The workshop was held in Romania in Sfintu Gheorghe, which is the administrative center of the Covasna County. However, during the workshop, the participants more often heard the Hungarian name of this city - Shepshisyntyörde, because three quarters of the population of Kovans are Hungarians and Hungarian is recognized as official along with Romanian.
The theme of the seminar was Youth participation, that is, the active participation of young people in decision-making at different levels. All participants were divided into three groups: in the first they discussed the languages of European nations in the field of education, in the second - the rights of national minorities, and in the third - coverage of the lives of various ethnic groups in the media. Vitalik and Anastasia worked in the second and third groups, respectively.
One day, the seminar participants made a short trip around Transylvania, visiting Brasov and the Malomkert tourist center.
I have to say that we did not see vampires, but we managed to get acquainted with the history of the region and see the narrowest street in Eastern Europe. It is called Strada Sforii, which can be translated as "street-rope". In “Malomerkte” we tried to bake home-made bread and kurtosh kalach, a yeast bun prepared on a wooden spit, with our own hands. Like many national dishes, kurtosh kalach has several possible “parents”: Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are fighting for the right to be called their homeland, where, by the way, they call it “trdelnik”.
After several days of active work at the workshop, participants were able to apply their knowledge and skills during a meeting with influential people in the region and beyond. The meeting was held in the municipality of Sfintu Gheorghe. Before the discussion, the President of the Federal Union of European National Minorities (FUEN) Laurent Vince made a welcoming speech, then the participants were divided into groups in which they, together with their guests, discussed the urgent problems of the region and the European nations as a whole.
Vitaly and Nastya also took part in the YEN General Assembly, where organizational and structural issues were considered. An important outcome for the NMO was the inclusion of Anna Herman and the re-inclusion of Valeria Meyer into the YEN working group on working with affiliates.
The evenings after the main program were no less intense. The first evening was organized by MIÉRT activists. We learned to sing Hungarian and dance folk dances. The next evening was devoted to the international fair, where all organizations presented themselves and imported national dishes. So, going to the table of the NGO, those who wished could learn the details of the history of the Russian Germans. Everybody liked to dance so much that this evening was not without dancing: thanks to Vitale and Nastya, an hour later, everyone cheerfully danced Schwabentanz, Polka Hey, Haselnuss and Vogelbeerbaum.
“The YEN seminar for me is like a faceted emerald: on the one hand, it shows the diversity of minorities in Europe, that despite many cultural differences, we remain human, and on the other hand, at such seminars, representing the German ethnos in Russia, you realize more than ever yourself a German from Russia, ”says Nikita Gadet.
Already this fall, the YEN seminar will be held in Sochi. We look forward to a new meeting, which will only strengthen our twenty years of cooperation.