This year, the ‘Intercultural Week’ will take place between September 15 and October 3rd, 2014 in Bonn. Under the motto ‘Finding commonalities, celebrating differences’, the event, which is now in its 37th year, will be celebrated throughout Germany. 

‘Intercultural Week’ in Bonn to focus on commonalities and differences in a diverse Germany

 

by Nasima Akaloo

This year, the ‘Intercultural Week’ will take place between September 15 and October 3rd, 2014 in Bonn. Under the motto ‘Finding commonalities, celebrating differences’, the event, which is now in its 37th year, will be celebrated throughout Germany. It is a joint initiative organized by the German Diocese, (German) Protestant Churches and the Greek-Orthodox Church. Its aim is largely to achieve a better mutual understanding in a mixed society and work towards dispelling common stereotypes associated with migration. It presents organisations, establishments, parishes, clubs and associations with the possibility to publicise intercultural themes, plan a multitude of different activities in the neighbourhoods and cities and promote an enriching experience of sharing in diversity. This year, the ‘Intercultural Week’ is also being supported by the Integration Division. The programme will focus on migration, refugee and integration policies as well as extremism. Organisations and Associations were actively encouraged to engage in areas such as ‘migration and refugee participation’, ‘school and job experiences’, ‘measures to tackle xenophobia and discrimination’, ‘interreligious cooperation’, ‘resident rights and family reunification’, ‘the daily reality of asylum seekers’ as well as ‘poverty and migration’.

Based on the above-mentioned areas, some of the events will include a city tour with Art historian Anna Graf (Sep 19, 6-8pm, meeting place: MIGRApolis, Brüdergasse 16-18, Bonn) and a film evening with the motto ‘Growing old in Germany’ (Sep 23, 3pm) which will focus on the challenges, fears and hopes of elderly residents of migrant backgrounds. This event will take place at the Nachbarschaftszentrum Brüser Berg in Bonn. Furthermore, there will be a Symposium focusing on dementia and elderly migrants organized by Michael Heveling on Sep 26th at the MIGRApolis Haus in Bonn.

On the culinary side, the Haus der Geschichte museum will organize a special exhibit (running from Sep 17-25, 2014) on the eating and drinking culture in Germany over a 60-year period. Visitors can also enjoy a Sicilian experience packed with music, history and cuisine on Sep 21, from 4pm. Rosella Timis will not only share family stories but also delicious Mediterranean recipes. On site, there will also be an exhibit from the Vera Lust Art School featuring paintings by young school children of different nationalities. Writer and poet Hidir Celek will also offer a literary perspective of refugees with a reading from a selection of fairy-tales and children’s literature, followed by a discussion.

This year, ‘Intercultural Week’ will also host a workshop for those volunteers working with refugees. It will concentrate on intercultural competences and dealing with everyday situations affecting the displaced (Sep 17th, 6pm). As a sponsor of the internationally recognized ‘home visits’ programme for 4-6 year old migrant children, the Bonn Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Learning (BIM) will also present its project on integration. Pedagogue Barbara Schlüter will provide details of the programme and how it works. Another related event (September 22nd, 6-8pm) includes helping migrant families deal with concrete social problems. It will tackle common hurdles (for eg. visiting the Immigration Office) and ways to overcome them.

Finally, among many other activities including an interreligious prayer session (Sep 23, 7pm), there will also be a touring exhibition on ‘climate refugees’ which will be officially inaugurated on Sep 28 at 1:30pm. The effects of climate change on the world’s population as well as the need to protect those adversely affected will be its focus.

For further details and information on the full programme, check out the following link


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