A Journey into the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lemnos, brought to its students

A Journey into the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lemnos, brought to its students

  • ΕΛ

With great success and widespread participation, the educational programme “The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lemnos to its schools” https://med-ina.org/project/lets-go-to-school/was completed. The programme, implemented by MedINA in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture – Directorate of Modern Cultural and Intangible Cultural Heritage, started in a almost tentative manner in December 2022 and soon expanded to a large number of schools through the enthusiastic acceptance of the island’s school community.

During the academic year 2022-2023, the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lemnos traveled to eight secondary schools in Myrina, Moudros, Livadochori and Repanidi. During this journey, we had the pleasure to meet more than 180 students, during over 250 teaching hours. The invaluable contribution of more than 15 supervising teachers greatly enhanced the experience.

According to the initial programme plan, it developed into two interrelated levels, both within and outside the classroom, presenting five units in total: 1. Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2. The Mandra System, 3. Cheese-Making and Basket weaving, 4. Customs related to the agricultural sector of Lemnos , and 5. Traditional crops of Lemnos.

During the school visits, we shared with the students and teachers all the valuable traditional knowledge behind the island’s intangible cultural heritage through discussions, presentations, and interactive workshops. During the theoretical part of the seminars, we provided a general introduction on the ICH of Lemnos, while discussing its role within the local community and economy, as well as the contribution of its bearers to its safeguarding and promotion.

Our experiential field visits and activities were a wonderful journey for us all. Students had the opportunity to rediscover the island’s agricultural sector, viewing it from a different perspective. They got to know well the traditional Lemnian mandras, to try their hand at cheese-making and weave their own tyrvolia (traditional bullrush baskets used in cheese-making). Additionally, they meaninglfully interacted with characteristic Lemnian landscapes, identified significant plants of healthy agro-ecosystems, and discovered the traditional names of plants and their use.

The programme did not come to an end with the previous year’s activities; the journey continues into the new school year 2023-2024, providing essential support to the teachers who wish to delve deeper into Lemnos’ ICH, emphasising its role in modern daily life. The educational programme “The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lemnos in its Schools” was presented at the 9th International Conference for the Promotion of Educational Innovation n Larissa, Greece, from October 20 to 22 in cooperation with Theodora Lyberi, the Director of Moudros Secondary School, with whom we had the pleasure of collaborating during the last academic year from her former position as Principal of Mοudros High School.

We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Vera Dilaris, the Head of the Unesco ASPnet School Network for Greece, for her valuable contribution during our initial approach of the student community. Her assistance was particularly fruitful and pivotal for the programme’s progress.

Lastly, we express our heartfelt gratitude to the school community of Lemnos – students, teachers, and school administrators – who embraced the project and helped MedINA to bring it to life. The ICH of the island will bring us together again soon!