Mobility Report - Belgrade

Our school has been involved in the project “Fairy tales and the children of the 21st century” for three years now. So, we hosted Belgian and Spanish colleagues and students from 12th until 16th December 2022. here in Belgrade.

With great anticipation, but also fear if we are up to the task, we went to pick up our guests at the airport and take them to their hotel. Since Spanish group arrived on Saturday and the Belgians arrived the next day, we used the time we had to show them around the town which was already in festive atmosphere.

On Monday morning we were all at “Starina Novak” school. Our guests were welcomed by our principle, Vlada Vucinic, who wished them a pleasant stay and asked them to feel at home. After the reception at the principal’s office, 16 Spanish and Belgian students and their seven teachers scattered to different classrooms for some workshops. Fourth graders’ teachers – Mladenka, Jelena, Marija, Ana and Dragana hosted them in their classrooms and organized fun and creative workshops based on our topic – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Students made apples, magic mirrors, dwarfs, rockets and a beautiful Snow White dress.

The first park where we took our friends was of course Tasmajdan park. This park is in a way like our school’s playground. After the park and a lunch at school the next stop was Nikola Tesla museum.

On Tuesday, after another pair of workshops, we had another two events. English teacher, Andjelka, and the fifth graders had an interesting presentation about some real and imaginary characters whose stories have something to do with an apple. Hence, there we had Adam and Eve, Steve Jobs, Robin Hood and many others sitting at the same table. Later, students had a task to create their own fairy tales with an apple in it. Serbian traditional dance group “Okarina” helped our students to take a break and go dancing a bit. Dance instructors organized a dance class where our guests had a chance to learn to play “kolo” – a traditional Serbian dance. The library was vibrating with loud music and laughter. The guests did not want to give up until they learn the basic steps. After lunch, we went to visit Kalemegdan fortress, Sava and Danube confluence, the Victor monument…and in the evening we paid a visit to our friends at the hotel to celebrate our student Marko’s birthday who made a cake by himself especially for this occasion.

Wednesday was dedicated to the central event of this mobility – performance of our three countries’ traditional and adapted versions of the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We asked our associates at the Children’s Cultural Centre to lend us the stage for a few hours and they gladly helped us. We spent the whole morning at the stage practicing and performing.

The traditional version was done in mixed groups: Snow White from Spain, the witch from Belgium, the hunter from Serbia and so on. As far as adapted versions are concerned, each country performed their own version individually. We will report about this to detail once the project is finished. That morning we ate two large crates of apples!

After lunch we visited another museum – Museum of Science and Technology. The museum echoed with laughter, especially the tilted room. We finished the day at Knez Mihailova street where our guests went for some souvenirs shopping before returning to the hotel.

Since the moment they landed some of our guest students wanted to visit “the most important building in Belgrade” When we asked them what building they were referring to they said it’s St. Sava Temple. Our task was to make their wish come true and we did it with great pleasure. It was a lovely day and the sky above Belgrade was shining bright just like the mosaics inside the temple. We had an organized tour with a guide Aleksandra who told us amazing facts about the temple and took us to the crypt. The place was breathtaking.

We spent the afternoon at school playing dodgeball and having a tea party while watching The Chronicles of Narnia. The final night we organized a farewell party at our school canteen with some pizza and music. Some moms and even grannies joined us to say goodbye to our guests and we had a chat about the week that was behind us.

We learned a lot from each other. We gained new knowledge and friends. We picked a topic for the project that was familiar and dear to us all and it brought us even closer. All of us hope that the results of our work will be useful and applicable throughout many European schools.

Friday was a farewell day. Until our next encounter in Belgium, goodbye!

Natasa Mugosa and Andjelka Bojovic