“Waves of Democracy”. At first, it might sound a bit too serious and abstract, but the fact this seminar involved young people from seven different countries who were more than eager to share their knowledge, ideas, and culture was assuring enough that this week was going to be an unforgettable one.
“Waves of Democracy” is an annual seminar organized by the International Education Center – IUC (Denmark) and GlobalCitizen in cooperation with European Movement Serbia where young people gather and work together on sharing ideas for possible future projects, policies and networks which might be implemented within Europe… But there is also another subtle purpose of this seminar which is equally important – having people from all over Europe spend one week together is a wonderful way to build bridges among cultures, defy any stereotypes, and eventually build one more coherent Europe.
There were four of us from Macedonia, three of whom were sent by Mladiinfo. Being new to this seminar and chosen by the Mladiinfo team, we didn’t know each other previously; however, the one thing we surely had in common was the zeal to learn and contribute. We left Skopje with mixed feelings, not sure what to expect…but we knew we were about to have one of the greatest weeks in our lives from the first day we got there… What happened?
The first night was intended to be an introduction night where we were supposed to meet everyone. So, at 8:00 pm we went down in the lobby expecting to see a crowd of young exuberant people chit-chatting. And we did see a crowd, a crowd whose age ranged from 30 to 60+…Actually, that was the only crowd, so we had no other option but to assume that this is it – we were about to spend a week with a more “mature” group of people. Fingers crossed, it might even be fun!!! When they started going out of the hotel, we hurried and asked one girl if this is the WoD crew, and when we got affirmative answer we knew we had to follow….After a long walk to Skadarlija, one of the many beautiful places in Belgrade,a man at the entrance of the restaurant where the group entered made us realize that this actually wasn’t our group…We burst into laughter at how silly we must have looked, and at the same time felt relieved cause we knew our exuberant group of young people was waiting for us in the hotel…