Black History Month in Banjaluka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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On February 14th, eleven 7th grade students from a local elementary school Georgi Stojkov Rakovski in Banjaluka had an opportunity to meet our YES Abroad exchange students Chloe Koebel, Ella Thompson and Bryca Song-Weiss for an interactive workshop on the topic of the Black History Month. This event was organized by the American Corner staff in Banjaluka, in partnership with the American Councils in Bosnia and Herzegovina team, and carried out by these knowledgeable exchange students who had a lot to say (and ask) about history, cultural heritage and one’s view of their own culture.

Three YES Abroad students with the group of 7th grade students led by their English language teacher, Zinajda Hrvat

Three YES Abroad students with the group of 7th grade students led by their English language teacher, Zinajda Hrvat

For an hour and half, participants spoke to facilitators from the USA in order to both learn about the purpose and the meaning of the Black History Month, but also to practice their English skills and share some facts about their own culture and heritage.

“I had a lot of fun, and I learned some great facts that I never heard about at school! I love how they speak to us in English and they speak so we can understand, that is awesome”, one of the participants said.

Discussion on the importance of learning about all cultures

Discussion on the importance of learning about all cultures

Towards the end of the workshop, all students were asked to write a few sentences about a part of their own culture which they are proud of, and to think of ways to spread information about it. Here are some insightful ideas they have had:

“In Banjaluka have a lot of parks. We have many mountains. We have many museums and many schools. Many people can visit Kastel or river Vrbas.”

“In Banjaluka have a lot of parks. We have many mountains. We have many museums and many schools. Many people can visit Kastel or river Vrbas.”

“This year on Kastel was a knight festival Kastrum. There was a special chess. Make a story on Instagram.”

“This year on Kastel was a knight festival Kastrum. There was a special chess. Make a story on Instagram.”

“There is clock in the centar. Banja Luka have many parks. Volleyball player is born in Banja Luka. Name is Sonja and her live in America. I could post pictures of her in Instagram. “

“There is clock in the centar. Banja Luka have many parks. Volleyball player is born in Banja Luka. Name is Sonja and her live in America. I could post pictures of her in Instagram. “