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FESTIVAL OF THE CHILDREN OF MOUNTAINS'
The International Festival of Children's Folk Ensembles
CHILDREN’S FRIENDSHIP BUILDS THE PEACE OF THE ADULTS’ WORLD
The Festival of the Children of Mountains in Nowy Sącz is an event bringing together children of various cultural and religious backgrounds. Here, while taking part in common fun and games, they become acquainted with the wealth and variety of traditions of different countries and regions. They learn tolerance and respect for faith, culture, customs and behaviour of their peers. Both Polish and foreign folk ensembles representing diverse ethnic groups of the sub-Carpathian regions as well as mountainous regions of all the continents participate in the Festival of the Children of Mountains. In total, there are about 500 participants aged 7-14.
During the seven Festival days the children do everything together. They stay in the same accommodation, give concerts, take trips, make bonfires and spend one day at the Polish partners’ homes.
The final concert is also a joint project towards which all the children contribute; out of many cultural and custom elements of various nations a brand-new quality is generated.
Such a formula of the Festival enables the children to find their own communication tool, whereby the fear of otherness vanishes, and the naturally inherent distrust of everything strange and incomprehensible develops into acceptance of otherness and eventually into friendship thriving on subsequent contact.
The Festival has been organised since 1992. Its programme principles relate to the ones of the Festival of the Mountains – a pre-war event originated by the Association of Mountain Lands, whose main goal was to preserve the cultural heritage – caring for, cultivating and presenting the tradition of folk culture and art of the inhabitants of the sub-Carpathian areas.
Currently, the Festival of the Children of Mountains in Nowy Sącz is an event whose significance has come to reach far beyond mere preservation and presentation of folk culture. It stands out from a whole lot of similar children’s festivals because of its original programme principles.
Festival Director – Antoni Malczak, tel. +48/18/44 82 610
Concert Director – Józef Broda
Festival Bureau Manager – Małgorzata Kalarus
SOKÓŁ Małopolska Culture Centre
33-300 Nowy Sącz, ul. Długosza 3
tel. +48/18/44 82 610, fax. +48/18/44 82 611
FESTIVAL OF THE CHILDREN OF MOUNTAINS – PROGRAMME PRINCIPLES
The main principle of the Festival is to teach through play. The event is non-competitive. The ensembles’ programmes should be suited to children’s age and interpretative abilities and they should be based on children’s games and play typical of the region.
The Festival participants (6 Polish and 6 foreign ensembles) are paired up for joint concerts and accompanying events. This formula of partner ensembles makes it possible for the children to get to know each other better in the everyday Festival life as well as make more direct contact.
Each ensemble pair has its “national day”, when during the main evening concert the two ensembles have the initiative in organising fun and games that involve the audience. There is also an opportunity for them to present the cultures of their countries and regions in various and voluntarily-chosen off-stage forms (national cuisine, exhibitions, fairs, street presentations, etc.).
During the Festival week each Polish ensemble invites its foreign partner ensemble into its home town. Thus, the foreign ensemble learns about the environment in which their newly-made Polish friends live as well as about their homes, families, friends...
At the final concert all the ensembles fulfil a joint stage programme of one specified idea. Such a concert formula practically makes the children aware that cultural differences do not necessarily hinder the achievement of common aims or the creation of new values.
During the Festival week a number of accompanying events takes place. These provide the participants with an opportunity for relaxation and good fun as well as for becoming familiar with the beauty of the region and the most interesting places of southern Poland.
The Festival Director and the Polish Section of CIOFF establish the Festival Artistic Committee, who assess each ensemble’s programme and ways of presenting it on stage during a discussion with the ensembles’ leaders. Also, all-Poland workshops are held as part of the Festival. These are for instructors of children’s folk ensembles.