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Children from Year 8 at the Polish Saturday School in Amersham are gradually stepping into the encha

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Prior to this, they delved into a multitude of captivating customs and traditions observed during the November-December period. Andrzejki, also known as Saint Andrew's Day, celebrated on the evening of November 29th, is one of these traditions. On this occasion, the children had the opportunity to engage in fortune-telling, gaining insights into their future professions, their future spouse's name, or who would be the first to marry. The atmosphere was brimming with amusement and laughter.

Barbórka, or Miner's Day, is another festive occasion. Celebrated in Poland on December 4th, it pays tribute to the demanding work of miners, as well as the significance of hard coal as one of Poland's primary natural resources. Our country stands as the second-largest lignite producer in the EU, contributing to about 80 percent of its electricity generation from coal. A sentiment that I would reluctantly add is 'unfortunately'.

The children learned various facets, including details about the miners' gala uniform, particularly the distinctive hat worn on this momentous day, known as the 'czako', adorned with feathers. These feathers, displaying different colors, serve the crucial purpose of distinguishing an ordinary miner from a member of an orchestra or a mine director.

In their final lesson, the children had the opportunity to practice recounting the tale of Lech, Czech, and Rus, the legendary origins of the Polish state, using their Kamishibai theater. This legend expounds upon the significance of the red and white colors in the Polish flag, the emblem of the white eagle, and the derivation of "Gniezno," the name of Poland's first capital.

The children collectively concluded that narrating stories while simultaneously acting them out is an undeniably intricate task...

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