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“United in Diversity”–Cultural Enrichment.

YE programme “United in Diversity” was an interesting reflection of Europe with its rich cultural diversity.
The programme was implemented by “Identities” NGO (Italy) and “Stella” NGO (Ukraine) in the framework of the “Erasmus+” Programme.
Members of I&W were selected to participate in it.
From January 12 -19,2016 more than forty young people from six countries; Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and Ukraine
came to live together in Pescara, Italy to create a mini model of our culturally diverse world.
However, what does it mean to live in a culturally diverse society?
Does it mean to accommodate to others and lose your identity?
Or is it about the enrichment of one’s own culture and revelation of new values?

 

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No matter how many times you have met people from other cultures, how long you have lived with them,
you still go through the same fears, with thousands of questions in your head,
Who are they?
Are they nice?
Do I need to leave my identity to get along with them?
Or we’ll be able to embrace our diversity and coexist in harmony.
And here you are, you see these smiley, friendly people saying hello in different languages but having the same questions in their eyes, “Who are they?”
And this floating question in the air already unites us.  You don’t feel lonely and lost anymore in this culturally diverse mini-world. We may be different in cultures but not in feelings.
Having in mind hundreds of stereotypical information about different cultures, you create a special mindset and a behavioral pattern in your head to deal with your new acquaintances.
Then you face the reality; six people from the same country, same  culture  and … so different.
And all the planned approaches you have created in your mind, based on preliminary information, turns into ashes because you have  missed a crucial point… individuality.
The problem, with our perception of cultures, is that we always generalize and label people with some features and don’t give space for individuality.
We need to realize that cultural diversity is not only about nations but also about individuals.
Every person is a world with his/ her own diverse and beautiful culture that enriches us and our world.