Cultural Heritage without Borders – Albania (CHwB Albania) has been buzzing with children’s voices. The cheerful atmosphere on the eve of the New Year festivities was increased by the joy of organizing a Heritage Atelier with children from Memorial International School of Tirana (MIST).
23 children, from 4-6 years of age, were entertained immensely by drawing, cutting with scissors, and building the paper model of the Babameto House.
Accompanied by their educators, Sheila and Tom, they learned with concrete examples what cultural heritage is and the importance of preserving it.
The CHwB Albania team and the educators explained to the children that heritage is transferring the knowledge (of our minds) and experiences (of our hearts) from grandparents to grandchildren. For Filippo, his “25 year old” grandmother (he estimated that she must be 25, since this is a veeeeeery large number for him) has a lot to teach to him. There is no example of passing on heritage more meaningful than this one!
For Rael, building the Babameto House paper model was really interesting. After finishing, he named it The House of Mandarins. Here is why:
Drawing was the preferred activity of MIST’s young girls. Eda and Selda were amused by the drawings of xhubleta (traditional women’s dresses of northern Albania). Whereas Lejla and Natalie, after cutting out the fustanella (men’s traditional Albanian skirts), pasted them onto a blank sheet of paper and began to paint like true artists.
For CHwB Albania, working with children is of vital importance. The children of today are the adults of tomorrow who will stand up for the preservation of our cultural heritage values. Xhubleta and the other three booklets, together with the Babameto House paper model are part of the E Ka Kush E Ka Children’s Series.
CHwB Albania believes that teaching with entertaining methods encourages children to explore new things and to learn more about other people and society. In 2015, 16 Heritage Ateliers were held in 9 cities in Albania and Kosovo. In total, 286 children together with 39 parents and educators/teachers took part in the activities.