Prague - Following the Parisian riots, London's bomb attacks and problems with Romanian Romany in Italy it becomes increasingly more difficult to find a multiculturalism enthusiast in Europe.
Some even claim multiculturalism is not possible in Europe. But this doesn't deter Jakob Hurrle and the whole Multicultural Center Prague (MKC) that is launching a festival of different cultures in Prague today.
"Prague is becoming increasingly more multicultural but what do we know about our neighbors who are often foreigners?" asks Jakob Hurrle.
The 5th year of the festival celebrating the encounters and blending among different cultures, languages and religions in the Czech Republic will take place in Prague at the Municipal Library on Mariánské náměstí, at the Kampa Community Centre, and in the arcades of Lucerna Palace and its Kávovarna Café in Vodičkova 36 and will last through October 7.
The festival will also screen documentary films and show photographs made by young people in seven European cities as a part of "Cultures from Around the Block" international project. The exhibition will be presented at the Municipal Library of Prague.
Part of the festival is also an exhibition which will present lives of teenagers from two culturally and socially different localities of Prague focusing on both similar and different sides of their lives. Black and white pictures taken by children from Žižkov and Modřany capture important moments in their lives of which we generally know so little.
Debates, children and the soup contest
The 2nd and 3rd October will see four public debates on co-existence with foreigners, about their lives within the family, at school, in the city and in the street together with us or just around the block. They will take place at the Municipal Library.
One of the debates which will be conducted in English and start at 7 pm on Friday 3 October, will try to look for answers to a question of whether the issue of foreigners living in Prague is different form the situation in other European cities and whether Europe needs a common strategy for integration of foreigners.
Saturday 4 October is mainly dedicated to children. Japanese, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese and Gypsy workshops will teach kids and their parents to make origami, dance a Gypsy dance or to play an African drum and much more.
One of the best ways to learn more about different cultures is through cuisine. Children and adults will have a chance to taste different soups prepared by ethnic minorities living in the Czech Republic. They will be able to vote for the best soup from the choice of Lebanese, Japanese, Romany, Ukrainian and Bulgarian.
See the festival´s program here (in English).