HCA NEWS Two classes from Brugge win Belgian competition

Two fifth-grade classes from Brugge, Flanders, won a major Hans Christian Andersen competition and are now to visit Odense.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 07 March 2003

Two fifth-grade classes in Brugge, Flanders, the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, ran away with victory in the huge regional school competition to produce the best work of art based on Hans Christian Andersen.

The two fifth-grade classes from "De Smalle" school in Brugge decided to build a "Vertelhoed", or in English a "Telling Hat," which was a big black hat over three feet tall. The students placed various things associated with Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales down into the hat. For example, figures representing main characters in the fairy tales.

As the first-prize premium, 28 students in all received a three-day trip to Odense, Denmark, to see the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. The visit will take place at the beginning of April this year.

As the premise for the competition, the students were given a trunk containing three Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Ugly Duckling", and "The Flying Trunk," respectively. In addition, the trunk contained a book on the life of Hans Christian Andersen, background material on Denmark, and the rules governing the competition.

Over one hundred classes from across Flanders participated and had a completely open field with respect to the form of the work of art - for example, paper cut-outs, collages, a book, and so on.  The only mandatory requisites were that they had to select one of the three fairy tales in the trunk as the basis for their analysis and interpretation of Andersen and that the children should try to think as creatively as Hans Christian Andersen himself, as they tackled the problem.

The competition was arranged jointly by the Danish Tourist Board Benelux, Fyntour, the Danish Cultural Institute Benelux and Hans Christian Andersen 2005.