“Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity.”
– Robert Alan

From the 25th of September to the 3rd of October, the “Future in Your Hands” NGO gave us an amazing opportunity to participate in a youth exchange program called “Cul-Eidoscope,” which took place in Abovyan, Armenia.

Fifty participants from 8 various countries gathered to share their culture, values, games, rituals, fairytales, and so much more. During the week, not only we enriched our knowledge about different cultures and their traditions, but also we enhanced our artistic skills, became more flexible and sociable. As a host country, during the project, we visited a lot of Armenian historical places and introduced those to the other participants. Besides that, the participants gained some knowledge about Armenia; we also discovered new facts for ourselves and got to know our country from another point of view.

The atmosphere from the very beginning was amicable; we had various ice-breaker activities that made the collaboration among us easier, gave us the chance to know each other better, and made the further activities more enjoyable.

One of our workshops was the city game, which took place in town Abovyan. The activity was to discuss with the residence and exchange ‘the pen,’ a very valuable one, with any other product that would cost more. It was pretty interesting for the participants from different countries to learn more about Armenian culture, the way of living, etc. Even though we were not expecting that Armenian participants would enjoy the process as much as the others, it was so interesting to see how hospitable, kind, and friendly were our compatriots, after all the difficulties we passed through. From the responses of team members, we can say they liked Armenia and the culture.

Another activity was about national fairytales. We needed to share our national fairytales and then create an international one based on the discussed values. It was a pleasant and exciting experience, and we learned that, in general, we have similar values and approaches. In the end, each team made a performance that made the fairy tale more vivid.

Moreover, we had a day dedicated to our national games. Each country chose the most common and fun games from their culture to play them all together. Armenian team organized the game “Anun goroci,” which in Armenian means “Calling names.” It was one of the funniest days as the games brought back a lot of childhood memories, making us feel like kids again.

The best part of “Cul-Eidoscope” was that everyone was a part of a big team, bringing their own value to the project. The discussions and teamwork activities brought us closer despite the cultural differences we all own. Moreover, while sharing some of our traditions, habits, even the national games, we were surprised to see the similarities we have and are unaware of.

With all the hard work and designation, we created a brochure that represents the topic in more detail and reflects on our work during the project: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dU0S4G6YpN0k_NVcI9yyQ-47byx58QAM/view?usp=sharing

The valuable information that we gathered during the project will be used to educate the young generation in Armenia, including Yerevan and different regions, ensuring that everyone has the right to be aware of the broad topic “Culture.”