As part of the Erasmus + Training Programme for VET mobility, the adult fashion technician students of Nyíregyházi SZC Wesselényi Miklós Szakgimnáziuma, Szakközépiskolája és Kollégiuma (Hungary) could take part in a 3-week professional internship in Braga, Portugal.
The accompanying teacher of the group was Anikó Szalai, who has a report about her experiences and how her own competences have grown as the consequence of the internship:
„The girls accomplished their internship at Allianca Artesanal Company in Vila Verde, where they could get to know the traditional Portuguese embroidery techniques. Fortunately, I could take part in it and I could see special and exciting formal solutions. The origin of their hand-made embroidery goes back into the 17th century („Valentine handkerchiefs”). These handkerchiefs were made by girls, who were in love with those boys they wanted to conquer to express their emotions.
Poems and different symbols (key, heart, pigeon) were put on these lovely objects. If the man was wearing this handkerchief in public, then he accepted the love of the girl. These motives and symbols were taught to us uniting past and present. During the internship we combined these traditional Portuguese embroidery techniques that we had learnt previously with the Hungarian traditional patterns, then we created our own designs.
The Allianca Artesanal Company has been organizing its Valentine’s Day Fashion Competition for 15 years, where wide range of products made by the traditional motives are shown and the most creative collections are rewarded.
After arriving home, me and my students decided to apply for this Portuguese fashion show (Gala Namorar Portugal) with some pieces of clothing with all those unique technical methods and ornamentations that we could learn in Portugal. As a result, our students combined these traditional Portuguese embroidery techniques with the Hungarian traditional patterns and created their own designs. They used these mainly hand-made embroideries on clothing, shoes, jewelleries and everyday objects as well.
I have had a lot of experiences, that I will never forget. Portugal is a very hospitable and recipient country with traditional customs and lifestyle. It is not a usual opportunity to get to this part of Europe and see the ocean. It was also my aim to improve my English knowledge, get some more professional knowledge and experiences, and make new friends, as well. It was also a lifelong experience, a good opportunity for self-knowledge, adjustment and initiative, and to get to know our world a little bit more. To tell the truth, during our stay our world vision have enlarged, and we have become more open to other people’s culture, culinary habits, temper and work ethic, as well."
Eventually it was a successful project, as both collections were shown on this Valentine’s Day International Fashion Show in Vila Verde. It has shown us that learning in adulthood can be productive and it can also be a good example for effective lifelong learning.
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