Dancing for diversity
The Flash Mob on the streets of Kumanovo
Over a period of couple of months the students attending the dance and animation classes worked very hard to create a dance program as the cultural component within the frame of the Kumanovo’s Multi-Kulti Youth Center. The goal was to facilitate interactions among students of different backgrounds and positively influence the students’ attitudes toward each other’s language and culture, ultimately reducing prejudice. The outcome revealed that dance can be a powerful tool for attitude change toward the “Other”: the other language, the other culture, the other classmate.
In June 2010, during the Open Day event organized by the Multi-Kulti Youth Center, the activities of the Youth Center were promoted on the city square in Kumanovo. The event was well attended by the local population, municipality officials, young people and the media. The event culminated with a flash mob activity named “Dancing for Diversity”, a choreography that was implemented by around 100 young people from different ethnic background, all participants in the Multi –Kulti Youth Center.
The flash mob activity aimed at promoting the inter-ethnic dialogue in a creative way, and showed a wider population in Kumanovo, that the young people from different ethnicities can accomplish so many things together. The event concluded with a great dance party on the square that was initiated by the young people present at the event. It was a wonderful picture to see young Macedonians, Albanians and Roma dancing and communicating together mediated by the language of music and dance, ending up understanding, accepting, respecting, and even embracing each other’s cultural values and beliefs.
Within these several months of establishment, the Youth Center has become very popular among the youth in Kumanovo, and daily there are many more students willing to accept the way of diversity and overcome stereotypes and prejudges.
To find out more about the Joint UN programme “Enhancing Inter-ethnic Communication and Dialogue” visit the UN web site at http://www.un.org.mk/