The Guestbook Project is an international project committed to transforming hostility into hospitality, enmity into empathy, and conflict into conversation.
In Portugal, the Utopia500 Project, in partnership with the Guestbook Project is promoting several events, in different settings, namely middle schools, high schools and the community in general.
What does Bulgarian circle dancing, Italian hand gestures, and Brazilian poetry have in common? These were all events that local Portuguese students participated in at the first Multiculturality Day in Valongo!
Hosted by Utopia 500 and the Guestbook Project with cooperation from the Câmara Municipal de Valongo (CMV), the Agrupamento de Escolas de Valongo, the Observatório das Comunidades Ciganas (ObCig), the AMEC - Associação dos Mediadores Ciganos de Portugal and the Instituto de Literatura Comparada (ILC), on Wednesday, 14th June 2017, over 400 students from Valongo gathered at a near-by camp ground to celebrate the first Multiculturality Day, an event intended to educate students about multiculturalism and to celebrate cultural differences.
Photos by: Kristin Hansen (Estonia)
Six tables were present for students to attend representing different cultures from around the globe including Spain, Slovenia, Poland, Brazil, Italy, Bulgaria, Algeria, Lebanon, and the Roma Communities. University students representing each of these countries organized events at the tables to show a small part of their culture. At the Lebanon and Algeria table, local students watched in fascination as Utopian members translated their names into Arabic script. Students had the opportunity to talk with their hands at the Italian table where they learned the meanings to various Italian hand gestures. At the table representing Brazil, students learned about Brazilian literature and discussed poetry. One table organized by ILC had representatives from Slovenia, Cyprus, Poland, Germany, and Spain. The ILC presented greetings and toasts from each of the nations represented as well as common gestures such as handshakes, hugs, and kissing. After completing each table, students received a small band of colored yarn. Once each table was visited, the members from the Roma Communities weaved the different colored strings together (reminiscent of the Roma’s ancient technique of basket weaving) to make a beautiful multicolored bracelet that represented unity of the many different cultures. The bracelet allowed the students to always remember what they learned at Multiculturality Day and the importance of multiculturalism in our modern world.
On 26th May 2017, our trainee Viktoriya Lazarova from Bulgaria, did a new presentation and workshop entitled "Viagens pelas músicas do mundo" (Journey through different musics of the world).
The event took place in Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro, where she led two activities with the students from the Middle School and the High School.
They were happy to get to know a variety of cultures and to listen to music they had not heard before. They were also really excited about having the opportunity to learn how to dance a traditional Bulgarian dance at the end of the presentation. They took advantage of the workshop and decided to perform the dance on June 3rd during the celebration of Children's Day in their school.
Photos by: Kristin Hansen (Estonia)
On 15th May 2017 our trainee Viktoriya Lazarova, did a new presentation and workshop on "Viagens pelas músicas do mundo" (Journey through different musics of the world) with the students of 7th grade of Professor Olga Almeida.
The aim of this activity was to talk about the culture and traditions of countries such as China and Russia, as well as about the influence of the gypsy community in Portugal, Spain and Hungary.
The students had the opportunity to listen to new pieces of music and to get to know interesting cultures. At the end of the event there was a workshop to learn how to dance a traditional Bulgarian dance that will be performed in Valongo on June 14th.
Photos by: Paolo Chelo (Italy)