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National minorities and threats that are endangering them

In the year 2010, May 3-9 “Camp Rodowo” organised a Student Exchange camp, where students from two different countries got together to spread their wings of knowledge. Camp theme – “National minorities and threats that are endangering them”.

“Camp Rodowo” is located near Sorkwity, small town in Poland. This camp is a great opportunity to meet new people, learn about another culture and you can even find something new about things that you already know. It has a great number of advantages. For example, you learn how to work in groups, play lots of interesting games, polish yo ur English skills, make new friends and allies, express your creativity. Although we had quite a bad weather, but we had a lot of fun and we are glad that we took the opportunity to come here.

This week in the camp there were many people from different countries: Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Finland, Turkey, Germany, Ukraine, France. Though we are all unique, but we have lots of in common. We like the same sports, books, music, films and we are all very friendly. This camp gives us a chance to meet people whose interests are the same as yours.

During these seven days we played many games. First two days we played to know each other’s names and just start to communicating. These activities were a great deal of fun, because we had to walk on chairs, stand in alphabetic order. There were one game that was especially interesting and entertaining. We had to sit in a circle and one person that was standing in the middle of the circle had to ask someone “how are you” in language opposite of his. If the person answers “good”, his two neighbors must change places and the person in the middle has to rush to take one of the neighbor’s seat. If the person answers “bad” then nothing happens and the one in the middle goes to another person. And if the answer is “so-so” everyone must get up and change their sitting places. Although this game is very funny and entertaining it has it’s disadvantages, e.g. the chairs might get broken. (we had one accident like that=)). We hope that the director of this camp will be forgiving to us :P.

Although every day we were playing games, we had also had serious discussions about minorities, dangers to them, ethnical groups, culture and other things. We also went to Punskas and we were listening to a lecture given by the Vytautas Liszkowski . The lecture’s theme was about Lithuanian minority in Poland. It was very interesting. We found out that in Punskas there were 75% Lithuanians living there. Also, we did some projects were both: funny, interesting and serious, instructive. Almost all the time we were working in international groups (two lithuanians and two polish), it gave us a chance to join forces and strengthen our newly started relationships.

We had a constant agenda, which was made very sympathetically. We got up early, but not too much, we had free time, and we could stay up as long as we like if we would not bother others. We also had time for our needs to proceed with our mini projects. We divided into five groups and we had to present them on the last day of our camp life. The first group was making a film about this camp, they did a very good job. Everyone liked their ideas and enjoyed their work. Second group was drawing a comic about our trip to Punskas. It’s a very funny story, because our bus broke down and we had to wait for two hours to get it fixed. The funniest thing was, that in Punskas there are more Lithuanians than polish, so they felt like they were the minority in their own country. The third group was doing a theatre of shadows about minorities, some real-life situations. They presented their work very well, everyone had a second thought about minorities’ meaning to other people. And the fourth group was holding a discussion about polish living in Lithuania and lithuanians living in Poland. They were arguing about their attitude considering their positions. This discussion was both serious and funny, because they were talking about serious questions but in a funny way. They were arguing with each other in their own language, so neither one quite understood what the other was saying. And the last but not least, us, who are writing this article. We got an assignment to create a blog where everybody can read about out camp and our wonderful time here. You can decide the quality of this blog yourself ;).

Sadly, like everything has a begining, it has an end too. Our camp time was limited too. But as the old saying goes: “when something ends, that means there will be a new beginning”. So we believe that we will have lots of more great times like this, where there no barriers between two nationalities. Even if at the start of the camp we were a bit afraid that this camp will be a failure, we are happy to have been wrong, because this camp was the best ever. We are all saying for the organisators of this camp: “Thank you, dziękuję, ačiū, danke schon, dziakuju”!!!

Projekt otrzymał dofinansowanie z Polsko-Litewskiego Funduszu Wymiany Młodzieży.

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Camp Rodowo jest bardzo fajnym miejscem. Wszyscy spędzili tu świetnie czas. Projekty i gry były bardzo ciekawe i podobały się wszystkich. Brigita Dorcaite Rodowo - miejsce spotkań młodzieży różnych krajów i różnych kultur. Miejsce, gdzie nie istnieją bariery językowe ...

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