Updated: Jul 5, 2018
What does happiness smell like? To which part of our body is joy connected? Which colour best describes how we feel when we make new friends?
The children in Jelling made new friends today! That’s not just a metaphorical sentence. In fact, lots of new people emerged today from life-sized cardboard sheets: shaped, dressed and equipped with accessories, created from the children’s artistic talents. In pairs, (one person from Røde Kors and one from the Friskole), the kids perfectly collaborated in the creation of those new cardboard friends. They exchanged ideas and suggestions, cut textiles and designed beautiful and fancy outfits. Some of the children worked independently of the adults, setting up a quiet corner of the room as an atelier and a space for chatting.
The kids had to think about what those cardboard friends like the most, what makes them happy, and identify the parts of the body where those feelings are located. When you eat a burger, is happiness you feel in your stomach? And when you play football, is the fun felt in our legs?
Everything, from the names of those friends, to the clothes, to the choice of where to situate the feelings within the body silhouette, had to be discussed, defended, compromised and agreed by the two members of the group.
Letting go of our pre-conceived ideas to encourage others to express themselves, and incorporating all the new possibilities and thoughts in our way of perceiving the world, is something that the children managed to achieve in a really organic and natural way. The new cardboard friends were playing playstation, had money and mobile phones in their pockets and were going shopping or jumping on a trampoline. Many elements in today’s creations show that all the children have similar desires and like to do the same things, regardless of where they are from in the world.
A result of this fluent and mature collaboration between the children of the two schools - young people with completely different backgrounds and experiences - is the choice of the names to give to the newly-created friends: Bob, Finn, Anna-Arme, Lamar, Malil, Kasper. Sometimes Danish names, sometimes Arabic names, sometimes combined, sometimes inspired by common passions. This process of agreement is the best example of the children‘s ability to put themselves on the same level and prioritizing fun over personal preferences.
“Belonging makes a happy sound. It smells like perfume, all sweet. It feels soft and it looks like a happy unicorn”.