Let’s go to school!

The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lemnos in its schools: a series of theoretical and experiential seminars

Let’s go to school!

MedINA, with the support of the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, organizes a series of educational seminars on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) on the island of Lemnos. The seminars are addressed to both primary and secondary education and are taking place during 2022-2023 school year.

The seminars combine a theoretical approach with hands-on experience through targeted activities. They start with in-classroom teaching, where the concept of intangible cultural heritage is unpacked in an understandable way and by using examples. Moreover, the need for conservation and promotion of ICH by its custodians and the new generation is argued. The seminars move out of the classroom with field visits, where students understand specific aspects and practices of the primary sector, which are part of the cultural heritage of Lemnos.

The springboard for these seminars is the inscription of the art of melichloro/melipasto cheese making and the agro-pastoral system of the mandra of Lemnos in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece, as well as the overall work of MedINA on the island, which aims at the sustainable development of the island through the strengthening of the agri-food sector, the promotion of intangible cultural heritage and the protection of biodiversity.

The educational program ‘Let’s go to school’ is designed to disseminate this knowledge, to preserve it and to try to pass on traditional knowledge to the most important audience: the children of Lemnos.

  • Theoretical courses include the following topics:
  • Introduction to the intangible cultural heritage, the role of different ICHstakeholders and the need to preserve it.
  • The mandra of Lemnos and its role in the island’s sociο-economic life.
  • Traditional agricultural practices and local varieties of Lemnos.
  • Customs and traditions, the world of the lemnian “kehayias”.
  • Livestock tradition and the cheeses of Lemnos.
  • The gastronomic tradition of Lemnos and its role in sustainable development.
  • Basket weaving – Tyrvolia (theoretical part).

The field courses are as follows:

  • Weaving ‘tyrvolia’: field visits to collect ‘vourla’ and get to discover the biodiversity and the landscapes of Lemnos.
  • Cheese making at school and visiting a local creamery.
  • Making bread: visiting a mill, making bread at school, in a bakery or in a student’s home.
  • Cooking with traditional products of Lemnos: visiting a local artisanal processing unit, cooking at school and in a restaurant.
  • Visiting a traditional ‘mandra’ and getting to know the world of “kehayia”: the different parts of the mandra, the crop and the pastures.

The program is being implemented in seven schools on Lemnos and will be accompanied by a literary competition, in which students will be asked to collect legends and stories from their family environment about the traditional mandra and the life around it.