The 2014 European Day of Languages: The Holiday of Language-Lovers

The aim of promoting good relations among nationalities, fighting stereotypes and prejudices has always been a worthy one. It is even more now, in a world that is becoming smaller every year. The members of the Language Working Group (LWG) are proud to be part of this work. You will probably ask how the LWG does that, since its primary concern in AEGEE (as the name suggests) is just languages. Actually, the group’s work goes far beyond that.

AEGEE-Praha is fighting against stereotypes

Last year, from October to December, the European Day of Languages (EDL) was held in thirteen AEGEE locals. The Council of Europe celebrates this day in September but since many students still have holidays at that time, a new date was agreed upon which was November 20th. Still, locals could choose any other close date suitable. In fact, some of the locals held several events, like AEGEE-Voronezh and AEGEE-Baki. It looks like it has become a tradition to celebrate this day over weeks (the same happened last year), and as long as the tradition is likely to go into 2015, even more events can be expected this year.

Many locals, supporting the cause of bringing nations together, chose to hold intercultural events, where many languages were spoken and people from different cultures came closer to each other. For example, AEGEE-Catania and AEGEE-Coruña invited participants from other countries to share their food, as well as languages. Native languages and cultures of the participants were also the central point of other antennae’s events, like those by AEGEE-Voronezh, AEGEE-Praha, AEGEE-Napoli, AEGEE-Oviedo, AEGEE-Beograd, AEGEE-Baki and AEGEE-Aachen.

At AEGEE-Kyiv’s event the participants talked about stereotypes and the way you should behave in their countries, AEGEE-Baki, AEGEE-Oviedo and AEGEE-Napoli discussed about language issues and played language games, while AEGEE-Zagreb focused on the French language. In total, the number of nationalities taking part in the events was more than twenty-five. Still, other locals, like AEGEE-Pisa and AEGEE-Minsk opted for the issue of endangered languages. They looked into the problem and tried to find solutions in open discussions. AEGEE-Pisa also used the opportunity to present AEGEE to a broad audience. Still, the EDL is not only about serious talks! Pubs, clubs and movie nights were perfect endings to many of the locals’ events.

AEGEE-Pisa repeated the workshop about endangered languages held at Agora-Cagliari

Antennae later posted photos and descriptions of their events in the EDL Facebook group, which was the place to ask for help during the organisation of the events and to share the success after. The group also helped to enlarge the pool of ideas, ready to be used at any other event, as well as it helped to establish a closer community and to show the readiness of the LWG members to help with language issues and language-related events.

If after reading this article you still do not know what the LWG is about, or want to learn more, head to the website or Facebook page. These enthusiastic people – language-lovers! – are willing to welcome you in their community. They constantly work on a number of projects which await YOUR participation!

Written by Inna Mezentseva, AEGEE-Minsk