Promoting linguistic diversity, plurilingualism and lifelong learning of languages are the most important messages in Europe on September 26 every year, the day designated as the European Day of Languages by the Council of Europe in 2001.
On Sunday, September 23, the European Day of Languages was celebrated on Rynek Glowny in Krakow for the third time in history. The city’s mayor, professor Jacek Majchrowski, presided over the event.
Music and theater performances were held from 11:00 until 18:30. The stage was surrounded by a tent village with competitions, games and other fun activities for visitors, which included opportunities to win interesting prizes.
The event’s organizers were seven different cultural institutions with an operations seat in Krakow. These were: the British Council, Goethe-Institute, Austrian Institute, French Institute, Cervantes Institute, Italian Institute of Culture and the Jagiellonian University’s Center of Polish Language and Culture in the World. The international organizers wanted to encourage Poles to learn foreign languages and get to know other European countries’ cultures.
Europeans never before have had so many opportunities to study and work abroad. For all that, fluency in foreign languages is necessary, the organizers of the event stressed. Those who visited Rynek Glowny on September 23, could listen to the British band Misty’s Big Adventure, German hip-hop singer Jim Pansen, Spanish hip-hop artist Kultama and the Spanish folk band Ars Tunae. In the afternoon visitors could listen to poetry sung in French, Austrian saxophone player Valerie & Band and an Italian recital.
Jagiellonian University’s Center of Polish Language and Culture in the World presented the Slawomir Mrozek play “Slon” (“Elephant”), performed by foreigners who have learned Polish in Krakow. “There’s a theatrical circle in the center and every semester we stage a new play,” said Beata Salega-Bielowicz of the center.
At 14:00, the Center of Polish Language and Culture in the World organized a free Polish language lesson. “Only three foreigners were brave enough to test their linguistic skills,” said Salega-Bielowicz of the center. “But the lesson lasted over 90 minutes because all three participants were very interested in getting to know Polish language.”