Published: Monday, 23.03.2015

Lekenik Welcomes Storks

On Friday, hours before the beginning of spring, the traditional environmental, educational and tourist event “Let's Welcome the Storks” took place in Lekenik. Children welcomed the returning storks and the arrival of spring by reciting poetry and singing in the yard of an exquisite, centuries-old wooden house typical of the Turopolje region.

 The house and the yard were decorated with vivid, imaginative drawings of storks and spring motifs. Children used art to wish storks a happy return to Lekenik and the surrounding area, to roofs and trees of good people who welcome them joyfully and with open arms every year. Performing in the programme were children from SOS Children's Village Lekenik, Lekenik Kindergarten and elementary school Mladost in Lekenik.
“This event was designed to teach children from an early age about the preservation of nature and all its riches, including the beautiful storks, about the environmental awareness and conservation of traditional buildings”, said mayor Ivica Perović in his opening address, later thanking everyone for their participation. In addition to mayor Perović, the programme was also attended by his deputy Marica Zlovolić, director of SOS Children's Village Mario Čović and the headmaster of the elementary school Mladost in Lekenik Igor Rožić.
“As long as people keep their love of birds, they will also keep their love of other people”, said author Rusmir Agačević.
The event “Let’s Welcome the Storks” is proof positive that all Lekenik residents, regardless of their age, are tremendously fond of their birds, the white storks that have been building their nests in this region for centuries, returning to them faithfully every spring.
For the past several years, this environmental-educational-tourist event celebrating the first day of spring and the week during which storks return to Turopolje has been organized by SOS Children's Village Lekenik in association with the Lekenik Municipality Tourist Board.
The traditional Turopolje wooden house or čardak, owned by the Martinić –Bohnne family, was decorated with vivid children’s drawings of storks and spring motifs especially for this occasion, and our youngest residents also welcomed the storks with a special programme.
“They live in harmony, long-legged high fliers that soar in the sky…” Poems and songs about storks abound, as numerous as storks’ nests that can be seen everywhere in the Turopolje region, from lamp posts to roofs of old houses.
“’Let’s Welcome the Storks’ is a traditional event, taking place in Lekenik for the sixth year in a row. This year we were happy to also welcome the students from the elementary school Mladost. We wanted to share some of the customs, traditions and beauty of this region with the children, but this is also a chance for them to meet their peers, to showcase their art, raise their environmental awareness, which is fast becoming one of the priorities in the modern era and an integral part of our daily life”, said Mario Čović, director of SOS Children's Village Lekenik.


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