By taking part in ‘Music and Culture’ Youth exchange, the participants learnt that even though we all come from different backgrounds, and have different social norms, habits and beliefs, we must find understanding and respect among each other. In fact, our human world is a mixture of people where each of us is biased with our own outlook on the world in which we reside. Thus, getting in touch with other cultures different from ours makes us understand ourselves better and appreciate cultural differences. Being interculturally competent represents a huge asset for both personal and professional life of people today. Therefore, the main goal of the project was to promote understanding and collaboration between countries and cultures using music, dances and other artistic forms as a tool for breaking down barriers between young people from different backgrounds. Given that, we want to show young people coming from different parts of Europe that they can combine their cultures, backgrounds and talents and create something unique with mutual effort.
Throughout the project, the participants were involved in various creative activities exploring the culture, as well as each other’s cultural backgrounds. Also, they improved their talents in music, dancing, creating digital outputs, such as shooting photographs, filming and editing videos, etc. during jam music sessions, dancing traditional dances, and so on. Thus, the whole Youth exchange was directed towards engaging youngsters across Europe and giving them opportunities to develop and express creatively in a context familiar to them. The methodology encouraged peaceful, nonviolent and tolerant approaches, as well as was focused on promoting community involvement. Social games night and intercultural evenings were organized as well in order to add to the intercultural value of this project.
There were 60 participants coming from UK, Denmark, Lithuania, Macedonia, Turkey and Spain including 2 group leaders per country. The youth exchange involved newcomers as well as participants who already participated in Erasmus+ youth projects. Furthermore, the youth exchange involved young people with fewer opportunities, such as young people with a low standard of living, low income, dependent on social welfare system, unemployed youth, young people living on peripheral regions, etc. Also, the youngsters involved in this project expressed high interest in non-formal learning, as well as in gaining more information about the Erasmus+ Programme and the many opportunities that it offers for young people.