In the context of UNITA-Universitas Montium, two programmes of this kind took place in November at West University of Timișoara, Romania. These BIPs had specific tematics, closely related to two of the main focus areas of the Alliance: circular economy and cultural heritage.
The first BIP, entitled Randopat-Heritrail – Mushrooms, herbs and raw food: practices and beliefs, took place between the 7th and 11th of November 2022 and was coordinated by Professor Dana Percec, PhD. The virtual component of this BIP is scheduled to take place in December. Targeting students from both Master and doctoral level, as well as academics with an interest in intangible cultural heritage, this programme strengthened the research network developed within the Work Package 4 of UNITA.
It was concerned with sharing theoretical knowledge related to food practices in the local region of Banat and with developing practical skills (doing fieldwork and guidance) among the target group. The thematic school on intangible cultural heritage drew in local and regional practices and beliefs associated with food production and preparation in connection with the natural environment.
For most regions in Romania, food which is obtained directly from nature is essential, and so is the consumption of herbs and vegetables, whose cultivation is one of the most important
activities in the farmers’ families. In this way, traditional knowledge was shared between aspects that are accessible to everyone (such as the rhythms of planting, growing and picking various plants), and the information which is controlled only by small or isolated communities, respectively information which is accessible only to a few connoisseurs: picking mushrooms, mushroom varieties, their preparation; knowledge of herbs with therapeutic and/or culinary utility; knowledge of fruits, their cultivation, use and preparation etc.
The second BIP took place between the 21st and 25th of November 2022 under the title Introducing Bs students to Research in Circular Economy, with a virtual component organised the week before. The activities were coordinated by Professor Gabriela Mircea, Ph.D., and were carried out at the West University of Timișoara where students had the opportunity to approach Circular Economy research from a multidisciplinary point of view, the lectures being given by various professors and researchers from West University of Timisoara, as well as stakeholders in the Circular Economy field. It was a beneficial and beautiful experience for students and teachers.