World Cultural Heritage
** Intercultural Challenges in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Spain, UK and Ukraine **
Over the last 46 years the World’s population doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.4 billion. Development of economies and technologies lead to unimaginable growth of traveling, migration, intermarriage, trade and essentially all human interactions. Migration flows make our societies increasingly multicultural, which can happen on harmonic ways of planned migration and immigration policies, and can take the extremely chaotic form, as it happened during the last humanitarian catastrophe in Middle East.
People are exposed to various cultural and faith traditions that once were hidden behind several curtains. For a searching mind the whole World Cultural Heritage is open to be explored and exploited, but this outstanding opportunity sometimes is causing more confusion than clarity in minds and hearts of the people.
Intercultural challenges appear on individual and organizational level. It is evident that societies face the extensive internationalization of businesses. Not a very long time ago it was quite possible to operate your local small scale business activities without caring too much about the international frameworks, trends and challenges, and now the effects of those schemes are changing even local business landscapes in very short runs.
There is a lot of work done on developing intercultural communication skills of the people, there are several legislative and program frameworks which are aimed at raising the efficiency of integration and communication processes, but in reality it is clear that it is not enough. Youth was, is and will be always on the frontiers of all the processes. On one hand it is one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable parts of the society (which is especially relevant for several aging societies), but on the other hand due to its natural flexibility, youth energy and huge potential can be also one of the major forces for transforming the potential Clashes to fruitful Dialogues. To do so it needs a certain degree of awareness and concrete competences to operate in this global village that we live now in.
We feel it is important for youth leaders to understand the characteristics of mono-ethnic versus poly-ethnic culture. We want to address identity change issues in relation to the mix of cultures and migration. However, we want to abstract from the migration process as such and focus on what happens and how to deal with the post migration effect. Cultures can be assimilated or integrated. History teach us the dramatic effects of ghettoization. We want also to touch historical parallels of what happened to Babylonian culture and compare to nowadays Syrian culture.
Armenian Intercultural Story
Belarus Intercultural Story
Georgian Intercultural Story
Greek Intercultural Story
Italian Intercultural Story
Macedonian Intercultural Story
Moldovian Intercultural Story
Spanish Intercultural Story
Ukrainian Intercultural Story
UK Intercultural Story
Story of Abroadship’er Airidas Vainoras from London, UK:
Let me begin by creating a title for this testimonial and a trip: “Intercultural Clash + Dialogue in English = Transenglish”. You will discover the reason of the name very soon.
“On the Frontiers of Intercultural Clash and Dialogue” was held in a beautiful country Armenia, which is situated on the Europe’s frontiers to Asia, where Christianity meets Islam.
It was my first time in this part of the Earth. It is called Caucasus. Only people from flatlands can understand my feelings, when you suddenly move to a place, which is surrounded by mountains. Needeless to say, we, highlanders, have a different attitude to mountains :) And stars, stars, stars which your can’t see in London. I could not enjoy more the silence that nature gave there.
I was so lucky that my cottage mate was Armenian. I am not superstitious, so I don’t care about devils dozen, but participants, who visited cottage number 13 now know what is real Armenian hospitality. It is clear that the best way to know local culture is to hang around with natives – walk in their shoes. We were the participants from different parts of Europe – here Western World met ex socialist ”lager” countries; Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. There was a real intercultural clash. And I think we all together managed to make the dialogue. What can be nicer when Greeks and Macedonians sit together by the same table. Alex (Alexander the Great) will be proud of you guys!!!
All participants represented their countries on ”Culture nights”. It was real fiesta with quizzes and prizes, traditional music, dances, dishes and drinks. We were united like a big international family, when we asked from our ”government” (trainers) trip to Garni and Geghard. They agreed for our demands. Power to the people, as John Lennon sang, so it’s how democracy works. This action was inspired by our Informal leader of course!
I want to say thank you organisers for amazing trip to Yerevan, where we met local NGO, which helps Syrian refugees families. Probably you didn’t know that Armenia has welcomed the third largest number of Syrian refugees as a proportion of total population. This country with its 3 million inhabitants, according to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees), hosted 6 Syrian refugees per 1000 inhabitants. We also had a chance to look around the Yerevan, big thanks for tour ”Oh my guide”. Evening was crowned by amazing dinner with Armenian meals, drinks and live international music. And the sky rewarded us with it’s precious gift – the snow. What can be more joyful present for big kids on the first day of the winter, ah?
“I want to say thank you organisers for amazing trip to Yerevan, where we met local NGO, which helps Syrian refugees families” Airidas Vainoras
During the training course we were shaping our entrepreneurship skills on T-shirt market. It’s hard when you have only one product and a lot of buyers, who are offering almost equal price for it. We tried to solve global problems like refugee crisis on ”Forum Theatre”.
We were doing workshops for our colleagues participants – yoga, folk dancing or drawing sessions. And I had an honour to lead my first workshop ”Transenglish”. So what is Transenglish? It’s a language modification, when two non-english speakers speaks English and start to create new words, new pronouncations and it turns into comic situations. For example, Georgian says “Give me a keys”, but Lithuanian hears “Give me a kiss”. On this workshop we started from basics – simple words from our languages, what they have in common and how they are different. We were making small international (seven-lingual) vocabulary. I largely appreciate the cooperation and respectable attitude of people who attended this session. Transenglish team, thank you / Ačiū!
P.S. If you will participate in such kind of training courses, definitely take extra 3 days (it’s allowed by Erasmus+) to explore more the country where are you going.
Training course: On the Frontiers of Intercultural Clash and Dialogue
Dates: 24 November – 4 December 2016
Number of participants: 33
Participating countries: United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, Greece, Spain, Macedonia, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova
Organizer: ICIRLD and Abroadship.org
Costs: Traveling expenses to Armenia, accommodation, food and programme are all FREE, since this project is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme, Abroadship.org and ICIRLD. The travel costs are covered up to the following limits:
Spain – 820€
UK, Norway – 530€
Italy – 360€
Greece, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia – 275€
Georgia – 180€
Armenia – 0€
The methodological framework used will be based on the approaches and values of non-formal education. The course is participants-based and entirely participant-oriented. Experiences and contributions from participants constitute an inherent part of the Training Course.
Promoters jointly discuss the topics of this Training Course, will share their experiences in the field of youth activities, develop new ways, methods and tools addressing this topics and design new projects, and ensure the multiplication of this project while exploiting the results and educational concept of this Training Course.
- To provide an opportunity for participants from youth work sector for reflection on one the nowadays challenges of our societies in the spheres of inter-cultural and inter-civilizational dialogues;
- To raise the awareness of youth workers on the influence and importance of intercultural communication, learning and dialogue on individual, business and global levels;
- To equip participants with innovative tools and methods, which can be used in their communities in work with young people to support them in increasing the efficiency of their participation in various dialogue processes;
- To reflect on the topics of World Cultural Heritage, needs of its protection and ways to increase the awareness and access of young people to it in order to widen their world-views as well as finding solutions for their today’s challenges in it;
- To empower participants to deal with issues related to poly-cultural society development, identity change as a result of migration, ghettoization problems.
- To increase the intercultural communication competences of the participants and to equip them with multiplying skills to further this work in their local communities;
- To give participants the chance to commonly develop strategies to extend their activities by developing multi-stakeholder cooperation in the sphere of Intercultural Dialogue;
- To develop follow-up projects for international cooperation to further elaborate the topics of current Training Course and involving more participants in the study and social transformation processes.
- The Training Course is open to youth workers and leaders from various countries, who are interested in challenging their own perceptions and are ready to deeply reflect on the topics related to the objectives of the Training Course.
- Have experience in delivering training modules in the field of intercultural learning to young people.
- The Training Course is open for staff members or active volunteers in the NGOs dealing with projects in the thematic field of the training.
- Participants should be committed to take part in the full duration of the project and have a mandate from their sending organizations for the initiation, development and implementation of follow-up projects for young people of their communities in the thematic fields of the Training Course.
- As the working language of the Training will be English, participants should be able to communicate fluently in English.
The event will be held in one of the most popular hotels in Aghveran (50 km away from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia), in the mountainous forest – the Aghveran Park Resort hotel (http://parkresort.am/about-us/?lang=en). It has proven to be able to host international youth activities on a high quality level. The nature is very nice in the surroundings of the Hotel with lots of forests.
The weather in autumn-winter in Armenia is relatively cold so please make sure you take warm clothes with you. Please also keep in mind that the project venue is in the mountains and there might be some sudden weather changes, so you would also need a rainproof jacket.
The rest house is fully equipped to host international projects with appropriate equipment, working spaces and leisure time activities. You will be sharing a double or triple room with another person/s of the same sex, each room has one bathroom. There are towels and bed linen in the hotel. Internet is available in/around the training hall and in most of the rooms.
The chef of the hotel (as well as other representatives) will be informed about the special needs of participants regarding the nutrition (such as vegetarian/vegan food, allergic issues, etc.) beforehand.
Note: The hosting organizations can support you in arranging accommodation for participants who arrive earlier to Armenia or need to stay longer
Travel costs for participants will be reimbursed up to the following maximum amounts:
Spain – 820€
UK, Norway – 530€
Italy – 360€
Greece, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia – 275€
Georgia – 180€
The amounts are set by the European Commission based on the distance to the venue. Please remember that the lump sum will have to cover your transportation from Yerevan to Aghveran and back (20 EUR in total). You will receive a separate document on travel arrangements with a step-by-step instructions.
Participants, who will have considerable difficulties for pre-paying their flight tickets, will have opportunity to collaborate (with mediation of organizers) with a local travel agency in Armenia, who will arrange the travel ticket for them.
ASSOCIAZIONE SOS EUROPA (Italy)
Nordisk Institutt for Trening og Internasjonalt Nettverk (Norway)
Hellas for Us (Greece)
New Faces (Belarus)
Helping Hand (Georgia)
PEL Skopje (Macedonia)
“ICIRLD” (Armenia) is a non-governmental organization, which has a mission to build a world where Cultural Diversity is RESPECTED and VALORISED, where the “Culture of War” is replaced by a CULTURE OF PEACE, and where people from different cultural backgrounds work hand in hand for the solution of global problems and for sustainable development.
Aims of the organization: Promotion of intercultural, inter-religious and inter-civilization dialogue; Conflict resolution and establishment of a Culture of Peace in the world; Consolidation of the potential of representatives of different cultures for the solution of global challenges
Our Objectives: Research of cultural peculiarities of different ethnic and cultural groups as well as comparative inter-cultural research and presentation of results to a wider audience; Research and training courses on intercultural learning on national, regional and international level; Development of a database on cultures of the world; Organization of various international youth projects in the framework of the programs of Council of Europe and European Commission
Abroadship.org (UK) is a centre of learning through mobility. Abroadship focuses on youth and particularly British youth to enhance their opportunities abroad. Abroadship is a non-profit and non-government initiative, officially registered under a Subtiluship community interest company (see the details below) in London, UK.
Our desire and mission is to encourage you to become world’s citizen with tolerance, sympathy and empathy towards different cultures, with understanding and appreciation of environment, with knowledge of interdependence, connection and benefits of collaboration.
We strive to create tools, provide information, organize events, training courses, exchange programs and in all ways possible enhance benefiting from being abroad. We want you to be more abroad-intelligent by: traveling abroad, exchanging abroad, studying abroad, working abroad, training abroad, living abroad, finding friends abroad, collaborating abroad.
Justinas Brikys, a director and founder of Abroadship.org (Subtiluship C.I.C.), will be a project manager and trainer for this training course. Justinas will share cultural insights from the places he lived, studied and worked: Lithuania, Denmark, USA, China, Brasil and UK.
Areg Tadevosyan will be a trainer for this project. He is a youth worker since 2005. He is experienced professional involved in organizing non-formal learning process for young people and young workers/leaders (also one of the promoters of non-formal education in Armenia). He is experienced trainer and project manager, who has organized and run various international training courses, seminars and youth exchanges with non-formal learning methods.
Suren Mkhitaryan is the project manager of a long-term project funded by EU, aiming at developing deprived urban and rural areas through establishing social enterprises. He had long-term experience in educational sphere (also holding degree of international project on education management), as well as was fostering the non-formal educational development in higher and vocational educational sphere in Armenia, also was responsible in a national body for internationalization of higher education sphere, and development of intercultural competencies in students.
Detailed desription: here