Norwegian Christmas spirit in Polish school competition
Demonstrating an impressive knowledge of Norwegian Christmas traditions, children from more than 120 Polish schools submitted art works to a Christmas competition arranged by the Polish Scholarship and Training Fund. On 18 December, four winners received their awards at the Norwegian Embassy in Warsaw.
A heavy presence of julenisse, julebukk and other familiar creatures of Norwegian Christmas lore marked many of the drawings, paintings and sculptures crafted by school children from all over Poland. Through thorough research, the young artists had managed to create a distinctively Norwegian feeling to the altogether 135 submitted art works.
"The children prepared popular Norwegian Christmas traditions like 'julenissen' and 'Santa Lucia' in class, and did further research on the internet", says Katarzyna Aleksandrowicz, programme coordinator in the Polish Scholarship and Training Fund (STF).
The competition's first prize was secured by nine children from the city of Ozorków, near Łodz, with a sculpture named 'Norwegian Impressions'. The piece consists of a Christmas tree ball made of tissue paper in the Norwegian colours red, white and blue, and portrays familiar figures such as Santa Lucia, julenissen and carol singers gathering around the Christmas tree. Other works submitted included sculptures and a large number of Christmas inspired drawings.
"The contributions demonstrate an impressive variety of techniques and materials, such as drawings, paintings, and beeswax figures", says Ms Aleksandrowicz.
The competition was open for schoolchildren from all over Poland, and had the combined objectives of promoting Nordic culture, to further a spirit of team work among children and youngsters, and to raise awareness of the funding opportunities available under the Polish Scholarship and Training Fund (STF). Concerning the latter, a particular emphasis is put on increasing the interest for partnership cooperation between Norwegian and Polish schools. The children invited to receive their prizes at the Norwegian Embassy left no doubt that the competition had been an interesting experience.
"The children were impressed by the ceremony at the embassy, particularly by the fact that they could speak with His Excellency the Ambassador about such an interesting topic as football", says Ms Aleksandrowicz.