23.06.2010 -

Towards Community dialogue : Youth can do it

©UNESCO/Z. NaskovaCommunity dialogue activities in Kumanovo

As a follow up to the Photo Contest “Shared Visions” and the National Youth Conference “SHARED VISIONS” held over 15-16 May 2010 in Skopje, FYR Macedonia, youth throughout the country are promoting community dialogue and the importance of understanding each other.

The UNESCO Club “The foreign languages – window of the world” is organizing from 9 June to 23 July 2010 lectures and discussion forums to promote inter-ethnic dialogue among students at the Philosophical and Philological Faculties of the University of Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. The activity is organized in the framework of UN Joint Programme “Enhancing Inter-ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration”, financed by the Spanish Government through the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) and supported by the UNESCO Venice Office.

Concurrently, the UNESCO Club “Community Development Institute (CDI) – Tetovo” and their NGO partners organized grassroots activities promoting the idea of interfaith and intercultural dialogue amongst youth throughout the country. Chief objectives are to promote and to discuss diverse, balanced and constructive views and opinions on intercultural and interfaith issues in the Macedonian society. Young people from different communities gather in activities and projects that enhance interethnic and intercultural dialogue. Forty young people visited diverse cultural and historical sites and monuments in Tetovo on 9 June. A few days later, a visit to Bitola was organized and the participants were invited to a public presentation and photo exhibition on the multicultural heritage of the city.

During their visit to St George Church in Krusevo, on 14 June, fifteen Macedonian and Vlah high school students from the local gymnasium, participated in a presentation and discussion about the importance and the cultural value of this church.  Also on the itinerary was a visit to the Nikola Martinovski gallery to see his paintings and how people from different ethnic groups lived together harmoniously in the past. A discussion about the similarities between Macedonians and Vlahs followed, concluding that the coexistence present between these 2 ethnic groups could be taken as a positive role model for other ethnic groups in the country.  As an upcoming activity, planned for 23 July, the theme of a “cultural revolution”, in the spirit of the Krusevo manifesto will be addressed.  

On 18 June, thirty secondary school students will visit the Centre for Culture in Ohrid – whose natural and cultural heritage is inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage – and will view a presentation on the project “Shared Visions” and on the results of a cultural monuments survey. Representatives from different ethnic groups will speak about the history, the culture, the tradition, and the customs of distinct ethnic groups living in the Ohrid area. The aim is to increase the knowledge that young people have about their neighbours. Traditional meals characteristic of the diverse ethnic groups will be offered.

related news : UNESCO Supports Cultural Dialogue Initiative among Youth - National Youth Conference” Shared Visions”

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