Eastern Europe and the Baltic States

All Around This World’s classroom and homeschool lessons about Eastern Europe for kids introduce your family to Eastern European cultures through interactive fun . . .

In Eastern Europe and the Baltics the grand jumble of passionate and invigorating musical genres find their inspiration in ancient, culturally rich traditions of the Turks, the Slavs, the Magyars, the Roma and the Jews.

While some Eastern European music developed in staid church settings, much literally began in the village square during weddings, festivals and other community celebrations where music was public, joyful and intended to make everybody dance. From the playful, often-mournful Indian-originated music of the Romani to awe-inspiring Balkan Brass, from tongue-in-cheek klezmer to rapid-fire, accordion-rific polka, from trance-like Bulgarian vocal ensembles to Islam-influenced Bosnian sevdalinkas, some Eastern European genres are just plain moving, while others are so rhythmically engaging that when you hear them, your body can’t help but move.

If you’re not in an All Around This World classroom but instead you’re following along at home, you can still enjoy our lessons about Eastern Europe for kids:

— Russia: we join the Red Army and kick our legs up high while doing the kalinka.

The Baltic States: we join an imaginary Estonian chorus composed of 30,000 of our closet friends and also wrest our nations free from the Soviet Union by holding hands “the Baltic Way.”

Belarus: we search for the elusive fern flower during kupalle.

Ukraine we and the Hutsuls do some wild dancing.

Poland: we get the excuse–and we’ll take any–to polka.

The Roma and the Jews : we depart from any specific artificial borders and meet the Roma and the Jews who live all over Eastern Europe–or used to–and always found a way to make music

The Czech Republic we travel trough Czech history with the Plastic People of the Universe.

Hungary we dance the csaradas, “The Tango of the East.”

Romania: we try the the tricky cadaneasca.

The Balkans: we might not be able to make much sense of the complicated conflicts in the region, but at least we can all dance to Balkan Brass and wish each other a happy Vasilica.

Bulgaria:  we end our journey by getting married wedding as Bulgarians have for 500 years–with lots of traditions and asymmetrical dance.

Explore these All Around This World songs from Eastern Europe and the Baltics:

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