Participating in a project where different countries share their traditions has had great benefits for all of us. Not only making new friends or even learning some words from another language, but even seeing the difference in our cultures. This helped us because we can take the best experiences we have learned from communicating with our Italian friends and add them to our own lives. Learning how they study Literature and Poetry was great because we saw the differences. They learned from the combination of poetry and music which I realised was quiet a wonderful collaboration. I can mention L’Infinito di Giacomo Leopardi that left great impressions to me. While seeing that they had activities where they saw different acts from Romeo and Juliet played by professional actors inside their school I came to the conclusions that overall we had a lot of similarities too. I even saw that the books and literature between us was quiet similar and made me believe that we have a great connection from our educational system.
A surprising bridge that connects us: Sports
The similar to Albanian and Italian sports is that they revolves mostly around football, basketball, volleyball and hand ball. But during a talk between Albanian students and Italian ones we found out a lot different sports preferences. One of the Italians student shared with us his satisfaction about calisthenics and motorcycles. He showed and informed us more about motorcycles, the advantages and disadvantages, the difficulties and emotions this sport gave to him. What we found similar to each other’s was that both sides loved swimming. We talked a lot about this sport and shared our experience and opinions about it. Tennis, basketball and volleyball couldn’t miss too. An interesting sport mentioned was ice skating. By this conversation we learnt a lot of new things from different opinions and experiences. Now it is clearly known that Albanian and Italian youth love sports. A.Myftaraj I took a part on a cultural exchange project with an Italian group. In this project we talked about our preferences on different subjects. Personally I was in a sport group and there we talked about how we spent our free time and what types of sports we liked in general. First of all I’ve seen that we (Albanians) and them (Italians) have something in common. Even though there is a big difference in culture among us we all like sports. Something that caught my eye is that they are more into street” sports such as skateboarding, skating etc. And we are more into casual sports such asfootball, tennis and basketball. To sum it all up I think that our generation is growing a new desire to participate in sports. I think this experience has tough me a lot about new types of sports and has given me a new desire to try and do other things much different than usual.
I am part of the sports group that was created in order to talk about sports and for us to learn more about sports in Italy and for them to learn more about sports in Albania. We talked about our favourite sports and what sports we play in our leisure time. Everybody shared their experiences and everyone was involved in the conversation. For me the most interesting part was the diversity between everybody there. One liked swimming, one liked football, one liked basketball etc and nobody was affected by what her or his friend thought about that. Everybody was different and they sticked to their opinion until the end. We learned a lot about what sports most of them like and love to play. Also, we found out that we had many things in common. I’m very happy that I was part of this group and I learned more about sports and what teenagers do in Italy on their free time.
The diversity between our literary cultures
The poetry group that was formed between us Albanian students and Italian students had as its main goal to learn as much possible about the other’s literary culture. We shared our favorite pieces corresponding to our native country. Getting to acknowledge famous foreign literary figures that we hadn’t heard before was another positive side to this project. We also sent recordings of ourselves reciting them in order that everyone got to hear how the rhyming in a foreign poem sounds. Trying to translate the poems from our mother tongue in English (since it was our common language) helped us learn as much as possible from the other country’s language. We picked up different words that we found the most interesting. Everyone got to see and learn about the different ways a literary piece sounds and looks in another language. I think the most interesting part was the rhythm,the rhyming and how divergent it was from what we are used to hear in our language.Culture is a strong part of people’s lives. It influences their views and perspective. Intertwining our literary cultures definitely enhanced our creativity and opened new horizons to the cultural diversity there was between us.
Besides the culture that we have talked about, our country architecture and traditions, we have also talked about our favourite writers and poems. The group was opened on 29 November and 15 students from Albania and Italy including our teachers took part in it. Everybody had the right to send and talk about their favourite author, writers, poems etc. The most liked writer was Shakespeare and the most liked poem was called “Dimri” by Ismail Kadare. There were also students that decided to record themselves while reciting them. We also talked about the influence of the poem or the author on us, discussed about the meaning of the most poems, why were there used different metaphors ect. Last but not least, everyone shared their opinions, asked questions or paraphrased their favourite verse from the poem. The group was very helpful too because we got to know each other and it couldn’t be better than that.
During this period that we have began this partnership with our peers from Milan we used to know each other virtually. Our contacts have been made through ‘whatsapp’ in group. This has been very productive, because we have had the opportunity to be more natural during our conversations. I have noticed that we shared the same hobbies and aspirates for the future. Most of us love the same music. Also, both we are very fond of computer and telephone. Social networks are very liked by us also. We used to go at the same courses like different kinds of sports, dancing, math’s etc. I can say that I felt that they were just a bit surprised from us and our priorities that were very similar with them. This perhaps Albania and Albanians are prejudiced sometimes. We have been considered as a poor country with many problems. On the contrary I think they were surprised from the level of our English and our point of view for lessons, leisure time and our future in general like every European peer. Sharing this experience for me was very fruitful for raising my self-esteem especially for my English and for myself like a shy guy (as you know me).