It’s 2011, and Mariangela is 26 years old. She has a degree in foreign languages under her belt and a dream in her heart: turning her love of dancing into a project that can encourage dialogue among people of different cultural backgrounds living in her city, Catania. This is her story.
Catania is becoming more and more multicultural, yet the path to integration seems long and difficult. Aware of the power of dance as a means of communication, Mariangela, who has studied this art form since childhood, begins to nurture the idea of starting a dance company with young people from different cultural backgrounds. With the help of the local Diocesan Caritas, which provides a room for the first auditions and rehearsals, the Compagnia Multietnica DanzaMIR (MIR Multiethnic Dance Company) takes its first steps. Its name is above all a statement – in Russian, the word mir means both world and peace.
Over the years, the company has welcomed young people of different age groups and nationalities: Sri Lankan, Indian, Slovakian, Eritrean, Egyptian, Turkish and Italian. None of them is a professional dancer, but they all have something in common: the desire to share their inner world, their cultural and artistic heritage with one another, and to blend these rich characteristics into a style that incorporates typical rhythms and moves from every country.
Notes from the Half Marathon for Peace in Rome
It's only 7:20 am on a late Sunday morning and usually when I leave at this time of the day, the city is still asleep, as shown by the miraculously empty underground carriages offering a wide choice of available seats! This is not the case today: the underground is already packed with people: youths, families, elderly people, groups of friends, all wide awake and with something in common: everybody is wearing - yours truly included - sports clothes and running shoes.
The stop is the same for everyone - Ottaviano, in the Prati neighbourhood of Rome, not far from Saint Peter’s. In fact, in just over an hour and a half, the first edition of the Rome Half Marathon Via Pacis will start.
Located on the northern Central Kenya, Samburu County has communities that have preserved their culture up to date. Samburu people are semi nomadic pastoralists who heard cattle and move from one place to the other looking for pasture to feed their cattle. Walking around the county, one is in a position to experience the rich culture of the Samburu people. The refreshing Samburu culture has attracted thousands of people from all over the world.
Due to the rich culture of the Samburu people, many people would wish to go and experience the Samburu culture. From July 26th to 5th August, 30 young people and adults organized and went to live with the Samburu people for a period of ten days. During their stay in Samburu, they managed to learn and experience the real Samburu culture.
The young people visited the Samburu people in their Manyattas, cooked with them, went to collect water with them from the rivers, and cooked using the traditional way the Samburu people use. In addition, the group managed to interact with school children in the nearby schools, played games with them, shared their experiences to the students among many activities.
From the ten-day experience in Samburu, the young people came out with positive ways of looking at life. There were lessons learned from the Samburu people by this young people. Lessons that made them look at life from a different angle and in a positive way.
Looking at the world from the perspective of the United World Project, which is also a permanent and international observatory searching for and promoting "fraternal actions of individuals, groups, and peoples," we realized that last summer, our Earth was dotted and enveloped by innumerable actions to promote a culture of brotherhood. The promoters of these initiatives were many young people who - through various forms of workshops – worked hard to heal the wounds of the ‘suburbs’ of our planet.
We have already reported shortly about some of the workshops promoted in Italy (Rome and Syracuse) by the Young People for a United World, but here we will try to give you the essentials of the "Hombre Mundo" (Global Man) Workshops organized by the Teens for Unity in the world.
Chiara Lubich wrote:“A man or woman of tomorrow, will be a person of unity. We have called this person a global person. They are able to take to heart the treasures given by other people from all continents and in turn are able to give their treasures to others."
With this man's vision, last July, around 50 Hombre Mundo workshops took place in many cities in Eastern Europe, Italy, Central and South America, the Middle East, and Africa. It was a real mobilization of several thousand teens, coming from 49 nations.
The purpose of "Hombre Mundo 2017" was to color, through concrete actions of brotherhood, the most "gray" places in the neighborhoods of our cities, haunted by poverty, loneliness, and marginalization, to help transform them more and more into places that can be "home to everyone."
2012 - 2016 United World Project - Youth for a United World (New Humanity)
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