EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2017. Tastes of Danube gathered people distant from formal learning to learn from each other by using a peculiar theme – bread.
The article series shares good practices on engaging new learners by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2017.
Learning about social, cultural and religious customs in the Danube countries was at the heart of the Tastes of Danube project. Gathered around the theme of “bread”, participants of 100 groups in 12 Danube countries – especially Universities of the Third Age, social and cultural clubs – worked, baked, discussed, researched and documented together their culture and customs.
Tastes of Danube involved people who are distant from formal learning, particularly older people, with special attention to older women, people with low education, migrants and disabled people. The participants learn where and how others live in the Danube countries.
“This project was really an inclusive one, with a lot of learners who met for the first time in their life directly with Danube neighbors or people from other parts of Europe,” Marina Iser says.
“It was our objective to bring people from the Danube Region countries together to work on local and international level and to mobilize a silent part of the civil society by learning about the own traditions as well as the traditions of the others.”
The project partners believe an easy-access method and a universal theme connected to food and food culture promotes mutual learning and emotional and un-prejudiced openness towards others.
Among the activities carried out, the participants had the opportunity to enter a digital photo competition, to publish an international anthology on the subject of “bread”, to collect and compare proverbs and bread customs and to share traditions and everyday life experiences with others. A conference was also organised, with experts providing some scientific background and partners presenting their results.
The project had a huge impact in the community. The conference gathered 126 participants from 11 countries, and more than 1000 citizens participated at a public breakfast organised in Ulm. The project has increased understanding of the various cultural contexts and has helped to reduce stereotypes.
Based on individual needs and capacities to learn in a non-formal way, the project has enlarged theoretical and practical knowledge about bread, wine and herbs but also about neighbours of the Danube region by promoting intergenerational dialogue and intercultural cooperation with other ethnicities and migrants.
Text: Lou-Andréa Pinson
Photo: Tastes of Danube: Bread. Wine. Herbs / ILEU e.V.