Thursday 23 February
|The project “Youth and Tolerance” on track in Samara|
The training occurred as a part of a project “Making use of ethnic organizations in
After dinner we gathered in the lounge where for the two following days the discussions about the methods and technology of how to spread the ideas of tolerance among young people and Russian and international experience exchange took place. This was when the official meeting took place. The young people of Samara were nicely surprised by the presence of Geert Ates, the head of the European network for international cooperation UNITED, Tatiana Vaitulevich – the expert from the previously mentioned network, Kiamale Kerimova, the representative of the International Forum named after Gaidar Aliyev (Novosibirsk), Olga Grafova from the Jewish Charitable Center “Hesed Sara” in Nizhniy Novgorod, all of whom were invited by the Center for Interethnic Cooperation. After the official part everyone was free to do everything they wanted until the next morning.
In the morning on the May 18 the seminar started with a rather topical question- the communication rules during the training. Ashot Airapetyan suggested a few important moments from his point of view and left the rest up to the young participants. The list created by them was not very lengthy; it only contained 6-7 bullet points, which was a nice surprise indeed. However, the most important thing was that for the first time in the history of these seminars all the participants were very unanimous about what to leave on the list and what to chuck out.
In the end, the young people did not agree only with the idea that the trainer was always right. Evidently, this is one had to be crossed out from the list. All the others were relating to mutual respect.
Later on, the participants had been divided into three groups, each of which was asked to give a verbal representation of such figures as an official, a policeman and a typical young person in the Samara region. Each group had only 7minutes to accomplish the task, after which they needed to swap. In this way, everyone made their contribution in this joint task.
Such was the representation of an official:
A young person:
After having gotten such interesting results, Anastasia Sviyazova suggested the participants to try the previously described roles on themselves while playing an active team game. Afterwards, the decision was made to find out what young people see behind the word ‘tolerance’. For this reason the participants once again were divided into three groups. The thesis - “Tolerance – Patience? - Cooperation between nations? Similarities and Differences.”-served as a starting point.
The first group decided that:
The second group’s results:
a) Respect (for culture, art)
2. Cooperation between the nations:
a) Mutually beneficial cooperation
The third group decided in this way:
Tolerance- understanding, search for consensus, respect for moral and cultural values existing in this world.
Patience – acceptance of what comes your way.
Cooperation between nations is in between the two previously named. The key actions would be achieving equality on international levels, the nonexistence of religion and land division not relating to national differences.
The ideas of the participants were very clear. Each group had found their own approach to the questions. Everything what happened after not only gave the serious situation some clarity but also some sparkle.
The roots of the aggressive behavior lay in:1. Upbringing
2. The lack of self-realization
3. Not being able to control oneself
4. The negative affects of mass culture
5. Sexual dissatisfaction
6. Wish to have everyone’s eyes on oneself
7. Demonstration of power
8. Unfavorable social situation
9. Lack of education, money
10. Alcohol, drugs
11. Social environment
12. Financial crisis
14. Influence of the others
15. Not being occupied
16. Negative experience, revenge
17. Having no support from family
18. Spiritual blankness
20. Ideological imposition
21. Loss of roots
23. Genetic predisposition
25. Fear The problem of violence towards the world and those different to you among the young people exists even abroad, although the ways of fighting it are different everywhere. The participants were introduced to youth problems in countries like
Before proceeding to another section, girls were asked to describe the kind of girls the opposite sex would like and vice versa. Often people live enslaved by stereotypes which affect all the other parts of their lives. After all the groups had finished their work, we asked them to swap and write in additional features. We got such results:
What kind of girls do boys like?
What kind of boys do girls like?
Boys think that:1. Intelligent
9. Of pleasant appearance
The positive girls added:
17. Spiritually developed
After that, we divided them into three groups with a balanced number of males and females. The young partakers were asked to create an energetic dance performance relating to ethnicity, friendship and tolerance in 10 minutes time. What a performance it was! Each of them received a great amount of genuine applause.
Later on, we had an evening of sports and entertainments: playing volleyball and eating shashlyk in nature under the drizzling rain. Despite the fact that it was an official leisure time, people were still discussing the topics of the seminar, exchanging contacts and inviting each other to different events. Nadezhda Osipova, the representative of the local administration, paid a visit to this unofficial meeting to greet the young participants and share her joy about young people willing to change something in this world.
On the May 19 we started our day with the discussions on the results of the preceding day. As usual, we divided people into three groups and gave them the opportunity to express anything they got from this experience. Frankly, the drawings were superb! They remembered every minute of the previous day in details. One of the groups even wrote a poem.
We proceeded with the speech by Geert Atess, the head of the European network for international cooperation UNITED, and Tatiana Vaitulevich, the expert from the same organization. The participants asked them a question: “What kind of events does European youth organize in case of absolutely no funding? After being given some examples they tried to adapt it to their own realities, what made us analyze this question more profoundly. As a result of long discussions, the decision to organize Evenings of Friendship and Tolerance for Students in Samara’s area had been made. They set up an Organizing Committee and set the date and time for further discussions about the realization of this amazing idea.
Since the weather got better, we decided to move our later works onto the banks of the river Kondurch. The idea was received well by the participants. After wandering around for a while, we decided to try and organize a press-conference. In order to let everyone know about the good deeds we do, we have to make use of the mass media. Three participants decided to try themselves in the role of those giving the interview and the rest took the part in the interviewing.