Workshops on intercultural dialogue for students of Slovenian primary and secondary schools

(Foto - splet)The United Nations Association of Slovenia prepared a workshop on intercultural dialogue and is carrying it out in Slovenian primary and secondary schools in cooperation with Slovenian national commission for UNESCO.

In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared the period 2013 – 2022 as the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was entitled with the coordination of the activities which will seek to promote social inclusion and intercultural dialogue with the aim of improving global understanding in the world.

During the workshop, the UNA Slovenia’s volunteers present the students the United Nations Organization, UNESCO, and intercultural dialogue at a high political level as well as in everyday life. The three-layered structure of the workshop enabled the students to learn about the UN not only as a political organization, but primarily as a forum where countries are bounding and cooperating. Communication between countries is based on intercultural dialogue, which is crucial in the international environment.

Volunteers together with the students formed a definition of intercultural dialogue, and then they showed students through practical examples how we in different life situations enter into contact with other cultures and thus create intercultural dialogue. It does not only take place at a high political level between diplomats, but it is present in the everyday life of individuals, even if they are not aware of it. The relations between the members of different cultures in the age of globalization are common and also affect the mixing and transformation of cultures. If we want to live in a tolerant multicultural society, we need to follow some basic principles of intercultural dialogue: respect and acceptance of diversity, mutual understanding and equal status of all cultures.

The workshops on the basis of mutual exchange of experience brought new insights to students and volunteers and made the cooperation even more varied and instructive.

Prepared by: Jana Mahorčič (translated by: Tjaša Pele)