The summer display of “Under the Tree Tops” on Štrandb (Pod krošnjama na Štrandu in Serbian) is celebrating its fourth year at Danube River's sandy beach in Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia. There, the citizens of Novi Sad are able to enjoy a very special natural landscape, a sandy shore alongside the Danube river. This is where several of their most iconic cultural events happen. Novi Sad is the host of several ethnic groups. Hungarian, Croatian, Ruthin, Slovakian, and Romanian gropus are amongst those represented along the city. The programme "Under the Tree Tops" brings minority communities together to learn about each other's languages and culture.
With the message of “The Library is where you are” the City Library of Novi Sad opened a branch on the nicest beach alongside the Danube eight years ago. During July and August it provides the citizens of Novi Sad a great opportunity to enjoy the time on the beach while relaxing with a good book, there is also a varied daily offer of weekly newspapers and minority media newspapers.
Heror Media Pont, the media agency working alongside the minority media and Minority & Local Media Development Centre, collaborated together with the Centre to launch a programme designated for kids between 5-12 years old to learn the basic knowledge of Hungarian, Slovakian, Ruthen, Romanian and, from this year on, Slovenian language. During the one week programme, kids learn 50 words of each of the aforementioned languages. The programme finalizes with a quiz on the last day, Saturday, bringing a lot of mixed emotions for the participants.
In the times of huge entertainment offer for kids, the programme “Under the Tree Tops” gathers over during a summer over 100 kids at the City Library to learn about minority languages and the culture of these minority communities. Vojvodina’s primary schools only offer minority languages as a chosen subject, this programme encourages kids to get closer to those languages.
This year, we expanded the programme with an extra week of Olympic activities. Olympic sportsman and women visit the children to talk about their achievements, and struggles behind the stories of their Olympic medals. The objective is for kids to learn the importance of practicing sports. Combining this with art, bring to life one of the greatest idea of Mr. Pierre de Coubertain, the man who gave a new breath for Olympism bringing it from the past back to contemporary society.
"This year, on the opening reception, we had the honor of welcoming Žarko Paspalj, European World Champion, former NBA player and Silver Olympic medalist for Seoul 1988 and current Vice president of Olympic Committee of Serbia, and Đorđe Višacki, General Secretary of Olympic Committee Serbia", said Nataša Heror, the founder of this program and the leader in charge of enganging with these minority communities.