ChwB held today in Kruja another session of practical heritage-related activities based on the E Ka Kush E Ka booklets. What a better day than April 2, Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, to inspire a passion for reading and to call attention to children’s books?
This year’s second Heritage Atelier for children was organized in the city of Kruja. The hamam was once again the main topic of discussion of the atelier. There were 29 little guests this time, all coming from public kindergarten number 1 and aged between 5 and 6 years old. Together with the teachers from the kindergarten, the municipal officials and CHwB staff, the children visited the hamam that is currently being restored and which is located in one of the finest parts of Kruja’s castle.
They already knew so many things about the city’s history, about Skënderbeu (the Albanian National Hero), about the castle that was his fief for many of years and about his museum. It was also interesting for the children to wander around the inhabited part of the Castle neighborhood, navigating through the narrow stone walls and talking to the surprised inhabitants. And yes, quickly they found their way to the restoration site where the first to greet them were the workers. The hammam with its curious shape was indeed a discovery for the children, who – thanks as well to the explanations of the architect in charge of the restoration – quickly realized how different from today bathing was for their ancestors.
In the proximity of the hamam the children discovered a massive olive tree and learned that, according to legend, it was Skënderbeu himself who planted it! Just next to the olive tree, they could also visit the proudly standing old tekke with its beautiful floral paintings inside. Then from one of the main viewpoints of the castle, children and adults discussed about the Old Bazaar, another gem of the city.
The classroom of the kindergarten was the last place of activities for today’s atelier. Children and teachers read together and colored the hammam booklets for children aged 3-6, from the E Ka Kush e Ka collection. A coloring competition was organized between the “squirrels” and the “rabbits,” which ended in a tie and with everyone smiling.
This was the perfect ending to an exciting day for the children of the kindergarten, as well as for us at CHwB. We are grateful to the staff of the kindergarten and the officials from the municipalityw ho helped us contribute on this special day toward raising awareness about the importance of books for children and the usefulness of education through culture and books from a very young age.