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During sessions, the acceptance of the Other with his/her differences goes through exercises but especially through all aspects of everyday life.

Organised as teaching exercises in European citizenship, the thematic evenings suggested to young people facilitate meetings and mutual comprehension.

By organising the meeting of three classes of different countries for three weeks, European Cultural Centres break with the face-to-face tradition of binational exchanges.

Photo F. Cosson

The sessions constitute a permanent laboratory of intercultural educational research. The constitution of trinational groups is in itself an experiment. It provides a tool for analysing representations and prejudices, allowing the overcoming of simplistic oppositions. The dormitory model, a new experience for most young people, presupposes the acceptance or definition of common rules, the development of compromise between different educational approaches. It thus constitutes a daily training in European citizenship.

One has to note that during each session meeting the Other, alive, remains the engine of any work of intellectual training. The Other is never completely such as one thinks him/her a priori. Stereotypes prevent real meeting, and the Other also reveals him/herself more if closer to his/her own way of life and thought. In fifteen days of life in common, this sensitising is done gradually, through friendship and meeting. Language itself is then no longer felt as a barrier but as a richness, a curiosity and a subject for conversation.

intercultural workshops

Based on the work of the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), the European Cultural Centres set up intercultural workshops. These propose structured exercises that take into account all dimensions of communication: verbal, gestural, and visual... These workshops call upon everyone's historical memory, spontaneous creativity and capacity of investigation. Young people, divided into trinational groups, are then given the task to draw up the portrait of the town of Europe that accommodates them (Saint-Jean d'Angély, Partanna, Baden Baden, etc). In the form of interviews with local tradesmen, elected officials, police officers, doctors, teachers... An inventory of places is established, followed by discussions putting forward the solutions that could bring to fruition the proposals offered by the various countries represented by the young people. This tight weaving between diversified intellectual, emotional, and educational approaches contributes to the decompartmentalising of an often paralysed mental representation.

Photo ECC St Jean

the thematic evenings

The thematic evenings are strong moments of user-friendliness and meeting. The first two evenings of the session, a Presentation of the countries organised by participants, enables young people to show to the Other their countries, their cities or their colleges. These ludic presentations (theatre, song, dance, sketches...) are often an occasion for self-derision or "chauvinism" of good quality, which contribute to showing the most diverse aspects of one's culture: folk dances, traditional songs, gastronomic specialities...

The Evening White Card, joining everyone's talents, is left completely free for the young people. During this evening, they organise, present, and create animations. Mixing genres and nationalities, this evening is the occasion to propose a live trinational, multilinguistic spectacle, entirely generated by the trainees. The presence of the team of animation of the Centres is there only as technical and logistic support. At the same time witnesses and actors of this evening, young people propose, in the form of a cabaret spectacle, sketches, dance, song, music, puppets or even plays. Left completely autonomous, young people display initiative, professionalism and seriousness.

The trinational meal proposes a discovery of the savour and gastronomy of the participating countries. The composition of the menu, elaborated in dialogue, is trinational. The meal, prepared entirely by young people, makes it possible to discover for example a German entree, an Italian dish and a Ukrainian dessert.

Photo F. Cosson

A meal with families in the city also offers the possibility of intercultural meetings. Invited and accommodated by families, they discover on site cultural particularities, family life, culinary habits, space distribution, taste, etc.

A particularly attractive evening is proposed only by the European Cultural Centre of Saint-Jean d'Angély, The Medieval Banquet. A true "Banquet Spectacle" is offered to the trainees. All dressed up, they take an active part in the common organisation of a festival to which the inhabitants of the city are invited.

 
 
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 more infos ...
 other web sites
 Website of OFAJ/DFJW
  Franco-German Youth Office
   
 Website of the CEC
  Centre for European Culture of St-Jean d'Angély (France).
   
 documents
 Associate of EICR - CCE
 
   
 Asociate EICR - CCE
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