European Dialogue in Málaga

Thirty young adults from Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Serbia and Spain exchanged views on nationalism, the economic and political ideas of right-wing parties, democracy, the rule of law and a culture of dialogue in Europe in Málaga / Spain from 01.-09.12.2023. Assiel and Mariami report from weltgewandt.

Assiel, employee:

Under the bright sun of Málaga, I experienced nine unforgettable days in a lively hostel, where young people between the ages of 18 and 30 from different European countries and Turkey came together. We dived deep into conversations about nation, racism, minorities, politics, culture, and society, exploring not only cultural differences, but also amazing similarities.

Together we experienced more than just the touristic side of the city. The exchange not only created friendships, but also opened our eyes to the diversity of the realities of life. The workshop week showed me that an exchange like this goes a long way towards overcoming prejudices and looking at the world from new perspectives.

Active listening in “speed-darting” style

Particularly impressive was the exercise of “speed dating”. Every four minutes we changed our interlocutors, which forced us to actively listen and express ourselves clearly, precisely and comprehensibly for others. Especially listening, during which I had to be silent for two minutes and follow my interlocutor attentively, gave me deep insights into different points of view.

Experience Málaga’s history up close

The scavenger hunt through the historic old town of Málaga was not only exciting, but also gave me a deeper understanding of the city’s rich history. Each station told a fascinating episode. This helped me a lot to better understand the cultural diversity that has shaped Málaga.

Lessons learned from the exchange

My time in Málaga taught me how important it is to enter into dialogue with people from other countries and to share life experiences. The exchange of ideas not only helped me personally, but also helps to break down prejudices in society. This international trip helped broaden my horizons. And that’s not all, friendships have developed and I have discovered that I have a lot in common with people from different countries.

Conclusion: Growing together

The youth exchange in Málaga showed me that the world is full of fascinating diversity to discover and appreciate. The exchange of thoughts and ideas, as well as the conversations about our cultural diversity, not only bring personal growth, but also promote a world built on respect, understanding and solidarity.

Mariami, Student:

Particularly interesting and instructive for me were the team workshops, in which each country group named the current challenges and problems of their country. These included migration and refugees, nationalism, right-wing and left-wing extremism among young people, and religious fanaticism. Our German team focused on two topics: migration and refugees, and extremism among young people. We became aware that both topics are highly relevant in Germany – and are controversially discussed.

In discussions with the other country groups, it became clear that the acquisition of knowledge and the promotion of exchange between people of different cultures and social groups promote understanding and tolerance. Concrete support for refugees through educational opportunities (language, cultural studies, training), mentoring, and job placement are also steps towards arriving in a new society. To achieve this, however, it is also important that government authorities work together and develop a comprehensive and coordinated approach that focuses on the integration of “newcomers” as a task for society as a whole and therefore makes political extremism as superfluous as possible.

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