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Inspired by dance with youth community in France

My country, France, is dealing with many different cultural and social backgrounds, due to the immigration. Today, the government does not know how to take benefit from the diversity that our country presents, and instead of taking advantage of that richness, the government blames on it because thinks that immigration is the main cause for the current problems in the society (unemployment, violence, crime..). For me, it's a wonderful experience we are living, full of strengths in the cultural difference.

Those days, I am working at the library in the main city of my region, Annecy, one of the most expensive places in the country. On those sunny days, everybody is going out, with friends or family, to look up to the nice landscapes of springtime, or having good time in the sun. Many groups of young people go for a walk, just "hanging out" with their friends, doing "nothing" as the adolescents like doing it ;) I have been one adolescent too, so I write it knowingly :) One friend of mine, a few days ago told me: "Nowadays, I do not understand the teens. They just hang out, just walk and do nothing each day. When I was young, I liked playing football, roller-blading.. Now they do not like doing nothing".

Sometimes, I go out of the library, to take a breath or to give a call. Today, I was just taking a breath in the sun, in the street close to the library. The sound of a multicultural music came to my ears. In front of me, on the public place, a group of young people was practicing "break-dance". I could see that they came from different social and cultural backgrounds: well-off, or more humble, white, mixed-race or black, very young or older.. They were all dancing together, sharing their passion for the break-dance. The eldest helped the youngest. The practice of their common passion hides the difference between them, and it really touched me.

I've been very moved from what I've seen. It gives me HOPE for the future of our society. It was so beautiful to see them dancing all together. This common passion binds them together, ignoring the differences between them.

It is just a short and maybe insignificant story, but it really inspired me, and I'm just having a good feeling of HOPE and wanted to share it with all of you.



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Comment by Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique on April 3, 2011 at 3:47am

Hi Marion,


We had a similar experience when we were facilitating CLCP in a community of Nepali Youth who were migrants in Delhi. When we asked them to prioritize their dreams, their topmost one was forming a football club. So, we have been encouraging the Nepalese youth to form the club, draw up its constitution, select their office bearers, and so on. Meanwhile to accomodate the elderly people in the Community who were feeling left out, the youth club has decided to take forward all the other issues that this Nepali migrant Community in Delhi comes up with.

So, I learnt that if we allow the Community to fulfill their dreams, they will eventually fulfill our project's objectives too.

Hope this inspires, and help you,


Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 1, 2011 at 1:58am

Hi Marion,


You can share the story in a few sentences and then put some appreciative questions before the group. What do you think? I look forward to the discussion. Geoff recently shared a TED talk on languages. Check it out.





PS: Great to be in touch Marion.

Comment by Marion on March 31, 2011 at 11:39pm

Dear Rituu,


Thank you for sharing your inspiration and the great example from Victoria!


It would be a great idea to hold a discussion on this in our peace competence group. You would like me to share that story? Or maybe start a discussion about a similar subject, about cultural diversity in a peace process?.. I am curious to know more about your ideas or suggestions.. :)



Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on March 31, 2011 at 11:42am

Dear Marion,


Thanks for inspiring me to look at postive aspects of a situation and also igniting my interest in cultural diversity. We can hold a discussion on this in our peace competence group.We can explore this in Community Action day as well. What do you think?


Also wanted to share that  in Victoria, Australia Cultural Diversity Week is held each year during March. During the week, people come together to share their culture, faith and language and celebrate the benefits multiculturalism brings. People particularly school students, ethnic and faith groups, local councils, and the media are encouraged to participate in the events.



Comment by Marion on March 30, 2011 at 11:06pm
Thank you Marlou. I feel a bit disappointed because of the politics in my country at the moment. Nobody trusts in the richness of our social and cultural mixity. The extreme right hand party is gaining ground, promoting more security and more jobs for the FRENCH citizens, to get rid of the immigrants.. About the crisis in the middle east, I heard a minister from the government saying "All the migrants coming from those countries (Lybia, Syria,...) just should be left in their ships and we should make them go back to their country. We do not want them in France" There is less and less humanity and solidarity. That's why that special moment I spent gives me hope in the future.. :) I love my country, I love our differences and I learn from everyone each day ! :)
Comment by Marlou on March 30, 2011 at 10:57pm

Thanks Marion for sharing your positive view on today's life here in France. Spring is in the air and there are so many beautiful things we can see if we look with our SALT glaces on. And we can learn from. Amitiées, Marlou


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