness in communicating with other students. We all wished we had had more opportunities to talk to them. All in all, it was great fun and again we learnt something new, not only about ourselves, but also about our peers from other countries. 9


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy The last day of our meeting was full of artistic activities. All students had to collaborate with one another which was a good opportunity to get to know each other better. During the lunch break we exchanged presents that we'd brought from our countries and said ' thank you' for being with us over the six days of the meeting. Some of the students gave a final presentation showing all of the work they'd done. The presentation began and ended with a Czech student beautifully playing the piano. We had a lot of fun making pottery, especially as we have never before had any experience of doing such challenging and creative things. At our school in Gdynia we only have painting and drawing classes. That's why it was such a pleasurable activity for all of us. For sure, all participants had a wonderful time and got a lot of enjoyment. We also learnt the Czech dance called 'Polka'. It's amazing that the name of this dance means ' a Polish woman' so this is the reason that almost everyone in Poland thinks that Polka originates from Poland. Obviously only a few people know the truth about it. We loved dancing it as it mirrors our Slavic temperament. In fact, we weren't the only students who enjoyed it. We saw that students from the other countries liked it a lot as well. During the workshops we also had to prepare colleagues which showed us that all our peers are very talented young people who for sure will surprise us in the future with their creativity and artistry. We found out that one of the Turkish students sings extremely well and the Hungarian one plays the piano. They showed us their special costumes that they brought with them to Brno to present their folk dances. The high point of the day came when all the students showed what they'd made or had learnt during the workshops to everyone. Our Observations What was so surprising for us was the quietness in the school - every time we came to visit our teachers. Even though sometimes we turned up there in the early mornings, we still couldn't hear any noise, any unwanted sounds - the only thing we could observe were lots of young people who were hurriedly walking to be on time for their classes. It was absolutely unbelievable not only for us but for our teachers as well! They keep saying that we make a lot of noise, but most of us disagree with them. It was hard for them to get used to such quiet and well-behaved youngsters who differ so much from Polish teenagers, only in our teacher's opinion ;) While we were travelling on the trams many times a day they announced the stops on the way. So we heard them lots of times every day. As a result after five days we were able to recognize familiar words that sounded like Polish ones but whose meaning was entirely different. We learned about Czech family life and their customs which seem to be quite similar in many ways to Polish ones which was a bit of a surprise for us as we'd imagined that being in a foreign country it would've been different. Another thing that was quite strange for all of us was that you couldn't get any sweet things, like cakes, in restaurants and cafes. One day we were desperate to have something sweet to eat. Unfortunately, after 'doing some research' we discovered how hard it was to buy a piece of cake in a cafÊ in Brno. As a result, we gave up and went back to our families' houses where at least we had something nice in the fridge. Surprisingly for all of us, there are still a lot of public restaurants and cafes where you are allowed to smoke. You get the impression that Czech citizens don't care about their health at all. They still smoke a lot these days whereas in other EU countries, the majority of people gave up smoking a long time ago. Even in Poland, which is considered not to be as civilized a country in that matter as, for example, Sweden or Norway, people have realized that breaking the habit of smoking is essential if you want to keep your health in good condition. At the same time you let other people who are next to you, breathe fresh air. In Poland there are only a few places where you can still smoke without punishment. It was an unforgettable visit and we are going to remember it for a long time. Especially that we met many new people, learnt a lot of new facts about the Czech Republic and gained experience not only of team-working but also of being in a foreign country - far from our families and having to rely on ourselves which was a valuable lesson in our lives.

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

By the Turkish team If we always look at the outside from the same window we always see the same view. If you look at outside from the different windows we can see different views. For that reason we started a journey. We started a journey between cultures. We would like to see the world with their perspective. We would like to meet and know them .We believe that if we know each other, we can love and understand each other better. The Czech Republic was the first partner country we visited. These are our opinions with you before we went there, we would like to share with you. ‘I have never gone abroad before. This is a good chance to go Czech Republic. I think it will also be a good experience for me. Meeting new people, sharing opinions make me excited.’ Tuğçe Aşar (student) ‘Last year we read an article about historical and famous places in Czech Republic. It was one of my dreams to visit this country. Now it becomes true. I am very excited. I wish I spent good time there.’ Ayşe Fatma Evyapar (student) ‘I am an art student. I’m happy to meet the people who are different cultures. I have seen many historical buildings in Czech on the net, they are all magnificent. I am very excited to be able to see them.’ Şule Nur Efe (student) When the weather was 30-35 degree, and while we were wearing summer clothes in our country, we wore our winter clothes there. We prepared ourselves for colder weather. However, it was better than we thought. We visited this country in a beautiful autumn day .It was very nice and sunny. This country is more to the north than Turkey. For that reason summer is short and the temperature rises 20 degree .Winter is long and cold. Also, if you go Gaziantep to Brno by plane, it is 2150 km. There is no plane directly to Brno, so firstly, we had to go Prague. If you want to go by car from Gaziantep to Brno, and you need to go 2891 km. You may reach Brno after 1 day 11 hours. It was very a long journey for us. We started our way at 2.oo o’clock in the morning. First we landed in İstanbul and then we changed our plane. We came to Prague at 12.00 am. We arrived to Brno at about 3.00 o’clock so it was very tiring for us. However, we were happy to be there. We met our new friends and went sightseeing to the city. While we were sightseeing in Brno, we met with religious women. We entered the church and we watched their ceremony for a while. The cuisine of Czech Republic is very different from ours. We tasted different meals but the same soup for several times. We especially liked the duck and the sandwich with butter and ton. We decided to make it in Turkey. As you can see, pork is very common in Czech Republic. These are the photos in Brno. We have to thank our coordinator: since we mentioned before that we don’t eat pork, we hadn’t seen any in our plate. When we compare the prices of the meal in our country, they are more expensive than ours. They take money for rice and bread. You don’t need to pay this in our country. Mineral water is very common there. They like drinking alcohol. Students can comfortably drink near their teacher. This is strange for us. Since we are Muslim, according to our religion, alcohol is forbidden. Yes, there are some people, who don’t obey this rule in our country, but teachers cannot drink near the students, and students can’t drink near their 11


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy teachers. It is also not suitable for the society. [Note: Of course, it is not really possible for Czech students and teachers to drink anything alcoholic together. The only chance is when they decide to visit a factory producing it and taste a small amount of the product on educational purposes. However, foreigners often point out how much alcohol Czech people drink.] We visited beer fabric. We saw how it was made! Did we have to visit it? We don’t know! Yes, beer is very famous in the Czech Republic. Pilsen is a city which is very famous beer. In Turkey we have the Pilsner beer. We also have a basketball team whose name is Efes Pilsen. We had to divide in groups (Geography, History, Language and films and Biology) to explore Czech Republic. We were three teachers and three students. Since we were art students, we went to the history group. We also have language problem: our English is not good. We can understand but we have difficulties when speaking. Our language is different from the language(s) of our parners. We haven’t had a chance to practice English much as we had not gone abroad before. We have some friends whose English is better but we were chosen to take part in AFRE because they had gone abroad before. Our teachers gave us the chance... Now we understand that the importance of learning languages. We started to study English much more than before. We also noticed that our school’s schedule time is different. Since we have religious holiday (Ramadan Bayram), our school started at the end of the September and we came to Europe on 13th October. Tuğçe wanted to be in geography group: ‘We climbed the hill, it was very tiring. However, it was worth seeing the scene of a Czech village. Actually, you can see a lot of villages in this country. There are some big cities; Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen… And we took pictures of Czech nature, too. It is very different from ours. ’ We learned that wheat, potato, sugar beet and some fruits are grown and poultry and pork are common animals which are raised there. We spent good time with my friends. We learned a lot of things about the geography of Czech lands. The Czechs don’t have any sea but they have some rivers which flow into the Danube. The Vltava is one of river in Prague. We couldn’t take a chance of seeing the sunset on the bridge. The weather was rainy and we had to walk very quickly. The scene was the marvellous. We wish we had sailed and felt the nature on the river. There were a lot of people who took photos, drew pictures and sold souvenirs there. The history group went to Olomouc. It is an old city famous for being a trade centre and after Prague, it used to be the second biggest city with historical buildings. It is the fifth biggest city now. There is a university founded in 1853. There is also a big statue in the city centre, a historical fountain and a modern astronomical clock. Since we are art students we were happy to be in this group. We saw a lot of beautiful statues, monuments and other pieces of art… Then we went to Austerlitz, a town connected with the Austerlitz’ war. It is known as the first collision war. Napoleon, who was a great soldier, used great tactics in the war. We learned that there had been 6 different countries in the same Czech‘s lands during 80 years. They had lived great pain. We resembled these men who were carrying these buildings, they also carrying the difficulties of the life in their history. 12


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy When we were in Prague, we learned that the first café in there was opened by Turks. We can see the Ottoman figures in many places. In the language group, we learned that there are some common names: Jacop – Yakup, Jesus – İsa, David – Davud etc… It was very strange hearing a word without consonant. It was also surprising that ‘čaj’ (tea) in Czech language is the same pronunciation ‘çay - tea’ in Turkish language. Our general opinion We can have different cultures, different history and different geography. However, we can share the same opinions, the same feelings. We mustn’t forget the tolerance and the smiling on our face.

By the British team The UK group come from St Gregory’s Catholic College in Bath, in the South West of England, about 100 miles from London. Ours is an 11 – 16 school, our Year 9 students are going to carry on the project for the next 2 years, but this meant that they were the youngest group at the Brno conference. This is their report on a very memorable and enjoyable week spent in the Czech Republic. At 3.15 in the morning we gathered at Bath bus station and caught a transfer to Heathrow Airport in London. After we went through customs and border control we got on the flight at 7:30. We touched down at Prague at 10; 30am and spent 2 hours in a minibus to Brno, the Republics 2nd city with over 1 million people living there. In the late afternoon we went sight seeing in Brno, which seemed so lively and different. The building we stayed in was a boarding house it was nice and comfortable, the 3 girls stayed in a room and the 3 boys in another. The first morning we had to be outside the boarding house for 8am so this meant us getting up at 7am and breakfast at 7.30am.For breakfast we had a puff pastry roll with ground almonds and dates in it, also bread and apple tea. The puff pastry wasn’t very nice. We then had to walk with our Czech host students to their school. The building was old, it’s a small school of only 200 students, but they concentrate on the arts, it had a lovely atmosphere and a grand piano in every room. After we had all settled we went into our groups. Half of us did biology and half did social studies. In biology the boys travelled by train to south Moravia where we walked up to a ruined castle where we could see over Moravia, we could see where farmers grew grapes for wine. We also went to the reservoir and had a tour of a brewery, and a sample of the beer!

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy The girls went to their classroom and we were made ‘secret spies’, to find out about life in the Czech Republic. We were given envelopes with questions in, our mission was to go around Brno city and find out the answers by asking local people. That evening we caught a tram to the restaurant, for dinner we had soup for starter and chicken with cheese inside, the food was interesting and different to say the least. We then went back to our rooms and went to bed. The next days the girls had to be at school for 7.30am, that meant us getting up at 6.30am! We managed to find our own way to the school we then went up to our class and had a presentation on the history of the Czech Republic. Our group then took us to have lunch. It was so fun, we learnt about each other and where we came from. After about an hour we made our way to the city centre to do a survey that we had prepared about Europe. It was fun but also embarrassing as lots of older people didn’t speak English but we had our Czech helpers with us. We also visited the Romani museum of Romani culture and saw the slums that people lived in. We got to see the struggles and hardships these people faced in day to day life. The museum runs an education programme to help the Romani children to celebrate their own heritage and to encourage them to do better at school. In a way it was good that this part of Czech life was not hidden from us. The people at the museum thought it would take many years before the Romani people felt at home in the Czech Republic. That evening we had dinner at a bowling restaurant, that also was a lot of fun to get to know the groups from all the countries. The next day was an early start, we were up for 6.30am to be on the coach for 7’o’clock. That was the day we went to Prague. The shops were so good and we spent nearly all of our money. For lunch we had a McDonalds. After lunch we visited the Royal Theatre and had a really good tour of the whole theatre which was the second electrified theatre in Europe. We then went on a walking tour of the beautiful city of Prague and saw the Prague Astronomical Clock and watched it come to life. It was raining as we walked through the narrow streets of the city and across King Charles’ Bridge to Prague Castle, it was amazing and so big. It was a lot like Buckingham Palace. After looking round we then got back onto the coach and made our way back to Brno, stopping off for supper at a gas station. The next day was our last as we were going back home to England. We only had the morning to see all our friends and say goodbye. For lunch we went to a nice little pizzeria, the pizza was lush but we had to eat it on the way to the airport as it was not ready in time for us to eat there. We stopped off at a supermarket to buy some last little presents. Then after a short drive to the airport we were on our way home to England. Part of the Project was to learn about the history of our host countries. In the Social History group that the girls took part in we learnt about the history of the Czech Republic since World War 2. It was a sad history but it seems like there is a happy ending. We looked at the experiences of an artist Peter Sis, who wrote a book called The Wall, about growing up behind the Iron Curtain. Our group made a presentation to the school assemblies on Remembrance Day, November 11th. It was to help people realise that in-spite of our histories people in Europe are able to live in peace with each other. This is the script we used to tell the story of the history of the Czech Republic since World War 2. Living in Fear The country had been taken over by the Nazis. Times were terrible. Jews were being rounded up and taken to the concentration camps. People lived in fear, near to starvation for 4 years. Then came liberation, except it was not the British or the Americans who came to their rescue – it was the Russians. Instead of freedom the Czechs became a state within the USSR – behind the Iron Curtain. It was the days of the Cold War. Years of control by the Communists, the East against the West. The people of Czechoslovakia were caught on the wrong side.

As tensions between the West and Russia increased, borders were closed, travel banned, even listening to the news of the rest of the world was blocked. Communist symbols and monuments appeared everywhere. The Czech government took its orders from Moscow.

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy The Communists took control of schools, indoctrinating the pupils. Children were encouraged to report on their families and fellow students. Parents learnt to keep their opinions to themselves. Telephones are bugged, letters opened, there are shortages of almost everything, people stand in long lines. Then bits and pieces of news from the West began to slip through the Iron Curtain… The Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones – everything from the West seemed colourful and desirable. But in Czechoslovakia long hair was the sign of Western decadence – police had orders to cut it. In January 1968 a new Head of the Communist Czech government is elected, Alexander Dubcek. Things began to open up. It is the Prague Spring. Censorship is lifted. People get permission to travel – a first taste of freedom! Then on 21 August 1968, 500,000 troops of the Soviet Union invade. The Czech progressive government is sent to Moscow for “reeducation”. It is all over – Russian tanks are everywhere. The Iron Curtain descends again. The Secret Police provoke riots so that the government can exercise tighter controls. Phones are bugged again, mail opened, people watched. But banned books are secretly translated, copied and circulated. 2 students set fire to themselves in Wenceslas Square in Prague – “to wake the nation from lethargy”. But very few people dare to stand up and criticise the government. People are followed, monitored, harassed, imprisoned, deported and tortured. But they dreamed of being free. Then in the mid-1980’s even the Soviet Union realised the need for openness and the ideas that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall spread through Europe. One country after another became free. Poland 1989, Czechoslovakia

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy 1989, Hungary 1990… Romania, East and West Germany re-unite and the Soviet Union breaks up.

It is 1991 and the Cold War is over.

We went to Prague ourselves the next day and walked down Wenceslas Square to the Memorial of the two students who burnt to death in protest against communism. On either side now the city is alive and thronging with tourists. The shops are full of Western goods. There is M&S and Tesco’s, H&M and Starbucks. We ate in McDonalds, down the road is KFC and Ben & Jerry’s. The tourists are from the UK and China, the USA and rich Russians. It seems a whole world away from the history lesson we had from our Czech hosts. But there are 2 things that stick in our minds. Actually some people, the older generation, still think of Communist Rule as the Good Days – it was certainly better than being at war and under Nazi occupation. The infrastructure improved a lot; people had housing – although they mostly had to live in tower blocks of flats. The trams and trolley bus system was introduced so you could get about easily and the Health Service improved. But this was at the cost of personal freedom and the younger generation put a greater value on that. When we got on our plane on the Saturday it was less than a 2 hour flight home, but in those 40 years of Communist control in Czechoslovakia it was a whole world away. Attitude to Europe survey The other important contribution we want to make to the Guide is our Attitude to Europe Survey. We wanted to find out what young people in particular felt about their place in Europe. We devised the survey in school before we came. There were 10 questions we asked. The 10 questions were designed so that we could gain a spontaneous response from people in the street. Most of the people we surveyed were Czech. Since this survey was conducted in English we quickly discovered the age range of people able to understand and speak English and to establish where they learned the language. Most of the people willing to answer the survey were aged under 40. The largest number were in the 15-25 age range. A significant number of respondents learned English at school. Question 2 asked respondents to name as many European countries as they could in 2 minutes. Most people could name 10 or more, with some being able to name many more, up to 27. We were impressed with the knowledge of Europe that people displayed. Question 3 asked for the first thing they thought of when they hear about different countries. The countries included England, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Spain. The responses to these questions were broad and varied, some reinforcing the stereotypes we share in the UK. E.g. Spain – bulls (2), Flamenco (2), sun and sea, Holland – windmills (3), cheese (3), flowers (2), weed (2)! Many countries suggested football to our respondents, but not more than once for any country. Several countries suggested political activity including strikes / demonstrations. A surprising number of respondents said they thought of Hitler for Germany (5). Question 4 asked what they were most interested in about Europe with a choice that included news, sport, weather, history. Of those people that answered more were interested in the weather than news / politics. The highest score was for history / culture. Questions 5 – 7 asked about travel in Europe. Most of the respondents had visited at least 3 European countries, some many more, up to 12. Those they would like most to visit included England (4), Spain (3), Italy (2) and a number of Northern European countries e.g. Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia. The countries outside of Europe most people wanted to visit included Australia, New Zealand, North America (7) and South America (3). Question 8 asked what brings people of Europe together. History, culture and tradition were most often stated, although a number of people responded “nothing did!” (3). ¨ Questions 9 and 10 asked if it was a good idea to have a common currency: most agreed and a common language: most agreed. 16


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy We were very pleased that people took our survey seriously and helped us with the answers. People were very friendly and interested in giving their opinions. We want to find out if people in our other partner countries will think differently and if they find it more difficult to understand English. It will be interesting to compare the survey results from all of the countries. We intend to conduct the same survey with people of similar age groups in our home city to see what people in England know about Europe. Thank you everyone! We had a great week we saw new things we made new friends and went to amazing places. We did new things and explored a country new and exiting to all of us.

HUNGARY In April 2011, the project continued in Hungary.

By the Czech team Five students from our school had the opportunity to go to an international students meeting in Hungary. We had not known what exactly to expect but it turned up to be a great week. Hungary is not far from the Czech Republic but it is a completely different country: colourful and interesting. The week was amazing. 1. Inhabitants The first two days we spent in the centre of Budapest and the capital of Hungary made a very strong impression on us: a lovely city on the banks of a mighty river, a large measuring scale of the streets and buildings and moreover all of which – although it cannot be observed – were built in a short period between 1867 and 1914. Historic styles (Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque) served only as a free sampler for the creation of the frontispieces. We went by the oldest underground in Europe, saw the hall of the Western railway station designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel – Hungary tried to impress foreigners at least in the capital then. Current Budapest lives differently than the provincial part of the state as well – we noticed immediately that there are big differences between Budapest and the rest of the country: whereas there are two million inhabitants in the capital and a million commuters, the rest of the ten-million country (apart from the western part near the border with Austria) is undeveloped. Not only jobs but also shopping possibilities are unrivalled in Budapest: in the huge shopping mall of West End City Center by the Western railway station we got lost several times and compared the prices to ours. Whereas the Czechs pay less for food when at home, going shopping for designer clothes (especially quality shoes which are four times cheaper there: 5 000 vs 20 000 HUF) to Hungary is worth it. This might explain why the Hungarians – in the view of the prices – tend to buy less food before going on long travels abroad compared to other nations. The more surprising it was for us when we found out that the prices in restaurants are not that different from Czech prices – and the portions were big and tasty everywhere. Sometimes we were a bit surprised by some combinations of side-dishes (rice and steaks, more side-dishes with one meal, relatively small choice of meals for vegetarians). In the Czech Republic, we have either rice or chips but never these two together. The more to the east, the more it is apparent that the rich Budapest is really far away – Sárospatak lies 12 km from the border with east Slovakia (and the nearest cultural centre of Košice) and 70 km from Ukraine whereas it took four hours to get to Budapest. The inhabitants of Hungary mostly consist of the Hungarians as the minorities are practically neglectable. 17


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy However, since the Treaty of Trianon, many populous Hungarian minorities have stayed in the neighbouring states. Although we could not notice and judge this ourselves, statistics show that Hungarian population is rapidly decreasing. As for the relationship between the cities and countryside, we learnt that during the long Turkish occupation the inhabitants often moved into countryside-type towns which were under direct protection of the sultan. Thus huge Hungarian areas were depopulated (i.e. forsaken = “puszta”) and it was there where after the era of the Turkish predominance people from other places (including Moravia) moved. Speaking about the countryside, we were astonished when we saw a lot of fire in the fields basically everywhere. We had thought that the country suffers from conflagration but we were told that it was a tradition when lazy people burn the field when they want to avoid ploughing it. Language abilities of the population are very similar to other central-east European countries: older generations speak German, the middle generation has forgotten Russian which they had to learn and the youngest ones speak English. Although Slovakia is near the place where we stayed (Sárospatak), the Hungarians spoke no Slovak at all. The grammar school at Sárospatak offers its students the possibility of quality language education: English, German, Russian as well as Italian. It was very practical for us to learn a few Hungarian words and phrases which we highly recommend to all visitors of this country. The Hungarian population, despite of all the handed-down clichés describing their “fiery temper”, mostly behaves politely; pedestrians right of way is not violated at all. We were highly amused by the fact that greeting common in the Czech Republic – when a girl kisses another girl – was considered a clear sign of homosexual orientation. Some Hungarians asked if the Czech girls were lesbians. And it was just a sign of friendship! As they were told by other groups, too, this custom has taken practically all over Europe. We also noticed that – despite the visible neglected infrastructure (buses, trains, non-fixed facades which are being repaired only recently) – the Hungarians are trying too have everything clear. You can observe this in Budapest: no cigarette butts on the ground, no spits. Who knows why it is different in our hometown where people do not hesitate to spit on public places and make a lot of mess. Also, the drivers seemed to be more careful, letting the pedestrians cross. To us, Budapest looks like a very peaceful and quiet place. Visual style The relationship to folk art was very strong in Hungary since the end of the 19 th century. Like in other countries, the artists tried to join modern styles with components of folk art. We learnt about the national romanticism of the end of the 19 th century. Hungarian interest in folk art influenced romanticism as well as art nouveau: one of the best-known modern composers of the 20th century Béla Bartók collected folk songs too. However, we considered some current pieces of art really strange, e. g. the decalcomania at Holloház (many thanks for the possibility to decorate their great ceramics with our own ideas): the functionalist traditions are apparently stronger in Brno than in Hungary… The last works of Imre Makovecz that we could see in Sárospatak look really magnificent but reminded us of stage set: compared to the impressive foyer, the halls of the grammar school are rather narrow, high rooms unpractical and surely not of much use in winter, they say that the interior also suffers from rains and snow… The local spa by the same architect is also strange as the most attention was paid not to the swimming pools but to the entrance towers… As if carefreeness and a certain operetta stage scenery (long live the Csardas Princess!) were preferred to grey reality… Similarly funnily looked the uniforms of the Hungarian policemen: children’s paper cut-outs (see later). You see, not only buildings attracted us visually: the clothes that local policemen wore looked like made of paper. In the Czech Republic, there are lots of jokes about policemen and authorities as such so… policemen wearing “paper” do not look serious. We liked them, anyway. Music We learnt a couple of Hungarian songs and it was quite surprising that these had sad melodies and optimistic or at least neutral lyrics. We were told that when a typical Hungarian is happy, s/he cries. Very interesting. We also learnt some typical Hungarian dances – most of them quite fast so that we had to listen to the rhythm carefully not to step at someone else´s leg… 18


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

History The Hungarian relation to their own history is evidently an important part of their own story – national memorials, statues of their personalities, turuls (mythical birds) who brought the Hungarians into their current homeland. The coronation jewels that we could see under the dome of the parliament are not just museum exhibits but also symbols of statehood around which guards of honour walk. On the other hand, the protection of historical sights is sometimes really catastrophic in Hungary: on the top of a hill in the castle district a cross vault of a cloister was “restored” as a part of the Hilton Budapest hotel, the castle has the most awful plastic windows imaginable, the ruins of a castle that we visited are mostly hopelessly embedded in concrete, next to the nicest baroque church in Pest there is a modern administration building, the National Theatre was nonsensically demolished because of underground construction in the sixties (and now they call it the “national hole”)… Unfortunately, Sárospatak does not fall behind: the gothic church is “decorated” by the design features of the seventies – glass blocks or confessionals that look like public toilets… However, on the other hand we can find very carefully preserved café interiors including all details and at Sárospatak we admired great stonemanson´s renaissance works… Environment During our travels through Hungary we did not only visit historic sights but also their “hills” – e. g. Zemplen with the castle ruins. Apart from the Matra Hills with the highest peak of Kékes, the possibilities of mountaineering are very limited. The Hungarian natural riches that attract tourists the most include thermal spas: not only those in Budapest as the biggest spa city in the world but also those in the small country towns which surprise tourists with incredibly low entrance fees. It is not surprising that the Hungarians stand out from water sports! Unfortunately it was impossible to fail to notice frequent fire in the landscape which – as we were told – are started by farmers so as they do not have to work on the fields. Religion The partner school set the topic of religion and our relation o it as a basis for our presentation. Unlike in our country, religion is very important in the lives of the Hungarians, the towers of Catholic and Calvinist (reformed) churches are typical of all their towns and so it is in Sárospatak where next to the building of the grammar school was a Greek Orthodox church (Carpathian Ruthenia is really near). The kaleidoscope of Hungarian towns was completed by the Moorish features at the synagogues (of which the biggest we could see in Budapest and we tasted kosher meals in a nearby restaurant). Apart from Budapest, after WWII there remained no bigger Jewish communities and the synagogue at Sárospatak changes into a shopping centre. To this day, there is a clear division of the population according to their faith, i. e. Catholics or reformed Calvinists. The place where we stayed in: Sárospatak Sáros means mud or muddy and Patak stands for a spring or water. Thus, Sárospatak can be translated as Muddy Waters (like the blues musician from Chicago). We went to check if the name fits. And the answer? Yes, it does. We saw a river and a lot of mud all around. If you are walk down the streets at noon, you can hear készenem, sziésta or egeszegedre everywhere. People look and most of them are very peaceful and nice to everybody. Miscellaneous You can see that we had a great, truly Hungarian experience. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all the teachers and host families. We made a lot of new friends and saw places where we would like to go again.  19


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

By the Polish team

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By the Turkish team

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By the British team

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

POLAND In March 2012, the last meeting took place in Poland.

By the Czech team

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By the Hungarian team

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By the Turkish team

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By the British team

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TURKEY In June 2011, the participants explored Turkey.

By the Czech team

We are happy to introduce you a set of reflections and observations of differences between the Czech Republic and Turkey. There were four of us students in our group (Ales, Denisa, Kristýna, Karolína and Libuše) and this is what we noticed was different. We hope you are going to enjoy reading and comparing our notices as much as we enjoyed the whole “Turkish” experience.

General information We were really excited about our trip to Turkey because had not known what to expect. We were familiar with the situation in Turkey. However, it is always different to hear about something and then really experience it. And for that we were looking forward to meeting new people and taste new culture (or we should better say taste Turkish food). Turkey is a beautiful country placed with its main part out of Europe. The south of Turkey is very different from the north-west (e.g. Istanbul). Firstly, it seems a bit poorer, intolerant, chaotic and generally more similar to Syria, Iraq etc. White people are something very unusual there. It makes you feel like a celebrity. We realize that it sounds funny, however, when you walk down the street and strangers ask you about your country, language and what more they want to take picture of you, that really makes you feel special. When we arrived, EVERYTHING seemed different. Overall it was hard for us to find out more about Turkey and its traditions because even when our hosts tried to show us as many traditional things as possible, when we had questions they usually were not able to answer because of their poor English. One thing you notice immediately when you get to Turkey is that they are patriots. A very important thing is that their idol Atatürk is almost everywhere. On stamps, postcards, households, bureau offices, restaurants, toilets (!), streets, 21


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy facebook accounts etc. It seemed strange to us because we do not honour our late presidents this way. It means that the national flag and the portrait of their beloved former president can be seen VERY often. As Ales says: “The flags! Oh my God, the flags... they were pretty much everywhere!” We went to the very east of Turkey. The landscape is close to what you can see in Greece or Israel. It is dry with lack of grass and few trees only. The colour you see when you look at it from the plane is sand beige or brick brown. And although it is possible to visit beautiful mountains in Turkey the country is flat most of the time. Another interesting thing we noticed is that there still is a big construction boom. As we travelled through the city of Gaziantep we saw hundreds of construction sites around the peripheries of the city. In fact there was no big financial crisis as in the USA or EU and other parts of the world. Turkey experienced a crisis a decade ago and since that time its economy is going very well. The Turks we asked about it ensured us we were right. Mosques When driving through cities, it felt very different for us to see mosques whit their minarets everywhere. In the Czech Republic, we are used to seeing churches. Food and drinks Food in Turkey looks and also tastes very unfamiliar. It took us a little while to get used to the new taste. Also, it is important to note and warn our countrymen that the taste was really unpredictable: what looked sweet turned up to be cheese and innocent-looking dishes were heavily spiced… Moreover, Turkish people (according to their religion) do not eat pork and this explains why they eat lots of lamb instead (how many times a year does an average Czech eat lamb? Well, rarely any…). Grilled vegetable and tons of different kinds of spices are also very popular. There are two groups of sweets in Turkey. Group one is extremely sweet and group two has almost no taste. This or that way, pistachios are in everything. We fell in love with Turkish rice. Unfortunately we cannot describe the taste as was so different from ours and tasted great! Also, the Turks eat much more vegetables and fruits than we do and these are sweeter and tastier. “I love melons so I was pleased to eat them all the time,” said Kristýna. And really we got to eat lots of melons. There were also little green plums that could be eaten with salt. That is different from us because our plums are purple-blue and we eat them just as they are. And the tea… Turkish tea is very tasty and is drunk from little glasses of a rather funny shape. As much as it might sound weird to drink tea in a country of hot climate like Turkey, it was fine and very good. To avoid health problems, we were encouraged to drink only bottled water which is available not only in bottles but also in little plastic cups (which reminded us of those the Czechs use for yogurt). If you want to buy ice cream on the street, you will not get a scoop like in Europe. Turkish ice cream is being cut to pieces by stick and that forms its shape. What surprised us probably the most, was that Turkish people serve coffee before they go to bed. About 10 or 12 pm. We were shocked when they offered us coffee before midnight because in our country we drink coffee for breakfast or after lunch but usually not less than 4 hours before we go to bed. In restaurants, there is a lot of waiters (usually about 6 men, no waitresses) who take care of you. It was very comfortable and we enjoyed it. Compared to this, what we get in the Czech Republic is more like a “serve yourself” service. Also, when you go for a coffee, a water pipe is a common following social event.

Traffic 22


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy The Turkish traffic was scary: we could not get used to the high speed they drive. They kept beeping all the time and they never used seat belts. The police in our country is very strict about seat belts so we were surprised that it was okay not to wear them. And also, on our roads we only use claxon when there is something dangerous. In Turkey, they beep and they still seem to be relaxed. “The chaos on the streets was kind of what I experience in Italy but more radical,” said Ales. The "time-to-green" counters impressed us. While waiting at a red, the lights above show you how long you will have to wait for the green man. Over semaphores, they have stop-watches that measure time when is red and when is green. Red there is usually 1 minute and green there is about 10 seconds. When you go by Turkish bus, you do not pay for tickets when you enter. You are going to pay when ride is in progress. It means that your money may be passed from the very back of the bus to the front and be held by all passengers sitting closer to the driver. The rolling stock is below the European average. We guess that the average age of Turkish rolling stock is over 18 years. We saw lots of Fiats, Peugeots and Renaults, Fords and also Škodas but only few Japanese and Korean cars. Also, in Turkey, gas is very expensive. Sometimes it gets over 2€ per litre. “Now I know why are all the highways (with tollbooths) empty,” said Ales. In Turkey it is very popular to ride a motorcycle. Generally speaking, we could say they are “relaxed” about the traffic (an example: a standard scooter carrying four people and no one seemed to worry about it). Art The host school gave a concert on the very first day of our stay. And we did enjoy it! Turkish music is so different. Not just their musical instruments but also their voices. We could appreciate it because we attend a school specialising arts. The concert really was a beautiful experience. Turkish traditional dance is quite simple, accompanied by drum and trumpet (very loud). We could see that Turkish people like to dance anywhere possible. Mall, bus, whenever there is music, they dance. We noticed that in the school, there were a lot of specific paintings (in contrast to our country where we are also familiar with abstract paintings). People and communication Generally said, people of Turkey are friendly. They are hospitable, helpful and they keep smiling. We miss that in the Czech Republic! They are also loud and seem to enjoy their lives. WeI liked that because at home we do not see people smile or chat this way. As mentioned above they are patriots. With passionate love for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. They were really lovely to us as their guests but not all Turkish men were that pleasant to meet. As Karolína said: “I wanted to get out of an airplane but I just could not because there was a man who did not want to let me go. I was angry and surprised that no one gave me the way.” According to the fact that English is not a required subject at most of the schools, Turkish students were not brilliant at it. That created complications but eventually we managed. It was a pity though because there could have been more conversation among us. Instead we only smiled. And what is worse, besides students, we did not find many people speaking English. Usually people gave us strange looks when they found out that we came to Turkey knowing only a few words in their language. When talking to Turkish citizens, we also noticed that they use a different sign language. It was surprising but we got used to it. Probably the most surprising Turkish habit is kissing when saying “hello”. Girls in the Czech Republic do it too but to see two men kissing on cheeks seemed strange to us. We saw a lot of people smoking. Czech people smoke too but not as much as those in Turkey. What some of Czech students found funny was that next to a warning on a cigarette box such as “smoking kills” was also placed a picture with what exactly can smoking do.

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy The Turks have numerous families – one pair usually have about five kids. The head of family is the father. In Turkey, they are very hospitable. Clothing We noticed that the Turks love to wear shirts. And why not? Shirts look nice (girls could tell). But our boys rather wear tshirts especially in hot summer days. The weird thing (for us) is they also wear vests under everything. Next thing was the veiling. We knew it was not obligatory so we kept observing and comparing during the whole trip and we think it is fifty fifty. It really depends in what part of Turkey you are. In Gaziantep, young women do not wear them so often but when we go more to the south (e. g. Antakya), it gets a little bit more "popular". Organization Turkish people do not seem to have a concept of time or at least they must have a big problems with it. The lunch and the dinner time is the only time they know (and the dinner time is not specified as it is usually around the sunset). We noticed that our hosts did not need so many hours of sleep as we did. Maybe it was because of what food they eat (healthy and nutritious). It may not seem important but as much as we loved the program, we were exhausted most of the time (see the picture). What we found bothering while being in Turkey was that we never could go anywhere alone. I know that it was for our protection and I was thankful that the Turkish students were willing to accompany us but it felt strange to keep having someone with us all the time. Another thing that we had to get used to was listening to Turkish music all the time. As mentioned above, it is very different. However, our hosts enjoyed it and listened to it all the time. So that is how we learned a Turkish word “ses” (which means “voice” and when they shout it, they mean “louder, please”). Students and holidays Children go to school by a small school bus where they listen to Turkish music, which is loud and has the same melody or rhythm. Holidays take three months during which time the students feel free to meet round the school and have picnics.

Shopping We found out that to exchange money in a bank takes insanely long time especially because people are not familiar with English. The traditional Turkish market is called “bazaar” and we enjoyed shopping there especially when we learned how to bargain with the sellers. It was interesting to see the small shops overfilled with different stuff. We also noticed a “delivery” man who distributed tea to sellers in the stores. We were surprised by the security check whenever we wanted to enter the mall. We had never seen anything like that but we could understand that was because of our safety. Furthermore we noticed they do not use price tags in their shop windows. Housing First thing you notice when looking at a typical Turkish block of flats is that they keep water in a barrel on their roof! So there is usually from one up to 20 barrels on one roof. To see something like this in the Czech Republic means to feel fascinated! 24


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy Turkish flats are much bigger than ours. A typical small Turkish flat has a living room, room for guests (dining room), room for kids and a bedroom (for parents). In our country, young couples usually live in small flats which means two or three rooms altogether. Besides the size, it is also different because of all the decorations they use. Conclusion In the end we were so happy we could go. Even though sometimes we were exhausted or the whole situation was getting complicated, we truly enjoyed every minute of our “truly Turkish experience”. We enjoyed comparing the differences and seeing them with our own eyes. It was great to make so many new friends and have new memories. We do not think that any of us will ever forget this interesting trip. Thank you!

By the Hungarian team

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By the Polish team

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By the British team

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UNITED KINGDOM In June 2011, the participants explored Turkey.

By the Czech team We are happy to introduce reflections and observations of differences between the Czech Republic and England. There were four of students in our group (Kamila, Lukáš, Monika and Václav) and this is what we noticed was different. We hope you will enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed the whole “British” experience. Transportation When you say “roads in England“, people from the continental European countries will look left and explain that the British drive on the left so the rest of the world has to be careful. However, it is not all that you can observe there. When we arrived to England, we were surprised because the way from the airport was our first experience with the British driving system. We saw strange signs which you cannot see in the Czech Republic: there were signs with lights and solar panels at the top of the signs (Why? We wondered. It is always rainy in Britain, at least this is what we hears at school.). Most of signs consisted of lights. In the Czech Republic we have simple signs so the British ones might seem a bit complicated without a proper reason. Another strange thing is the colored roads with words written on the surface. It looks as if you took a brush and drew arrows and lines. It also looks very untidy, informal and old. The outer lines are yellow or white and can be double. In big cities, there are special routes for bikes because a lot of people often ride a bike to work, shop and school. Sometimes, these are marked red. We also noticed that the pedestrian crossings are different than ours: there are not the thick white lines. The British pedestrian crossing is colored and indicates where you must look when you pass. 25


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

Driving on the left People going to England for the first time are recommended to drive on the left but it can be quite problematic. Personally, to us it took some five days to adept to this rule and when back in the Czech Republic, we had a problem to get back to the standard… Driving on the left side can be found not only in the UK but also in Australia, south Africa, India, Indonesia, Japan or New Zealand. The only problem is that these countries are not frequently visited by us… So it is unnatural for us to see the driving wheel on the right side of the car… Dear Czechs, when getting on a British car, remember your guest seats or you will have to drive in the UK which would surely be a most dreadful experience ever! Double-deckers

A double-decker is a typical British red bus with two stairs. Most double-deckers are about 9.5 m and 11 m long. The old types of double-deckers must not be used any more. Typical taxis The color of the cabs is black. To become a London taxi driver, you must study the street of London about four years. You must learn all them as well as the rules and signs by heart.

of

Using bags with sand Strange thing which I don´t understand is solution against wind for provisional signs. In the Czech Republic we have simply solution for provisional signs with someone concrete for weigh. In England have some black bags with sand. Underground The tube is the oldest underground railway in the world. The first section was opened in 1863. The underground consists of 270 stations and has 402 km of track. Every station has a special original design. The tube is the second largest metro system in the world. There was an attack in the underground on 7 th July 2005. A group of Islamist extremists attacked a number of transportation lines in London.

Horses in the streets In English streets we can meet a lot of policemen riding on horseback. There are so many of them and so special traffic signs were created. In the capital we can meet a lot of saluting soldiers, who protect the Queen and her family, keep guard of honor and pay tribute to the royal family. 26


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

Houses Most houses very similar. Most of them are made of brick. They have two floors. Some older houses have sliding carpets in all rooms including the staircases. We can find many ancient but wellEngland. For example the spa in Bath that antique buildings are often made monuments are presented in an to show the history to people of all ages.

in the outskirts of the cities are have small front gardens and windows. Inside there are thick preserved buildings in was built by the Romans. Such accessible for the public and the entertaining and interactive way

Food Most dishes served in the UK have strikingly hot taste. You can find chilli in every meal, in any meat, any sauce or in cooked vegetables. Some restaurants mark dishes in their menu with 1 - 6 or provide a small picture of chilli peppers depending on the strength. But the rice is prepared completely salt-free and tasteless and you do not meet boiled potatoes in restaurants. Typical English dishes include fish and chips, fried cod, tortillas, jacket potatoes, various pieces of coated savory chicken breast and hamburgers. Everything is very often fried and served with chips. You can also taste many kinds of Indian dishes today. The English people have adopted them as parts of their cuisine. Stewing and spicing came probably from India. The size of portions is different. The restaurant portions are mostly quite small but students at school canteens have a rich choice of meat, rice, chips, vegetable, salads, baked dishes and always some dessert follows. English breakfast is very rich. It begins with a glass of orange juice. Then toasts, butter, jam, scrambled eggs, sausages, ham and bread come on the table. You can drink black tea, coffee and milk for breakfast. The British like orange juice and coffee with a small biscuit or gingerbread with sugar icing sometimes during the day. Clothing The British are very tough as they heat their houses during winter only around 18 degrees Celsius. The eastern and southern coasts of the British Islands have got a mild and relatively warm climate but the inland is much colder. When we visited this nice and interesting country we often felt cold in spite of wearing winter jackets, scarves and caps. Our English friends, though, were wearing T-shirts and summer clothing. The most of them put on as similar fashionable things as we… especially girls. Also, students have to wear school uniforms which differ according to the school. Students are very proud of their own schools and uniforms, too. These uniforms consist of light shirts, ties, classical pants for boys and light blouses, skirts and shoes for girls. Nature When you say “English lawn”, you get an image of nice, fresh green, thick, cultivated lawn that exists in English parks and gardens only. You cannot compare our ones with English lawns because our climate is different. No wonder the British love to relax sitting on the grass of their parks. Groups of students in uniforms can be seen sitting in parks around the schools during their lunch time. The beauty of these parks and lawns is well-known all over world. The gardens around the houses are grown very carefully. The lawns are always cut, bushes formed to various Everybody wants to have his own garden better and nicer than a widespread hobby. 27

the perfectly accurate shapes. his neighbor. Gardening is


GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

British taps Very typical are the two water taps: one for hot and the other for cold water. We found it very complicated to wash, especially in the morning. Most toilets we encountered on our trip to England were flushed with a lever that does not allow for an economical flush. Thus all the water in the tank was used during the flush which resulted not only in wasting the precious fluid, but also made it impossible to flush again within several minutes which was very inconvenient when more people needed to use the toilet quickly. Another typical thing of doorknob. In the middle there is the door lock.

the UK is a of the doorknob

Singing We noticed that girls in have very pleasant voices in a higher register when women that were there

Great Britain but we were surprised that they all sing compared to the Turkish girls and other with us.

England is a very interesting, beautiful and culture. We like the country and England. The people are very nice and want to go to the UK again, our answer

place as for historical sights, transport, nature lifestyle. This is why we recommend a trip to men are gentlemen. If somebody asks us if we will be YES. ď Š

By the Hungarian team Please insert your text and photos ASAP

By the Polish team Please insert your text and photos ASAP

By the Turkish team Please insert your text and photos ASAP

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

VIDEO SECTION As a famous saying puts it, experience is incommunicable. Nevertheless… we would like to give it a try at least a little bit. Enjoy our video contributions! Videos from the meetings By the Hungarian team Movie clip By the British team Background of the project By the Turkish team

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GUIDE AD FONTES RERUM EUROPAE from the Pupils´Point of View or Following the Cultural Footsteps of Middle Eastern Europe and the Cradle of Parliamentary Democracy

Epilogue …The international project was meant to be creative since its very beginning. This is why each participant should think of his/her own epilogue themselves and remember their experiences gained within the duration of the project… However, it is necessary to say that we all had a wonderful time full of new experiences and impulses that will push us forward knowing more than we had done before the project was launched. Many heartfelt thanks have to be expressed to the teachers who looked after the international Comenius project (especially the coordinators: Aleksandra Blalteberg, Mária Bujdos, Şebnem Haydargil, Andrew Jackson and Dagmar Vejchodová), their head teachers for the support we got as well as the students for whom we all did it. We hope our friendship will not end with the end of the project.

Comenius Partnership 2010 – 2012 Coordinating school:

Gymnázium P. Křížkovského s uměleckou profilací, s. r. o

Project websites:

Gimnazjum nr 4

Language supervision:

Saint Gregory´s Catholic College

Information:

Ad Fontes Rerum Europae participants

Photographs:

Ad Fontes Rerum Europae participants

Video:

Árpád Vezér Gimnázium és Kollégium

Movie clip:

Saint Gregory´s Catholic College

Background of the project video: Gaziantep Ticaret Odası Güzel Sanatlar ve Spor Lisesi

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przewodnik  

comenius meetings

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