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The students of Tallinn University hosted a folk dance workshop that united Ukrainian and Estonian cultures

On December 4th 2023, in a warm atmosphere of friendship and cultural exchange, within the
walls of the school Tallinna Mustamäe Gümnaasium, with the participation of students from
Tallinn University LIFE project, a unique event took place that united Ukrainian and Estonian
children. A folk-dance workshop event was organised to promote the integration of Ukrainian
children with the Estonian educational institution and society.

The purpose of the folk-dance workshop was to create a platform for the exchange of cultural
experiences and building friendships between students from Estonia and Ukraine and
preserve national identity for both groups simultaneously. The participants were from
Ukrainian song and dance group Volya and Estonian folk-dance group Leigarid. During the
event, the children exchanged dance routines and techniques in addition to new cultural and
linguistic experiences.

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The main parts of the program were the dance performances. Ukrainian children, inspired by their national heritage, presented a traditional Ukrainian dance. It was interesting for Estonian children to watch the folk art of Ukrainian children.

After this, the Estonian children took to the stage and presented their unique dance performance. Both performances were rich in national elements and reflected the beauty and diversity of both cultures. Thus, each performance became not only a display of dance prowess but also a celebration of diversity and multiculturalism.

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Particular attention was paid to the different folk dance techniques training conducted by the experienced instructors of both folk-dance groups. Children from both countries enthusiastically learned traditional dance elements, exchanging experiences, and enjoying the opportunity to get to know each other’s cultural characteristics embedded in dance routines.

Also, one month earlier on November 7, 2023, our team arranged for the Ukrainian folk-dance group Volya to perform at EdTech Hack for the event’s final day in Tallinn University. Ukrainian children, accompanied by their trainers, visited to perform a dance routine for the EdTech Hack participants. The performance ended with applause and delight from the children.

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The folk-dance workshop and EdTech Hack performance gained positive feedback from all the participants with hopes for the opportunity to take part in a similar occasion in the future. The children were engaged throughout learning all the different dances and continuously made sure that their new peers would feel as comfortable as possible when practising new dance techniques from foreign cultures. The workshop event also became an important step towards cultural exchange and mutual understanding for the children and their trainers.

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