The Multicultural Festival New Cracovians 2021 has finished!
It is time for a short summary.
The Multicultural Festival is an initiative that brings together Krakow residents of different nationalities, cultures and religions. This year the Villa Decius Association, in cooperation with the Internationaler Bund Polska Foundation and other Partners, invited Krakow inhabitants of all nationalities to participate in shared activities during the 10 days of the Festival. The goal was to provide an opportunity for Krakow’s residents and New Cracovians to meet, and to integrate the local community around the idea of cultural diversity, to create an opportunity for cooperation and integration between NGOs, foreigners and inhabitants of the Municipality of Krakow, as well as to dismantle stereotypes and prejudices against demographic transformations in urban space.
The 2021 Multicultural Festival was held under the slogan “New Cracovians,” which refers to new inhabitants of Krakow coming from the farthest corners of the world, who decided to choose Krakow for their place of residence, work or education.
Within this year’s edition, more than 41 events took place, such as meetings, lectures, cooking, music and dance workshops, themed walking tours, competitions, and social projects to animate the local community and expand the scope of cooperation, openness and dialog.
The Festival was very popular among the residents of Krakow. Interestingly, statistics and evaluations indicate that around 30% of participants attended the Festival for the first time. We are all the more happy that the remaining group of participants – 70% of them – were already familiar with the initiative and decided to participate in this year’s Festival edition.
The main source of information about the Festival was its Facebook profile under the name “Multicultural Festival – New Cracovians 2021”, which reached more than 30,000 users (people who read the information about the event). According to the statistics, 815 people on Facebook declared their virtual participation and interest in the Festival. The average reach of posts was around 400 users.
As part of this year’s Festival edition, it was decided to continue social projects to animate and engage the residents of Krakow which were launched during the earlier editions. Thanks to the continued cooperation with the Krakow Library, the second edition of the “Multicultural Library” project was held. The project aims to extend the offer of the Krakow Library with wonderful albums, history books, travel stories and essays in foreign languages, as well as publications by foreign writers translated into Polish. Krakow’s consulates and local publishing houses were invited to participate in the “Multicultural Library” and enthusiastically joined in the project. Thanks to their combined efforts, more than 150 books were collected and donated to the Director of the Krakow Library Agnieszka Staniszewska-Mól during the Festival.
One of the organized events stood out: the “Tastes of Multiculturalism” competition. The objective was to promote the restaurants in Krakow run by foreigners, New Cracovians, to show the presence of national and ethnic minorities and their contribution in the daily life of the city and its inhabitants, and present the offer of original, multicultural restaurants in our city. Seven restaurants submitted by the Krakow’s inhabitants took part in the competition, Dutch Point, Pistachio Box, Mezzalians, Taste of India, Pan Kimbap, Al Medina, Wietnam, and a total of 537 votes were cast. The winner was Dutch Point with as many as 274 votes. Once again – congratulations to the winner!
The Internationaler Bund Polska Foundation, co-organizer of this year’s edition of the Festival, has been the operator of the Multicultural Center in Krakow since March 2021. During the Festival, it was thanks to IB Polska and the Center that the participants could take part in a number of various workshops and events, including culinary workshops (Syrian, Jewish, Mexican and Romani cuisine), theme walks conducted in 4 different languages (incl. English, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian). In addition to the culinary workshops, the Festival participants could take part in Afro Dance or anti-discrimination workshops, the purpose of which was to show the realities of people who are forced to leave their home. The inhabitants of Krakow also had the opportunity to listen to the stories of people who came to Krakow from Afghanistan and Arab countries as part of two meetings, Let’s Talk Afghanistan & Let’s Talk Arabic Culture. What’s more, the Information Point for Foreigners, operating at the Multicultural Center as part of the Festival, organized an advice day, during which representatives of offices (including the Malopolska Provincial Office, the National Health Fund, or the Town Labor Office) answered questions from New Cracovians. The official profile of the FB Multicultural Center in Krakow hosted a webinar in English on alternative dispute resolution, i.e. mediation.
The Multicultural Festival – New Cracovians 2021 belongs to the Open Krakow program and was financed by the City of Krakow. Open Krakow, since 2016, has been working to create conditions and a social climate that makes the newly arrived residents feel like a full-fledged part of the city’s community.
As organizers, we hope that through the events we organized, both Polish-speaking residents of Krakow and those who have just moved here and are getting to know the city, could feel its openness and the beauty of its diversity.
The Multicultural Festival New Cracovians 2021 would never happen if it were not for the commitment and support of our Partners. It is thanks to our cooperation that another meeting around the common ideas could take place. As its organizers, we hope next year the Festival will connect you as well.
Soon, we will be back with videos from the event. Thank you for being with us!