Christmas parade

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Zofia Zaba teaches A-level Polish at the Polish Saturday School, Manchester

I knew about the tradition of crib-making, but this opportunity to see their variety and detail is very special - and there are lots of things I wouldn't have noticed or understood without our guide. I recognised the traditional figures, such as King Herod, but there were also contemporary references - figures of pop singers and the Polish president Aleksander Kwashiewski. It helped the cribs come to life and seem more relevant.

I've taken one group already and we plan to go back with the whole school.

It makes a great basis for history and writing projects. The children responded to the colours, of course, but most of all they were fascinated by the work needed to turn these flimsy odds and ends into such imaginative forms. These are not made by professional artists, but by ordinary people.

The Lowry is such an impressive place and this exhibition has been a great inspiration. I'm determined to visit the Krakow Historical Museum and see the whole collection.

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