On 18 May 2023, within project the A Tulip for You, we held an integration trip for visually impaired children from the Bratislava-based Elementary School for Visually Impaired Pupils and for children from the Prince Pribina Elementary School in Nitra. The children enjoyed an interesting programme, a creative workshop in bod.K7 in Nitra and a trip to the National Stud in Topoľčianky.
The project A Tulip for You was launched in 2007. After the COVID-19 pandemic, it is back live in the form of live integration activities and unique shared experiences for children from both schools. Children as “snowflakes”.
More about the event as written by the sculptor Elena Kárová – the project author and lecturer:
May Tulip and “snowflakes”. Nitra and Topoľčianky
After a week of downpours, it just stopped raining on Thursday. And so, the good weather made 18th of May a great day for the May Tulip event.
Well, not only that. Many thanks to all for the warm welcome at the Nitria-based bod.K7, for transporting children by bus, for ice cream from the Gio Caffé, for an excellent lunch at the Prince Pribina Elementary School, for a special tour of the stud farm in Topoľčianky after visiting hours.
For it is only with the kind people that the project brings together that the children can have a wonderful time together, the can feel the joy from the experiences.
Traditionally, children from Bratislava and Nitra met at the May Tulip Festival. This time it was held in in Nitra. The children mentioned each other again. It is especially the third graders from Nitra who are new to the event. As many times previously in the project that is not 17 (!) years old, they replaced the older ones who moved on to the upper school. The little ones from Nitra, along with the blind and nearly blind little and big ones from Bratislava came to bod.K7 for theatre and a creative workshop. After a good lunch, they set off to Topoľčianky to see the stud farm that breeds white Lipizzaners, Hucul ponies and thoroughbreds.
The children come across as more fragile, more shy. As if they were enjoying themselves more slowly. Whether the two pandemic years of isolation are to blame, or whether it is caused by generation, are they really – as the nomenclature of generations refers to them – “snowflakes”?
Many gradually published data show depressing facts about the consequences of the pandemic on children. Developed countries are already proposing measures to prevent the new phenomenon of hikikomori – the search for solitude, social isolation, loss of desire to solve things together, simply being able to live alone in the virtual world.
After all, the mere idea of what two years of isolation during COVID-19 mean in a child’s life is threatening. Those two years are maybe ten years of an adult’s life!
And so, a cheerful and wise theatre, a conversation about our world, a colourful workshop, stroking white horses and drumming together are a good way to warm up the children or to thaw “snowflakes”.
… so that their cell phone or tablet is not a better friend than the real cool classmate Jano.