One of the many routines and regular activities you will experience at our Folk High School in Denmark is Morning Fellowship. Morning Fellowship takes place each weekday and is a meeting for announcements, cultural mini-presentation, local and world news, singing, and for the whole student body to come together.
Morning Fellowship is a really important activity at International People’s College. It is the only time of day where we all meet – besides meals – and can share information, inspiration, and the community feeling at IPC together.
Morning Fellowship follows the same rhythm every day. We get local and world news of the day, get announcement about various activities going on, information about different classes, excursions, and club initiatives etc., and make sure that everyone is present and feeling well. Sometimes teachers or fellow students will make different presentation in relation to classes, IPC’s core values, cultural evenings, or social events, and we will always make sure to sing a song together, since singing is a big part of the life and history of International People’s College.
Community singing has been a part of the Danish Folk High Schools ever since its beginning more than one hundred years ago. By singing together you experience a fellowship – being part of a group and making ‘something happening together’. Furthermore, music is proven to stimulate your brain in ways that benefit learning, and it can touch your heart in ways that reminds you to be present in the now. Sometime people combine community singing with a religious aspect – like singing in church – but at International People’s College singing has nothing to do with religion or spirituality.
Folk High Schools in Denmark have a shared songbook called ‘The Folk High School Songbook’ (Højskolesangbogen), which is one of the most sold books in Denmark though time. The songbook is very important to the Danish culture and society and has been edited for the 19th time in 2021, where International People’s College’s principal, Søren Launbjerg, was a part of the committee to edit the book. Since most of the songs in the Folk High School Songbook are in Danish language, we do not use it often at International People’s College, but we sing popular world known songs instead – like example ‘Fix You’ (Coldplay), Lovely Day (Bill Withers), or Hey Jude (The Beatles). Principal, Søren Launbjerg, will play the piano and lead the singing for most Morning fellowship.
Morning Fellowship is a perfect opportunity for students to share stories from their home countries or subjects they are occupied by. Often topics will be in relation with IPC’s core values and will be centered around sustainability, diversity, human rights etc. The presentations can be political and personal – like for example when a Japanese student told us about the discrimination, she and her family and friends have experienced after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011. For a long time she hid the fact that she is from Fukushima, since people would think of her as contagious and would refuse to take her hand (view more cultural mini presentations below).The presentations can also fucus entirely on fun and games. It is up to the teachers and the current student body to facilitate Morning Fellowship presentations.
Students being introduced to the daily morning exercise of Japan.
Students learn to dance the lancers – a variant of the quadrille dance that was fashionable in late 18th and 19th Royal Courts of Europe.
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