From 19th October till 25th October 2020, a group of students from the Forestry School in Ruciane-Nida, Poland and the Naujoji Akmenė Ramučiai Gymnasium from Lithuania carried out a project named “Colours of the Forest“. The project was implemented within the Polish-Lithuanian Youth Exchange Fund from the grant of the Ministry of National Education.
The main topic of the exchange was the diversity of natural cultural heritage in both countries, with particular emphasis on forests. The main goal of the project was to strengthen cooperation between Poland and Lithuania through joint work and building an attitude of tolerance based on knowledge and appreciation of the value of the common natural environment.
The participants learnt how to protect and properly use forests, preserving their original character. In a difficult epidemic situation, while maintaining hygiene and safety rules, we carried out all planned activities.
There was a photography workshop – “The Forest from the Perspective of Its Residents” ended with a competition for the best photography and a photo exhibition. Under the supervision of Piotr Bogdaszewski, the participants created the video-art “Connections 2020″. A three-language dictionary of forest terms was also created. During the culinary workshops, we got to know forest flavours, and during the pine oil production workshops, we discovered the flavours and aromas of the forest. While working and playing together, the participants developed attitudes of openness and understanding towards other people. They gained and deepened their knowledge about the culture, customs and traditions of the exchange partner, overcoming prejudices and stereotypes related to the perception of a shared history.
The exchange took place in Ruciane-Nida, in the heart of the Piska Forest (PL), a place where nature is an integral part of the local community and the symbol of the exchange is a jointly planted row of oak trees.
As the young participants stated, “The bond between Lithuania and Poland has never been broken and we do not think that it will happen in the near future.”
Acknowledgements: many thanks to EUROPEA-Poland and Wiesia (PL) 🙂
Photos: from Wiesia (PL)