29 Sep 2005
Where do I belong to - English
Where do I belong to?
September 2005, Brno, Czech Republic
Identity is very important, no matter how old we are. For us, the youth, it is even more important due to the fact that we are trying new things, experiencing different places and meeting people from many social, cultural, etc. backgrounds. Such experiences help us in finding ourselves.
From the 10th of September until the 20th of September 2005, an international group had the chance to be part of all those previously mentioned, taking part in a variety of activities, inside a project called “Where do I belong to?”, near the city of Brno, Czech Republic. The group was made out of 5 countries, that is Poland, United Kingdom, Italy, Czech Republic, and of course Romania, each of them represented by 8 students and a group leader.
The project took place in 3 different locations: the city of Brno, a lovely university town, with several choices of activities, with great cultural diversity; a mountain camp, near Podhradi nad Dyji, a location pretty much isolated, where the main noise was due to the nearby river; and the Velke Bilovice village, where tradition was an understatement, without having any trail of aging.
In order to assist the identity-image building, along with testing different locations, each participant had the chance to build a “body” that reflects his/her own person. Taken from upside down, this “body” starts with a straw hat, designed and manually built by each of us. Nobody thought that the patterns will be so different one from the other. The follows a T-shirt, colored after each personality. And interesting observation came from those who assisted us with all these handy-crafts: many T-shirts were full of colors, meaning that people were still looking their own way in life, even though many were in their last year of university, and the prejudice is to believe that all of them have already self-defined themselves.
As a more obvious link to the time spent in Czech Republic, the part of pants, which used recycled newspapers by each of us, included photos of us highlighting each participant in different situations. I skipped one element, due to strong reasons. The plaster mask! Yes, it’s true. Although many people hesitated at first, finally the majority had one-to-one copies of their own faces. The experience is unique, and impossible to put into words, bringing out fears, trust in others, new sensations and also an unseen way to “frame” your own face.
With respect to testing the three locations, the activities have been specific to each of them. Hence, in the mountains there were sports, along with clearing the path towards the camp. The village Velke Bilovice offered the possibility of living a day of work in the orchard and in a wine yard, but we also took part at a wine celebration, an old tradition of the region, along with wine tasting and learning to dance polka. I need to stress out the situation of foreigners in Brno, which we also checked out. We had to test the city concerning its facilities offered to foreigners by the local institutions, and also by the inhabitants of the city with their level of speaking an international language. It is already too much, but I cannot forget about the visit to the Brno Automotodrom, where he were able to drive go-karts and be part of a special tour of the whole circuit, rolling down straight on the track.
I cannot forget about the national evenings either, where each group shared a bit of its culture and its national life as a whole. We were neck at neck with the Czechs at the national evenings spent in the village. You shall decide if a Romanian movie, followed by hominy with cheese and sour-cream, along with eggs and Maria Tanase (traditional old music) is higher or not than a Czech winery, with specific songs, and a great finale, which was tasting more than seven types of wine.
One last aspect needs to be highlighted, which is without a doubt one of the first in its importance. This type of international projects gives the possibility to build links between the involved institutions. Therefore, the students of the Romanian-American University had the chance to meet those of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, those of the University of Studies, Sassari, Italy, and of course those of the Sting Academy, Brno, Czech Rep. Beginning with this moment, the horizon has considerably enlarged.
In the name of each participant, we thank the organizing Czech group, that is Antonin Schneider, Savina Finardi, Lukas Trcka, Jirina Krobova, Zuzana Valesova, Lenka Holeckova, Aneta Petrova, Pavla Vitkova, Milan Vyhnak and also David, Itka and Mirek.
Participants of the Romanian-American University:
Ruxandra Teodoru, Mihai Homorozeanu,
Vlad Andronescu, Dragoş Pop,
and Estera Piroşcă.
Website - www.towheredoibelong.euweb.cz