21 November 2020
UNESCO & LingoBridge meeting took place on 16 November on “Youth Talks on Tolerance”, dedicated to the celebration of the International Day for Tolerance.
We invited young speakers from Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, Oceania to discuss with the young participants such an important topic as foreign experience, multicultural communication and share their thoughts and ideas about cultures.
The speakers of the meeting demonstrated the importance of strengthening intercultural dialogue through their unique history of exploring different cultures:
Henry Karukuru from Papua New Guinea traveled to Poland to pursue a master's degree. He shared his story of coming from the Pacific region and a culturally diverse country like PNG, and adapting to another culturally diverse country like Poland. Henry believes the cultural shift has opened new doors for him in terms of the people he wants to study and, most importantly, those who want to explore his culture.
Yongjian Si, who was born in China and immigrated to the United States at the age of 8, also lived in Spain, Mexico and Kazakhstan, practicing different cultures, as well as work and education systems. His fascination with language and culture began in high school, where he started learning Spanish and discovered the touching powers of the language: building bridges, connecting hearts and building friendships with "strangers." His dream is to work on initiatives that promote cross-cultural exchange and citizen diplomacy and make it a reality for youths from all socioeconomic backgrounds to benefit from international exchange programs.
Nawel Reunif comes from a family with a diverse background: her family is from Martinique, Morocco and Tunisia and she was born in France. Her experiences in Martinique, Germany, Switzerland and Austria helped her to discover how to be able to understand the world. Now what she would like to do is to do something for the world on every trip, for example: help people in need, take care of the planet and the animals that live on it, but above all, leave a mark of her passage on this planet.
Kimberly Chiseche Makukula was born and raised in Zambia. She has traveled all over the African continent, but she said she had her best experience when she went to the US on the SUSI exchange program, where she gained compassion for intercultural communication. She now works on projects to help orphans and vulnerable women, and is the director of youth leadership empowerment programs. She shared her story of how she got to know her inner self better through meeting people from different cultures. Kimberly also encourages youth to be proactive in exploring different cultures.
Diego Delgado was born and raised in Colombia, he later went to Paris to pursue his postgraduate studies in constitutional rights, and now he works as a lecturer in law, economics and business administration. Diego sees law as a product of culture, and the concept of what is fundamental in every society is unique but historically complementary. Therefore, he said: "I am convinced that the only way to find world peace is through intercultural education."
Annie Luz Perez Parra is a young traveler from Colombia who studies the world through foreign languages. A year ago, she received a scholarship to study in France, where she lived for six months, and understood how cultural differences can shape consciousness. According to her: “Every time I stepped into a new place, I realized that I could always learn something new about history, geography, culture, way of thinking and life. When I returned home, I did not feel like the same person: I grew spiritually and learned to contemplate landscapes."
Camila Garcia Artiles is a young translator from Guatemala. After graduating from a French school in Guatemala, she decided to travel across continents and left for France to continue studying foreign languages. She told the audience about her study exchange in Russia, which strengthened a deep recognition of the global perception of each other.
The listeners were impressed by Yongjian's knowledge of the Kazakh language when he began to speak some interesting phrases that were common among his students in Kazakhstan. He not only surprised the audience with his excellent pronunciation, but also demonstrated knowledge of other languages. He also gave practical advice on language learning to make new friends when coming to a new country to integrate more into the community.
Other speakers also agreed with the language learning part and also stated their involvement through cultural studies in the study of history, cuisine and music. Participants made some notes on preventing racism against others and how we can teach ourselves and young people to be open to each other. The open conversations culminated in some of the conclusions of our speakers on how to be tolerant of others and what we can learn from the experience of cultures and diversity.
What conclusions were made in the Discussion on Tolerance?
-We must pay attention to each other's opinions. We must try to understand the perspectives of others, establish dialogue and build an understanding that will lead to peaceful coexistence.
-You don't have to agree with everything others have to say, but it is important that you find common ground and compromise. We can all share a vision of the world, understand and learn from those who do not see the world from the same perspective as others.
-Everyone should work hard together to find a solution. All participants must be willing to put in the effort and participate fully. Learn to appreciate and appreciate the difference. Diversity is the most amazing thing our planet has to offer. Therefore, we must embrace differences in culture, language, skin color, religion and gender that make us different and at the same time united.
-Connecting with people of different ages and cultures, embracing their worldviews, and becoming familiar with views and cultures different from yours can help you become more tolerant.
We believe in a world where differences are not a pretext for conflict.
Tolerance is respecting and recognizing the rich diversity of cultures in our world, our forms of expression and ways of being human. By being tolerant of others, we can foster tolerance by fostering understanding between cultures and peoples.
Happy International Day for Tolerance!