From 25th till 31st August, In the framework of the project “Identity and globalization – challenges for youth initiatives”, thirty participants have participated in a training course aiming to raise awareness about stereotypes, intercultural learning and communication, and non-violent speech.
The idea of the project came from the fact that the relations between the local peoples and the foreigners and migrants who live in the Republic are marked by stereotypes and a lack of understanding and respect. Mari El has always been a multicultural territory, for Russians, Maris and other ethnic minorities (especially Tatars and Udmurts) from the neighbouring national Republics have been living together since the 17th century. During four centuries, these nations have managed to maintain a balance between them, as they respected each other’s culture, traditions and religion.
However, the recent arrival of foreigners and migrants in the Mari El Republic (students, refugees, etc) has challenged this balance. The local peoples are rather conservative and have troubles accepting “newcomers” on their territory. On the other side, the foreigners and migrants (most of them coming from post-Soviet territories in South Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as South India) meet difficulties to integrate the local society.
This training was organised in the Kokshaysk village. It aimed to prepare local youngsters of different ethnicity to carry activities with their foreign counterparts on the topic of tolerance, intercultural communication and NO HATE speech. Two professional trainers – Irina Protasova and Galina Velskaya – led the seminars and encouraged the participants to come up with initiatives.
After the training, the youngsters will visit ethnic villages of the Republic (where Maris, Tatars and Udmurts live together) to get more acquainted with the local culture of living together.
The project “Identity and globalization – challenges for youth initiatives” is supported by the European Youth Foundation together with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Mari El Republic and the Mari State University.