A Treasure Chest of Family Traditions

Dates of the event: March and May 2017

Place: Daugavpils, Latvia

Advance Planning Visit activities of the project “A treasure chest of family traditions” have finished successfully

The last weekend of March in “Dagood studio” organization finished in a fascinating and interesting way – there was organized Advance Planning Visit for the project „A treasure chest of family traditions”. Partners from Croatia, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Latvia participated in it.

Advance Planning Visits are made in order to organize international projects successfully, without different incidents. 2 people from each partner country came to participate in this APV. Latvia was represented by the organization „Dagood studio” and its representatives Inga Rozenštoka and Tamara Jefremova, Croatia was represented by Maria Hok and Dora Muršić from organization „Association Strive!”, Italian organization „Associazione culturale Eufemia” was represented by Ana Rita Martins Pereira and Andrea Vercelli, Romanian organization „ProActiv for Community” was represented by Nicoleta  Griguta and Andreea Ionita, and Spanish organization „Building Bridges Association” was represented by Antonio Garcia Guerrero un Claudia Lahuerta.

This visit was organized in order that all the participants of the project meet before the Project activities and could discuss all the important questions, concerning the forthcoming project: discuss and correct the plan of the Project activities, make the Partner Agreement, discuss a route and make the budget distribution. When all the questions, concerning the project, were solved, APV participants got acquainted with Daugavpils city and local sights.

As one of the APV days was the one when people all over the world celebrate Hour of the Earth – the global international campaign devoted to a climate problem, we have suggested our foreign guests to participate in a special action “Hour of Earth” which was organized by a volunteer of “ERFOLG” society from Czech Republic Monika Krivankova. Participants of the action turned off the lights for one hour and have spent the educational evening in candlelight. Participants made candles of various color combinations, played a shadow theatre and an educational game on global warming, waste recycling, and garbage sorting.

The main project activity is planned on 27 th of May in the Latgale zoo when in Daugavpils will be held the biggest family festival in Latgale region Zoomaifest. With the end of APV a preparatory part of the project has come to the end as well.

Author: Dora Muršić


Meet the customs of European countries

Croatian team: Marija Hok, Anamarija Belošić, Katarina-Stela Stolčić, Dunja Kanižaj, and Iva Šaban participated in a project held in Daugavpils from 19 to 29 May 2017. The theme of the project concerned family traditions in various European countries. The project gathered 30 participants from 5 different countries (Italy, Spain, Croatia, Latvia, and Romania) for 10 days youth exchange in Latvia.

Using various means of transport planned before with the help of Strive! volunteers, girls gathered in this second largest Latvian city, located on Daugava River, not far from the Belarusian and Lithuanian borders. Hosts were employees and volunteers of the Erfold hostel, where all project participants were accommodated. Always willing to help, though sometimes not sufficiently concrete and organized, they tried to make participant’s stay as pleasant as possible in their city.

All planned activities were distributed within the 8 working days of the project and each country had to plan activities for 1 day. The concept of each national day depended exclusively on team members, and they had the freedom to choose the ways and activities to represent their country. “Croatian Day” included a presentation about some prominent Croatian customs and celebrations, while during the afternoon workshops participants made animals from the paper collage. The evening was reserved for tasting Croatian sweets and desserts. New international friends had fun playing the quiz in which girls examined their knowledge about Croatia, dancing and demonstrating the “Sinjska alka” that proved to be a real hit.

The other participants of the project also pointed out as excellent promoters of their country and its customs, so besides the traditional dishes and drinks, participants learned about their culture through acting, movement, dance, song and creative work. In addition to the national days, participants had a chance to visit city museums during the Night of the Museum, and it was especially interesting to notice a lot of people on the streets of the city in the late hours of the night, which later did not show up as the usual occurrence. They also visited the day-care center for the elderly and made creative workshops of making key rings, bracelets and paper windmills. The central event of the project was the “Family Festival” which was held in the main city park and was specially adapted for local children. The Croatian team made the workshop with animals for children and when kids created colorful paper animals they kept that as a souvenir from this interesting international event.


Girls also shared some interesting facts they noticed during the exchange:

  • Latvians eat average 78 kilos of potatoes annually per person. How to prepare the potato in Latvian traditional gastronomy, in all possible ways, testify the participants themselves.
  • The ubiquity of the Russian language in Daugavpils’ daily lives is remarkable, which is not surprising given the historical circumstances and ethnic composition of the population.
  • Since the country is abundant with rivers, lakes, and swamps, 98% of the land is less than 200 meters above sea level, and it is possible to understand where powerful mosquito horns actually come from.

Author: Iva Šaban

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