< SWITCH ME >
“Do you speak European?” At times one may think that there is an easy answer to this question: no, I speak German. But there are also times when one may wonder if this easy answer is right or even good: the “Do you speak European” workshop is one of these times. When different people come together from different places to experience being together with all senses – they act together, sing together, dance and cook together – there is certainly something, be it a common language or a just a common state of mind.
Tina (Germany - leader of the workshop)
|Photo: Tina Gotthardt|
Did this workshop fulfil your expectations?
I would say that it even exceeded my expectations. I was afraid that people might not be eager to work or to cooperate in multinational groups. But there were no objections. Everyone was really excited by the opportunity of working together in mixed groups. The only problem we had was punctuality, because some of the people got used to coming late. But in fact everyone was working very independently. And what makes me most satisfied is that everyone was enjoying their work.
What was the funniest moment of the workshop?
For me it was when people were presenting their ideas for a European Snack and the marketing strategy for it. They were doing it with real passion. And when it came to defending it in front of our judges it made me laugh so much that I couldn’t even take photos.
Today was the fourth day of the “Do you speak European?” workshop and it was one of our favourites so far: Today, we talked about life and love. What does life mean to young Europeans? How do you see it? How would you draw your future life on piece of paper? These were some of the questions we tried to answer today, and the result was a really funny and multicultural exhibition of visions about life. Let us introduce you to four different drawings we thought were particularly fascinating.
When you looked over the works exhibited on the walls, a very colourful one would draw your attention: Kristi’s perception of her future life. “I chose a rainbow, because everybody has a rainbow in their life. Every single colour represents something important for my life.”
If Kristi’s drawing caught your eye with colours that hide a deeper meaning, you could find a different approach to life from Cristina. “I drew a boat as a metaphor of life and I’m the captain of my own life. I choose when to start a trip, I choose my destination and the people I let into my life."
What do you believe in? That was the question posed to us today early in the morning. In principle this question can draw our thoughts to the idea of religion (if we have one); however, as was explained with Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa quotes, it was more than that. At the beginning I thought, "oops, this is going to take me time to figure out." Luckily it wasn't too bad! Surprisingly, in just a manner of seconds I knew exactly what I wanted to write: "I believe in love and trust, because I think they are the key to happiness." The reasons why this came to my mind would take me another article. I just have to say that my beliefs come from my life experiences, that is what life has taught me.
"I believe in love and trust, because I think they are the key to happiness."
"Are you hungry? – Are you European?" The inventors of EuropeAndMeal presented their idea of a multinational sandwich. They had entered the competition to find "The future European snack", the next big thing in Europe's food industry. And, somehow they managed to convince a very harsh jury of well-known cooks, food critiques and experts for European identity from the University of Leiden.
Today, the "Do you Speak European?" workshop was all about food and traditions in Europe. When it comes to birthdays though, we should almost hope that not all national practices will make their way into a common European culture - they can be quite disturbing! In Poland you get hit with a belt on your 18th birthday, in Germany you get publicly humiliated if you are not married at 30 and in Spain people might pull you by the ears. Marriages can be challenging as well: In some regions of Romania people dance with chickens on their heads and in Slovenia men debate about the price they would pay for the bride… if you are really unlucky, it is just around 400 Euros.