My Europe, My festive costume (LS-GR-578)

Cultural heritage is a key factor for the refocusing on the basis of dialogue between cultures, respect for identities and diversity, and a feeling of belonging to a community of values. This Learning Scenario addresses the tangible heritage of our folk costumes. Clothing, in general, is related to human identity and folk clothing indicates national, cultural and religious identity. The common European identity and the sense of common belonging will help us easier adapt to new situations and successfully face the globalization challenges.

The aim

The main aim of this project is to urge our students to have an in depth study on folk costumes and outfits of different European countries and then encourage them to highlight the common particles and assemble new heritage products. Students will benefit from learning about the history and the symbolisms hidden behind them. This allows them to experience the logic of Heritage cycle (Simon Thurley, 2005).  They start from understanding, valuing, caring and enjoying their own and other European countries’ culture; they compare different European folk costumes, recognise diversity, but, with an inclusive perspective, they also spot common elements and track common routes.

The process

Firstly students are exposed to two paintings as a source for information about the way people were dressed on special occasions in the past. They focus on the differences between the locals’ and the newcomers’ clothes. In teams they do a research on traditional clothes in their country. They discuss about their findings, focus on the great variety and the symbols hidden. They choose the most representative ones to study in depth and make a presentation.

Then they get familiar with the Europeana content. In groups, they search for traditional clothes of other countries and select the ones they like. They study their history and discuss about similarities and differencies on different parts (head covers, shirts, skirts, dresses, lower part, and leg covers or shoes). They vote for the most liked part of each traditional costume.

Finally, they redesign apparel from scratch. They put parts of different costumes and different countries together in order to produce new creations.

The benefits

By implementing the activities to meet this project aims our students will have developed multiple skills: History, Social awareness, EFL aquisition and Art get harmoniously interelated. Collaboration, digital and researching skills as well as critical thinking are enhanced. Creativity as a fundamental cultural principle allows them to put aside differences and focus on similarities. They use their imagination to build their own paths for a common future.

The EU has symbols in order to create a sense of common belonging: the European flag, the European Anthem, the Europe Day, a common motto (“United in diversity”); why not having a European Costume? 

Europeana for Erasmus+

The activities of this LS consist a part of an Erasmus+ and eTwinning project entitled “”Reporters of cultural heritage without borders“. They are designed for blended instruction. They can easily be adapted in any class of any nationality, either at school level or as an international, collaborative project. For our Erasmus+ project each participant school will present their country’s traditional clothes. The Europeana research and and the activities on designing and producing the new creations will be done in international teams.

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Malmö museer.

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