During April 14-15 of 2016, the Movement for European Action and Initiative Association organizes the Cultural Diversity Forum, an event centred around the importance of diversity as (re)source for development, and invites representatives of newer as well as older minorities, experts in cultural matters, international relations, migration, education, public authority representatives and the general audience to take part in talks and discover the way various cultures have transformed the city we live in.
The event will take place at ARCUB Gabroveni.
The plenaries and workshops organized at the Cultural Diversity Forum follow three general directions:
- Presenting ways in which national minorities have influenced the development of Romanian culture;
- Raising awareness of the impact of foreign citizens who have moved to Bucharest during the past 25 years;
- Debating current challenges that multi-culturalism in the European Union is facing.
EUROPEAN CULTURAL DIVERSITY
During the past decades, Europe has been changing culturally due to its citizens’ freedom of movement, which has led them to set residence in other countries. Adaptation to the new country also depends on a well-structured intercultural dialogue, understanding and respect for other cultures. At the same time, the preservation of one’s own cultural identity is influenced by the activity of cultural institutes, which represent a connection to the country of origin.
OLDER AND NEWER MINORITIES
Historical minorities had a significant impact on Romanian culture and traditions, which can be easily seen after a brief analysis of Romanian customs, cuisine, language, traditional costume, art and literature. Minority integration goes in parallel with the evolution of culture on a national level, the former having a significant contribution to the formation of new traditions, customs and even language. The process is slow, but current inter-cultural relations are evident, cultural diversity being influenced by the presence of new minorities.
THE CULTURAL DIVERISTY OF BUCHAREST – A (RE)SOURCE FOR DEVELOPMENT
The city’s identity, its vitality, image and even its reinvention are products of all its inhabitants, including the newest of them. The diversity that we enjoy in Bucharest today is the contribution of foreign citizens who have made it its home since the ’90s and who, by expressing their national culture and interweaving it with Romanian values, create a new and exciting landscape, admired by locals and welcoming for foreigners.
INTEGRATION OF FOREIGN CITIZENS INTO BUCHAREST SOCIETY
In the European context that is worrying for many states, we cannot ignore the issue of the refugees and the challenges afferent to correct integration into the new European societies. The presentations included in this workshop aim to identify, raise awareness and inform on the challenges of integrating immigrants and refugees in Romanian society. The workshop will bring an overview on this issue, as well as focused input on the difficulties faced as well as the success stories encountered.
BUCHAREST AND OTHER CULTURES
We must admit that the past 25 years have brought a dramatic change to the city’s cultural aspect. The contribution of foreign citizens established here after the ’90s cannot be denied. The mechanism that harmonizes foreign cultures with the local one have turned Bucharest into a cosmopolitan, dynamic, welcoming capital, that gives everybody a chance, does not discriminate, reinvents itself, adapts itself and becomes a good example of integration and assimilation of diversity.
EDUCATION FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Taking into account the experience of the Movement for European Action and Initiative Association in the field, an important part of The New Minorities of Bucharest has been the educational component. Over the course of five months, 170 high school students took part in the creative workshops carried out within the project. The forum will present a study on the impact of these workshops in promoting tolerance and stimulating intercultural dialogue and will show the works of art created by the participants. At the same time, Îndrumarul de educație pentru diversitate [A Guide on Education for Diversity], will be launched, based on documentary Sunetele Bucureștiului [Sounds of Bucharest].