DAY 5: Ethnographic Museum & Kazimierz
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Today we started on a tight schedule for everyone. The children came in pair by pair to study with Ajarn Nat the whole morning. They all had specific lesson time. One duet after another kept marching in. They already made big progress in such few days. Those who finished their lessons early would go to the practice room and try to work on all the comments they got from Ajarn Nat.
After about an hour, the practice room got more and more crowded. It became the children’s fun castle. By the time I got in, a group was playing uno, another group was practising on the piano, and another group was having a discussion on cameras and photography. It was such a sight to see with all of them mingling without any barriers. They were laughing, talking, and playing with each other. I usually station myself just between the teaching room and practice room. Today was very special for me because I did hear their voices all the way out here having so much fun among themselves.
In the afternoon, our children parted from their Polish partners for another adventure in Krakow. In this special afternoon, we are spending our time in the old Jewish quarter or Kazimierz.
We started our journey with the oldest Ethnographic Museum in Poland. The museum is situated in the old town hall of Kazimierz when it was a separate town from Krakow. Here, the children learnt how people in the area lived in this climate before the advent of electricity. They learnt about how the houses were design to accommodate such way of living, how people make linseed oil, how to thicken wool, and the variety of traditional costumes for different functions and ethnic groups. Lastly, they also got to know more about Polish traditions from celebration of the end of winter to Christmas and Easter.
After the museum, we came out into Kazimierz to walk around the area. Thanks to our guide Erik, he told the children more of how the Jewish community is organized and how Jewish people lived in Kazimierz. This was a great experience for them to see what they learnt in Polin Museum in real life. We ended our tour at Isaac Synagogue, which is the oldest synagogue in Poland.
After the first cold afternoon, the children finally got to take the tram back to the school. I asked them on our way back what they have learnt from today. They said, “It’s so difficult to live in a cold country! People have to do so much to keep warm!”
As soon as we got back, all the host families were waiting in the entrance hall of the school to pick up all Nat Studio kids. We could see so much tenderness in their eyes. They’ve truly become a Polish family for each of our students. We hope that the bond they created among them will stay with them for a long time after we leave this week.