This May, 20 CCE middle schoolers, a high school band, and our teacher´s band DeArt visited a sister school in Slovak town Bacsky Petrovec, Serbia.
Even though Bacsky Petrovec is located in northern Serbia, it is a town where community of Slovaks live for more than 270 years. People speak fluently both Slovak and Serbian, they have Slovak elementary school that CCE have a partnership with, and preserve Slovak traditions. Bacsky Petrovec is well-known for their home-made sausages and good alcohol.
During our visit, we spent some time in the school with their students. Middle schoolers experienced their classes that were all taught in Slovak. We took a tour around Bacsky Petrovec and visited their local library, gallery, oldest house in the town and a Lutheran Church. About 90 per cent of people in the town is Lutheran, and the liturgy is completely in Slovak and almost identical to what we know from our Lutheran church in Martin.
School band A# performed in the elementary school, in the Lutheran church during Sunday service and was a part of program during a weekend-long celebration called Days of Bacsky Petrovec.
Along with days spent in Bacsky Petrovec with local families and getting to know their town, we also visited a bigger city called Novi Sad. We visited a castle and Novi Sad downtown. People outside Bacsky Petrovec do not speak Slovak, so we also quickly noticed the language barrier.
One of the students says about the visit: “It was a great experience to see, that Slovaks live and preserve our culture outside Slovakia. Spending some time with local families was a great experience and they were all very kind to me. Seeing their kindness inspired me to be more welcoming and thankful for what I have here in Slovakia.”