Germany: International Cultural Festival
By UPF Germany, Rosemarie Leja
An International Cultural Festival, organized by the Advisory Board for Foreigners and the Office for Cultural Activities, regularly takes place in Wetzlar. This year, it took place on June 5. It is always a very colorful and lively event, at which people of all backgrounds and skin colors are represented.
This was a good opportunity for UPF Gießen to actively contribute, and with our own stand/book-table simply to be there. And our choir, ‘Melody of Peace’ (conducted by Violeta Hans) with its international cast and songs, made a good impression and brought joy into the hearts of the people.
Already at the beginning of the event, the mayor made his rounds and showed interest in our stand. As well as a lot of literature, we handed out invitations to the next UPF event on 26 June in Gießen (topic: ’integration and harmonization of cultures’ with Ali Can).
The Origami birds were again an attraction, as were homemade biscuits and warm and hot drinks. A world map was displayed, and each passer-by could mark his or her native land with a pin. People found this idea fascinating!
Then at 15.30 our choir made its appearance. I again realized that with our mix of young and old, we represent eight nations. We gave our best rendering of five songs, and brought special joy to a Jewish visitor when we sang an extra song-‘Dona, Dona’ (the calf). He was moved to tears. Music can really open hearts and move people!
When the choir was on the stage, an announcement was made bringing attention to our book-table. Following this, there was a small rush of people who wanted to find out more, or who asked for literature. Several just wanted to chat and exchange ideas. All in all, this event was wonderful and inspiring for all involved.
A big thank you must go to Josef and Lisbeth Resch, UPF Giessen representatives and of course to everyone who contributed to this event with creative ideas and practical help.