International Haiku Competition 2019
On the first weekend of April 2019, a group of students and mentors travelled to Hungary for the special event to mark the conclusion of the International Haiku Competition for this school year.
From our arrival in Budapest, it was clear that this year would add to the strong bonds that have grown between the different schools involved through the history of this project. Our students met their host families for the first time although it seemed they had already been good friends for a long time before and the mentors were thrilled to be back in a city they’ve already had the chance to enjoy through the project and to meet their local counterparts who were full of great ideas for a very special weekend.
Friday was set aside for us to find out more about Közgazdasági Politechnikum, the host school for this year, and both teachers and students had the opportunity to get a tour of the school, learn about the subjects and activities on offer, and even have the experience of attending some classes. It was interesting for everyone to compare the way different aspects of school life can be compared within the different education systems.
After a delicious lunch during which we got to sample some local cuisine, the full group met with other students of the host school to attend this year’s closing ceremony. Instead of having it within the school as has been usual over the past few years, the decision was made to reserve a bookshop-café in Budapest. This fantastic idea allowed us to explore a new location that provided a perfect spot to enjoy refreshments and hear some of the work performed in a space especially designed for presentations and performances.
We are happy to say that a large number of our students were chosen to be included in the shortlist for the 2019 competition which also saw their work being included in this year’s publication. As well as a certificate of commendation from the organisers, they got a copy of the booklet which was specially designed to include pieces of art from a student of the hosting school to show off the work of the young writers to full effect. Our congratulations go to all those young writers who were selected as part of this shortlist.
A special mention has to go to Alja Banovec and Maja Puklavec who were named as two of the four writers whose pieces stood out overall in a special way from all those entered into the competition. The judges praised the imagery used and the emotions evoked in all the poems included in the publication but said that this small group had something extra-special and worthy of being awarded an additional prize.
With time on Saturday to explore the city of Budapest and find out more about its history and sights in a tour organised by the host students, and some free time set aside as well, the entire weekend was a perfect combination of displaying the writing talents of all the students involved, finding out more about our host school and city, and building strong friendships between students and mentors of the different schools which are sure to bring more opportunities in the future.
With that in mind, special thanks must go to Edina Szakács and the team of project mentors from Közgazdasági Politechnikum. As head of this year’s hosting delegation, Edina had the responsibility of organising the final event, the publication, the judging panel, and, on the other side of things, putting together the different groups who required host families for the weekend. The great success of the 2019 project was testament to this hard work.
This dedication to the project is also on display elsewhere and we would like to take the opportunity to thank the mentors from all the schools involved for keeping this competition as a highlight of the school year. We very much look forward to keeping this passion for writing and creativity burning brightly as we look towards the ideas and planning for the 2020 competition.