Cultural exchange between Ukrainians and Romanians: The Harvest Festival

Event date: Saturday, November 19
Time and location: Gradinita Rasarit, 121 Foișorului street, Sector 3, Bucharest – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

In Romania, Ukraine and all over the world, people celebrate the harvest season with special traditions that create a sense of community, sharing and joy.

This Saturday, small children and their parents from Ukraine and Romania will gather together at Gradinita Rasarit in Bucharest to share crafts, food, dances and music to celebrate the autumn harvest.

The event will open with several autumn songs that each group at the kindergarden has prepared and simple “hora” dances with folk music. Then, there will be creative workshops: the little ones will have the chance to make traditional ginger bread from Ukraine, which they will decorate themselves with icing in the colors of the Ukrainian and Romanian flags. They will also make other Romanian autumn crafts. For a role-playing game, the children will have at their disposal a large table of fruits and vegetables: the Romanian and Ukrainian children will take turns being “sellers”, carefully weighing the vegetables and fruits, while learning from each other the words in a new language. Each family will leave loaded with fruits and vegetables from the harvest.

The Ukrainian children and parents come from Malva Center, which is a self-organized center that a group of inspired Ukrainian mothers created to support other mothers and create a space for childcare, socializing and learning new skills. As one of the main needs of the mothers was to provide safe supervision of their children while they worked or attended other responsibilities, Malva Center soon found itself functioning practically as an informal kindergarten.

AMURTEL Romania, in partnership with NRC (Norwegian Refugee Council), provided technical support and training to the volunteer team in managing a program for preschool children, taking into account recent trauma and the need to connect to community resources, including the partnership with Gradinita Rasarit.

The event will be the first of what both sides hope will be a fruitful long-term partnership, with trips and joint planning of activities to help Ukrainian parents integrate and form warm relationships with Romanian families.