Saturday, October 3, 2009

Joy of Europe

By Valentina Radulovic

Belgrade, Sept. 21, 2009 (Serbia Today) - ‘Joy of Europe’ is the oldest and largest children’s international festival, which is established in 1969 on the occasion of 5th October – World Day of the Child. This annual event takes place in Belgrade with about 30 European nations showcasing their culture through dance and music. Every year Belgrade’s children invite into their families several hundred of their peers from all over Europe, who, during the five days of the festival, present themselves through many different terms of scenic expression. This year the festival will be held from 1st to 5th October in Belgrade Arena.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Through space and centuries’ which is the title of a book by the world renowned scientist Milutin Milankovic.
Songs, dances, friendships, understanding for others and diverse, children’s creations – these are all synonyms of the International Festival of children of Europe.
Downtown Carnival, Friendship Gatherings, International Arts Competition followed by the closing exhibition, half-day program at Ada Ciganlija, Gala Concert at the Center ‘Sava’, Grand Party – these are all program segments of the manifestation that every year enrich the range of culture activities in Belgrade and offer various possibilities to children for having fun and making friends.
Every year, the ‘Joy of Europe’ Festival has something new to offer to the children. Since 1997, the children of the world have been invited to take part in the ‘Joy of Europe’ Arts Competition with the constant ‘Dictionary of Friendship’ theme. The jury selects the best and awards them with trophies, and during the manifestation, an exhibition of the best 300 works is organized. Every year the jury receives between 12 and 14 thousand works from all over the world.
The main topic of the contest is ‘The Dictionary of Friendship’. The Dictionary comprises of 15 words: bird, book, bread, child, dada, Europe, freedom, friend, game , joy, love, mom, peace, song, sun. The participants may take part in the contest either individually or through pre-schools, schools, children’s art centers, or similar institutions. The contest editor is Ivana Teodorovic, editor of the Children’s gallery. All children of the world from 6 to 18 years of age may take part in this contest. The organizer will with a help from a jury, select the works for the exhibition and it will award one gold, two silver and three bronze medals in three groups (6 to 10, 10 to 14, 14 to 18 years) and a lot of special awards. The winner of the gold medal will be the guest of Belgrade and the International Meeting of Children of Europe, at the expenses of the organizers, whereas the rewards will be presented to him/her at the opening of the exhibition.
The role of families and schools of the host children is invaluable to the organization of the festival, as well as to the creating of the threads of continuous bounding. There is no single country in Europe whose children have not participated in the ‘Joy of Europe’.
“Joy of Europe’ is a chance to accept an offered hand of friendship.
Founder and Patron of the manifestation is the Belgrade City Council , and the Children’s Culture Center Belgrade is the organizer of the event.

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