From 18 to 24 August the fourth InterKultural took place in Schäßburg / Sighișoara (Romania). InterKultural is a Youth Think Tank and a special Photo Workshop on European issues for youg people from 18 to 24.
InterKultural was performed by the communication consultant and journalist Pieter Boeder (Athens) and the cultural scientist Prof. Dr. Levan Khetaguri from Tbilisi (Georgia). Both of them are members of „Wir sind Europa“ (We are Europe).
The last day started with the seminar and two panel discussions about topics which had become interesting for the group during the week. We got into the topic of feminism and discussed the differences between Romania and Germany regarding the role of women in society. We could have had a much longer discussion but the exhibition will start soon. We are sure that it will be as successful as everything else we have achieved together so far.
Today, we tried to find out what keeps people together in the society: What are the differences between Eastern and Western civilizations? How did laws change Western societies and what is the difference between ethnicity and citizenship? These are complex and challenging topics.
In the afternoon there was the opening of ProEtnica, the biggest festival dedicated to intercultural dialogue in Europe. First, the Transylvanian dancing group enchanted the square. After that we had the opportunity to listen to a discussion about the festival and minorities. It made me more conscious about it.
Today we got to know each other and the city even better, so everything began to feel less foreign and we became closer as a group. We delved into European values and history, how they are subject to change and how hard it is to define them. We also started taking photos for Thursday’s exhibition, walking around Sighisoara and trying to capture the spirit of the place.
In the afternoon we were going to see Malancrav, which is on the outskirts of Sibiu and the home to many Transylvanian Saxons. First, we visited the church. It is more than 600 years old, located on the top of the hill. We met Joachim Lorenz, the priest of this church community. He is originally from Germany and came to Malancrav to do his one-year internship before finishing his studies. In the end, he decided not to leave.
Our final destination in Malancrav where we had dinner at a very nice house with a beautiful garden. Two women of the village cooked traditional Romanian food for all of us. We had “Supa de pui” (chicken soup with noodles and vegetables) and “Mamaliga cu carne” (polenta with meat). On our way back we had a party on the bus, showing the Romanian music and dancing to everyone.
Everything began when I decided to take part in project Interkultural. One of the organizers is a good friend of mine and asked me if I’d like to come. I said “yes” since I see this as a good opportunity to meet people of different cultures and also have the opportunity to go to Sighisoara, a city I have never been before. My sense of anticipation became even greater when I saw the schedule: Discussing Europe and its values while combining it with a creative project seemed really interesting to me.
In the first two days I met all these amazing people which had travelled hours so that they can come to Sighisoara for project Interkultural. My journey wasn’t quite so long. I travelled for 5 hours by car to get here, from Satu Mare in northern Romania. As for the others, the journey wasn’t that easy. Jasmin for example took the train from Stuttgart to this amazing city, spending over 20 hours to get here. Others came by plane. We are all from different backgrounds and have different mindsets but Interkultural seemed to be the beginning of something great.
The first seminar with Pieter and Levan, our trainers for the week, was on the topic of European identity. Afterwards they showed us a documentary on the challenges of journalists in Syrian civil war. This also underlines why it is important to fight for a united Europe.
It is a good way in which my colleagues and I are introduced to the topic “Europe” and learn more about what it really means to be a European. Discussing and working in teams of different nationalities requires to combine different points of views and mindsets – this diversity is among the greatest strengths of Europe.
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