14 June 2014

An unofficial cultural nights' guide for the official Erasmus+ program

Do you want to know all about getting ready for a successful cultural night in the Erasmus + program? 
GEYC gives you 7 easy steps in order to get you started for an amazing intercultural experience.

So, you've been selected to attend an activity in the Erasmus+ program. 
As you are probably well aware of, Erasmus+, as a continuation of the Youth in Action program, focuses on developing a vast range of competences, increasing youngsters' employability and offering new chances of education and training for young people.
What else does it focuses on? Intercultural exchange! Yupp, that's right, by participating in the Erasmus+ program you get to share your customs and traditions with youngsters from different corners of Europe and to satisfy your curiosity regarding other cultures. 
You have the opportunity to do so throughout the project, but mostly during the cultural nights.
So, what is a cultural night, you may ask. 

A cultural night is an activity through which participants present their country, cities, traditions and customs, while allowing the audience to get acquainted with the inside perspectives of a certain culture. It is also a possibility to taste local cuisine and find out more information about specific places or get enchanted by local music, legends or myths. 
Are you thinking there's too much to share and you don't know where to start?
Here are 7 easy steps for you to successufully represent your country in an Erasmus+ cultural night:
 1. Wear traditional clothing (does your grandma still have a hand-made shirt/skirt at home? bring it along, everybody will be fascinated with the meticulously sewed details).
 2. Play traditional music (do you happen to play an instrument also? be sure to learn a traditional song for some extra flavour).
 3.Make a short presentation with the most relevant info about your country (include big cities, must-see places, local customs and some unknown facts; you can also include quizzes or other games, release that creative flow).
 4. Share personal stories (did you happen to spend your summers at your grandparents' house in the countryside and you have million stories to share about local festivals happening there? share them with the group, everybody will love it)
 5. Bring along traditional food and beverages from your region (make sure those are easy to transport and don't expire on the way / also make sure you know the rules of the project regarding beverages, ask the organizers for more info before preparing the cultural night)
 6. Cook a traditional meal on the spot ( are you a wizard in the kitchen and know tons of traditional recipes? try impressing the other participants by cooking a meal for them using your secret ingredients from back home).
 7. Shake it on the dance floor, the old-fashion way (do you have the moves and know all about the way they used to dance in the old days? make sure to teach the other participants a trick or two).

And remember: try to enjoy every bits of it. The more you love it, the more the others will start loving it also and the more they will become interested in discovering your culture.