The Youth Exchange “Culture is in the air…” took a place in Vinica from 25th of February to 05th of March 2009. There were participants from six countries from European Union and South East Europe, such as: Italy, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. The nine day Youth Exchange programme was designed to give an opportunity to young people from six countries to meet together and work to understand the meaning of tradition and know how it is sustained, as well as share general knowledge about the environment, history and culture of the countries that they come from. Through the structured workshops they have identified traditional elements such as: dance, music, costumes, where participants could explore each others culture, and stereotypes and prejudice throughout joint work. This helped them to identify and examine their own values and beliefs and compare them with those of their peers.
Every participant country had its own presentation in order to introduce their culture in front of other participants form other countries. Through positive atmosphere participants had built a common platform where through joint work they created masks and practiced traditional songs and dances from all participant countries as at the end to make a composition of different masks that represented different life styles from history.
The final product was a completed group mask of costumes and traditional song which contained at least one verse of traditional songs from every participant country. Also, a composition of different dances was made and performed during the famous Strumica Carnival, which has an international character.
The Exchange has depicted a positive picture how young people from different backgrounds, cultures and reality can work well together using their experiences, knowledge and understanding.
In addition, during the exchange young people created a space for creative ideas and future collaboration. The time spent together have encouraged the participants to provide positive feedback and future friendships and contacts.