keskiviikko 9. toukokuuta 2018

Europe Day

Europe Day in Oulu

Europe Day celebrates peace and unity in Europe. 

It is celebrated on 9 May each year. It marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which was presented by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on this date in 1950. At that time European nations were struggling to cope with the damages of World War II. They wanted to prevent another war like that from happening.

Europe Day stands in the shopping centre Valkea

Thoughts about EU, positive and negative aspects

Europe Day was celebrated this year in Oulu at the shopping center Valkea. Several groups from our school participated the celebration. The program consisted of for example panel discussion and a performance by male choir Huutajat. Huutajat's (see their home page: ) performance was about Europe, for example Hungarian National Song and Ode to the Joy.

Ode to the Joy by Huutajat

Our high school students commented the day with following sentences: 

"Europe Day is a wonderful way to unite European people."

"Europe Day was a nice way to see what the European Unon actually means to us Finns." 

keskiviikko 25. huhtikuuta 2018

Meeting in La Reunion

This time our Erasmus meeting was in La Reunion, on island that is situated in the middle of Indian Ocean but is a part of France. The meeting was only for teachers. During seven intensive days we learned a lot of island’s uniqueness and diversity of for example landscapes, cultures, religions and languages.

On Saturday we arrived quite early in the morning and had already ability to have first tastes of atmosphere by wondering enormous waves at the cliffs and taking part of Tamili New Year in St Leu, a city nearby. Celebration was colorful and vivid with awesome dresses, dance and music.

Sunday was a day for something very unique: we were hiking at the volcano Piton de la Fournaise. Last eruption on the volcano was on Monday previous week. We were lucky to get in to the top because it was closed several days after eruption, and later we heard that it was active again day after we had left the island. The landscape was something you can see in the Star Wars movies and massive clouds surrounded us every now and then.

On Monday we spent the morning at our partner school Lycée Antoine de Saint-Excupéry in Les Avirons. The local students told us about daily life in the island and their plans for the future. Many of them are going to study abroad because there’s no such opportunities on the island than for example in continental France, and they want to see the world. It was heartbreaking to hear them saying: “We love our island but we have to go.” 

We also heard about a volunteering project that plenty of students had participated, and sow an art exhibition about equality issues like race, gender and sexual orientation. At the afternoon we had a walking tour in St Leu focusing on the revolt of the slaves, and at the sunset we went to a boat trip where we sow dolphins jumping in the waves. <3

On Tuesday we were discussing about gender equality and had a lecture by local association for domestic violence. Then we head more student´s speeches about the day’s topic but also about how they see Europe and European Union in their daily life even though they live so far away from European continent. We also planned next meeting that will be in Wales in October 2018.

On Wednesday we had ability to see a colorful and extremely beautiful Tamili Temple at St Louis with one of the partner school’s teachers as our guide. We also familiarized us with a Mosque and a Chinese Temple in St Pierre and visited a local handcraft market.

Thursday was about the Creole culture with literature and music. We were really privileged to have one of the most popular maloya artists, Zanmari Baret, to tell about the Creole music (maloya and sega). Besides listening their beautiful playing we got also play different instruments and sing along.

On Friday we saw more about the power of volcano on a visit to the lava flows Gande Anse. It was a huge flow all the way from the top to the sea by eruption occurred on 2007. Two years it had been so hot that it was impossible to walk on it, but nowadays there is a route through the area. We also visited one of the most beautiful beaches we had ever seen. In the evening we had a farewell party at the beach under thousands of stars.

Saturday was the day to leave the incredible island and say good bye to our host. The whole week had been something very special and will be unforgettable. We saw a lot of things that can’t be seen anywhere else and heard stories that only can be heard at the place like that. Nevertheless, we saw that people are the same with their dreams and values no matter where you are.

tiistai 10. huhtikuuta 2018

Racism Free Day 2018

This year we celebrated Racism Free Day with program that was completely planned and led by a group of first year high school students. All the participants can certainly agree that they succeed in their task! :)

We started the event by watching a film about a slum area in Romania. I'm sure that after seeing the film many of our students now understand better why a lot of Roman people travel abroad to beg.

Afterwards we played a kind of role play. We got pieces of paper with different kinds of identities. Then we heard various statements and reacted to them according to our position in the global society. 

The role play really concretized us how the world is not equal.

Are you a 53 years old Swedish man with wife and two kids, doctor and summer house in Spain? Or are you a 6 years old kid from a slum area in Namibia where you work 10 hours a day in a factory to by food to your five siblings because your parents are dead?

Acting according our new identities - is this fair?

Additionally we had a quizz and a discussion with help of pictures by Red Cross.

How would you describe a family? Is it similar everywhere in the world?

How would you define a racist?

How would you react in a situation where somebody spit a immigrant to the face in the street?

Thank you Tolerance-group for well planned event! We all got new viewpoints to the equality!

tiistai 13. helmikuuta 2018

Theme Day 7th February 2018

On Wednesday 7th February we had the first day of new period, and since last school year we have celebrated the day by having a bit special program with no regular lessons. This time we invited local Red Cross' voluntary group Salamatiimi to participate the day with us, because we wanted to provide our students a natural way to use English and to work with people from different culture. You can read more about Salamatiimi and their activity here

After we divided us to four groups we started the program with basketball. Then the program continued with various workstations. Below you can see photos of all four stations. 

At the first workstation the groups planned and filmed a short video. The results can be seen at the end of this page.

At the next station the groups explained and/or drew various words to each others and competed against other groups.

Third station was about baking cookies.

Last station was called "Flowers with similarities and differences". The group made a colorful flower witch the filled with things that are common to all the group members and things that make everyone unique compared to others in group. The results can be seen at top of this page.

First group's video: 

The other videos are missing. Students, please send them to Johanna's email so we'll add them here. :)

tiistai 30. tammikuuta 2018

School Day of Non-Violence and Peace 2018

Our school participated the international celebration of School Day of Non-Violence and Peace this year as well. Our task this year was to make a flag and record the making process. Below you can see our video. 

This final global video shows you a little celebrations at all the 44 participating schools in 23 different countries on 5 different continents. Our part is at 02:43. Enjoy!

keskiviikko 13. joulukuuta 2017

St. Lucia and the Theme Days 2017

As every year since 1949 we celebrated St. Lucia in our school on St. Lucia's day, December 13th. 

While Lucia visits sick and old people with her maids and choir spreading light, hope and love, the other students in high school have theme days, where charity and humanity are usually in the main role.

This year we had an opportunity to hear 18 year old Afghan boy Khadem tell about his journey to Finland and Oulu. He also told about life in Afghanistan and the differences between these two countries. Our students found the presentation very interesting, and afterwards they had a lot of thoughts about the topic. 

In the photos below you can see Khadem and our students, and some of the thoughts they wrote and drew after the presentation. 

You can read more about this year's St. Lucia of Oulu here (in Finnish). 

Here can you read our last year's post about St. Lucia and see the awesome video that is made by our students.

keskiviikko 22. marraskuuta 2017

Mahdollisuuksien päivä – The Day of Possibilities

Our students Emma and Rasmus visited a fair event called Mahdollisuuksien päivä, where various possibilities to study and work were presented from the Roma people point of view. The fair took place on 2nd of November in Pohjankartano School. There were information desks where various learning institutions and employers told about the possibilities that they have. There was also a presentation about the Romani culture.

Our students felt that they got new information about the Roma people and their roots. ”They are people like anybody else and equal to all of us.  The Roma people shouldn’t be treated in a different way just because of their background,” they think.

The Romani minority in Finland
There has been Roma people in Finland since 16th century. Nowadays their social situation is pretty good compared to many other European countries, but it hasn’t always been like this. Roma people have been discriminated, and still there are many things that need improvement.
Romani language gained a minority language status in Finland in 1995. The status guarantees some rights, but issues like accommodation, subsistence and education have been problematic. During last decades, also health education has been important aspect in improving Rome people social status.
The National Roma Forum of Finland (FRF) was established in 2007 to promote and monitor the realization of the Roma people’s basic and civil rights. FRF works against all kinds of racism, anti-gypsisim and discrimination. FRF promotes Roma culture and Romani language, Roma people’s social integration, participation in public life and decision making.