Participant Post: After The First Day(s) of the European Spring Gathering 2011

von 21thinkeurope
Agnezka (Czech)
Agnezka: Are young people interested in the European Union? Do they care about it, and do they even know anything about it? And are they having fun? 
I find myself sitting in a strange looking building, half a villa, half a modern meeting hall. I’m trying to formulate my feelings into some meaningful sentences, but I’ve failed so far. All I could say is wow. Awesome. It’s been only two days, but even though they were pretty exhausting, they were definitely worth it. We arrived at Sunday the 3rd. There was not much happening that day, maybe except the fine dinner and some chat with other students later. We ended our day with smiles on our faces. But the second day was different. Monday was just filled with games of various forms. Do you know that there were eight different races in the city of Atlantis? So the first two days has been more like some kind of an experiment – let’s put all those people into one room and let them play some crazy games! How will they react? I dare to think, that we reacted perfectly. We cooperated, even though we didn’t really know each other – maybe except the ones who are from our country. Now I can almost hear you asking: And what exactly do games and the EU have in common? Well, ladies and gentlemen, more than you think. Through games we learn how to react both in group and alone. We learn how to react quickly, properly and wisely. And kindly. Definitely kindly. Isn’t that the main point of this all. And what about the third day? Well, today we fulfilled the main point of our stay here, in Bad Marienberg – to learn something more about the European Union. Not only that everyone really had to pay attention to all the facts and work with others in order to let a new ‘imaginary’ law pass in our ‘imaginary’ European parliament, but we also got to know something about the history of the Union. The summary is that I’m looking forward to the oncoming days and next year, more people to meet, more fun to have and more information to learn. And I’m definitely not the only one.
Lena: I never thought that we could have so much fun here. My first day was really amazing. In the beginning of the Seminar we played a lot of funny games to get to know each other. And it worked. I was surprised how good the English knowledge of the other nations are.  And of course, I have to mention our leaders, Karsten, Anselm and Antje. They’re doing a fabulous job!
In the afternoon we prepared our Country Market. We brought sausages and saltprezels, and of course beer and wine from our region as a speciality of Germany. I think the Country market was a great experience, because it was very interesting to learn something about the other cultures, and to develop the differences between our own culture and the other nations. All countries brought their homemade food and it was great to see some traditional dance or hear traditional music.
With the beginning of the night we all had a lot of fun. We met the others in the ,,Waller Stübchen’’ and we celebrated the begin of this hopefully great week. I think the rest of the week will be a unforgettable one and we can collect new experiences and of course, get to know a lot of new friends.
Magda: My first day was pretty cool. I was really surprised how nice and openminded all the guys from the different countries were. The ‘Stupid Games’, how Karsten called them, were most of the time very funny, we got to know eachother better and had lots of fun. In the evening we had the ‘Country Market’, which was brilliant! All the different countries brought some nice things, like beer, cheese, sausages and other specialties. Also the presentations have been amazing. We had the chance to get to know the different cultures and it was kind of impressing. But I have to say, it was sad to see, that our delegation, Germany, couldn’t present our own culture as well as the other nations. We just don’t have any knowledge about traditional dance or stuff like that. The first night was very funny. We’ve been in the ‘Wäller Stübchen’ and had fun with the other guys from Poland, Hungary and so on. All in all the first day was really amazing and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to be here.

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