Youth for Culture – Back to Vevcani 2012: A different way to experience my own country

The exchange in Struga, on the occasion of the carnival in Vevcani, gave us many experiences, including the opportunity to learn how to work in a team, improve our English language, as well as the opportunity to learn about other languages. We also met many people from different parts of Europe, with whom we became good friends. We also had many workshops on which we learned many things. For each workshop we were divided into groups. The groups were formed with people from different countrites. This was essential for all of us because with this kind of forming we got to know each other, we got to know the countries, and we broke every stereotype and every boundry that we had among us. Volunteers Centre Skopje was very helpful because consistently were giving us guidance, in order to help with our activities.

Other thing I would like to mention is that we had organized workshop about Macedonia, our culture and our lifestyle. The main goal was to introduce our country and our way of living, our culture and our history. The occasion of the exchange was the carnival in Vevcani (before the carnival we had a short trip to Vevcani). We had to agree on which mask we will wear, and then we had do make the mask. Each participant gave a suggestion. Then we selected 5 best suggestions, and we voted for the final mask. We chose 2 masks, so we divided in to 2 groups. Each member of the group had its own task. Once the masks were made, on 13 January we went to Vevcani, where each year traditionally is held the carnival which is a mixture of pagan and modern habits. Vevcani’s residents are very good people, we were welcomed really well. One of them even offered his house in order to finish our preparations for the mask.

We saw variety of masks, and we had an amazing experience to be part of this tradition. In this exchange, I learned how to work in groups, but also I had a chance to prove myself as an individual. During the workshops and in the spare time I had an opportunity to make friends from all countries who participated, with hope for further cooperation with them. I learned that we are equal, despite differences in our cultures, customs and language.

Thanks to the participants from other countries, although I am from Macedonia for the first time, I experienced Macedonia in much different way.

Written by Jovana Misirlievski