The Internation Intercultural Festival "Dialogie of Cultures" generally aims to facilitate the processes of Cultural interaction, learning and dialogue in the broader context of globalization, with special stress on the leadership role of youth in these processes.
The project objectives are to introduce a group of active young people of different national and ethnic backgrounds to the basic concepts and practices of Intercultural Learning and involve them into intensive intercultural communication exercise in the format of cultural presentations in the categories of national art, music, cinema, dance, and cuisine.
The idea of Intrecultural Festivals was first developed in 2006 after series of training events organized by the International Center for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue (ICIRLD) on the topics of Intercultural Dialogue and Culture of Peace both on national and international levels. The idea was to combine in depth exploration of cultural pecularities of young people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds with educational modules on Intercultural Learning and Culture of Peace using the toolbox of Non-Formal Education.
This idea was supported by Pan-Armenian International Youth Center Foundation and the first festival was organized involving 50 participants from 9 nationalities (Indian, Armenian, Syrian, Iranian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarus, Georgian and Asyrian). Mainly young people living in Armenia took part in this festival, including international students studying in Armenia as well as representatives of national minority communities. The festival had a great success, so it was included in the annual plan of the Foundation.
The next year, in 2007 the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs also joined the partnership and provided part of the funding from the State Budget on youth affairs. ICIRLD was again the main expert organization responsible for the content, management and educational parts of the project. This time 90 participants from 12 nationalities joined the festival. Amongst them there were already 5 delegations that arrived from abroad. This festival was dedicated to the All Different All Equal Campaignof the Council of Europe and received an award within“Young Active Citizens” Project competition ran by Youth Directorate of Council of Europe.
The Intercultural Festival of 2008 was then again organized by ICIRLD in cooperation with the Pan-Armenian International Youth Center Foundation and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of RA. This time the number of participants was again extended; especially the number of international delegations. All in all 120 paricipants took part in the Festival from 20 nationalities. This year the fetsival was dedicated to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue announced by European Union and the event was included in the list of activities of that thematic year. plan of thie year. It is interesting to mention that some of the international delegation were strongly supported by their respective youth affairs ministries (e.g. Syria, Egypt, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Lithuania).
After 2009 due to the world economic crisis the Festival did not take place and it was stopped till 2013. In 2014, ICIRLD in coooperation with its Norwegian partner – Narvik Senteret revived the idea and realized the youth exchange project “Dialogue of Cultures-2014” keeping the same format and concept but adapted the activites to the requirements of Youth in Action Programme of European Commission.
The Festival program includes:
- Icebreakers, i.e. interactive games facilitating introduction of the Festival participants to each other and their joint activities. The games are led by the trainers and are played by all participants;
- Team Building Exercises, i.e. games that help develop team spirit and team work skills in achieving a particular task, for example building a paper bridge. The games are led by the trainers and played by all participants;
- Introduction to Intercultural Learning theory, models and concepts through oral and visual presentations by the trainers, i. e. Power Point, slides, and scientific The presentations are followed by Question and Answer and Short Discussion sessions;
- Group presentations by participants of their native countries and cultures basing upon the history, geography demography, nature, architecture, sculpture, religion, rituals, music, dance and other aspects. The presentations are based on the CD, DVD, audio-video, photo, poster and other visual and audio materials brought by the participants. The participants should perform national dances and songs themselves. The 3 best performers get prizes and certificates of appreciation;
- Presentation and learning of national games;
- Competition on the best knowledge of World Architecture, Music. The winners get appreciation certificates;
- Excursion to historical places in Armenia. The participants learn about the historical and cultural heritage of Armenia;
- National Cuisine Day. Participants break down into mixed groups with 4 people in each, where 2 are external assistants to the core ethnic group. Each group makes national dishes. In this way the participants learn from each other. The groups present their separate tables with the dishes they cooked during the National Cuisine Day. The 3 best groups get prizes and certificates of appreciation;
- Contemporary, national dances – dances and games on the basis of the musical materials brought by the participants.
- Screening of documentary and other movies brought by the participants;
- Project wrapping up, evaluation and follow up, i.e. the participants evaluate the project, their own experiences received as a result and forward their remarks and suggestions for more effective implementation of the next Festival and other relevant projects.
- The format of the Festival includes both learning and creative elements.