Festival is an initiative that brings together people of different nationalities, cultures and religions, encouraging them to spend time together in an atmosphere of tolerance and cooperation, beyond the concept of borders and despite social distance. Thanks to its historical and cultural values, Krakow is one of the most important centers of foreign and domestic tourism. At the same time, Krakow plays the role of an academic center, educating every year crowds of students coming from abroad, for whom for the time of their studies our city becomes a new home. It is also a place chosen for work by many foreigners.
The restrictions caused by the Covid-19 virus have forced us to change our current functioning. Face-to-face meetings have been replaced by online conversations. Spontaneous trips to a restaurant, coffee or theater were limited to four corners of our apartments. Meeting new people, their stories and experiences from one day to the next became something difficult, even unattainable. Today, the idea of meeting together takes on a new meaning and becomes a necessity.
Considering all the circumstances, the Villa Decius Association wants to organize the Multicultural Festival – New Cracovians, which will be held on November 26 – December 3, 2020, in compliance with all safety and hygiene procedures. During 10 days, the Festival will offer the inhabitants of Krakow events and initiatives in a hybrid form, and organizations working for foreigners, Culture and municipal institutions, Krakow restaurants and the local community will be invited to cooperate. All activities will be adjusted to the prevailing restrictions.
By organizing the Festival, SWD and partners want to add another building block to the long-established positive image of foreigners living in Krakow. Our goal is also to integrate non-Polish speaking communities with indigenous people. Foreigners and their cultures have a multifaceted impact on our lives. We must remember that other cultures enrich our daily life and make it more joyful. It is also a chance to show people who have been forced to leave due to the situation caused by the Covid-19 virus that Poland remains a country open to their presence.
The program of the Festival will include events and activities guided by the slogan “in the power of solidarity”. Thanks to online painting workshops, we will paint pictures together in our homes, which will later create a virtual gallery of solidarity. Multilingual posters will appear in Krakow, designed to bring a smile to the faces of Krakow residents and emphasize the idea of community. The events also include multi-cultural guided walks in several languages, incl. Polish, English or Ukrainian. Drawing attention to the ecological aspect of the city, among the events of the Festival we can find the action: “Let’s create a virtual garden”. Festival participants will receive plant bulbs from various countries that can be planted in their homes. Recipients will be asked to take a photo of the plant. Language schools and teachers willing to cooperate will be invited to play “tongue twisters” – in accordance with the principle that learning is best through play. During the Festival, we cannot forget about foreign restaurateurs who have recently encountered many difficulties. By promoting the customs and culinary traditions of foreigners, we will invite Krakow restaurants to cooperate. In these places we will order dishes and products for the participants of the Festival. Within 10 days there will be plenty of space for meetings and talks. Meetings with foreigners will build a sense of solidarity and will allow us to increase the level of our awareness and knowledge about the culture and customs of other nationalities. Conversations, like no other event, give the opportunity to polish the language, influence new communication skills and break down the cultural barrier. For the participants of the Festival, there are also workshops that allow them to acquire new skills, such as embroidery workshops or Ukrainian cut-out workshops.
Acting in accordance with the principle that together we can do more, we invite all willing organizations working for foreigners, city institutions, cultural institutions, restaurateurs from Cracow and the local community to cooperate. We are convinced that “there is enough room for everyone”. Let’s meet!
Please send your suggestions for cooperation to this e-mail address:
- Mamerta Strugała: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the movie Multicultural Festival 2019: https://fr-fr.facebook.com/WillaDecjusza/videos/3467665066640442/