IntegRAre! Colourful Life – Diverse Košice was the name of the public event organized by ETP Slovakia in cooperation with the Center of Social
and Psychological Sciences of the Slovak Academy of Science. It was held on January 23, 2019 in the popular Cinema Úsmev in Košice.
During a nearly three-hour event, the audience of a hundred people were involved in the personal stories of representatives of minorities who live in Košice and who create the variety that is Košice. The speakers were residents of Luník IX and people who had moved to Košice from all over the world. They reflected the topics of co-existence, mutual acceptance and acquaintance. Most inhabitants are aware of the history of multicultural Košice, but many do not know that in the streets, trams or shops they can meet those who fled their own countries as refugees or came to the City because of interesting study opportunities. While being aware of the Roma ghetto in Luník IX, most people of Košice have no idea about the dreams and aspirations of the young people living in this segregated place.
Personal stories and the experience and opinions of four skilled Roma and four foreigners from Iran, Afghanistan and Ukraine introduced the lives of minorities in our town. They talked about whether Roma/foreigners have the same opportunities as local people. They shared the feelings of a person before they feel accepted. All the speakers felt part of Košice, considered it as their home and they all through their work try to make Košice a pleasant place to live. Not only for them, but for everyone.
Individual presentations were followed by a discussion and the audience could ask questions. Many of them made room for reflection, other ones made everybody laugh. The very relaxed atmosphere was complemented by the Roma-Iranian music band Zoe and oriental cuisine helped to bring together people from different worlds, although living in one city.
Pictures, videos and short bio of speakers can be found on the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/241138160114438