“Diversity connects”. With this ambitious motto began the intercultural week in the city of Burg on Sunday, September 17, 2017. Most of the activities took place on the Magdalenenplatz where regional ensembles and groups presented themselves with music, dance, percussion and rhythm to residents and visitors. Additionally, a fashion show was held. As in previous years Friedensau Adventist University (FAU) participated with a booth. The university supported the idea of tolerance and cultural exchange with colorful balloons, a “wheel of fortune” and quizzes. Students from 30 different countries are currently enrolled at FAU; the school has an international campus where intercultural learning has been successful for more than 100 years.
Numerous activities are scheduled for the coming 10 days all over Germany. The Intercultural Week in Burg celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Therefore the project leaders and social workers who were involved in the past joined in Burg for the kick-off event. Among them were two graduates from Friedensau, Tatjana Gütler and Jana Kaufmann-Päschel. Tatjana Gütler worked voluntarily in the asylum-seekers' shelter in Burg and created the project “Bunte Brücke” (Colorful Bridge) sponsored by the “Advent-Jugend Jerichower Land e.V.” This project led to the foundation of the national project “Diversity Counts – Youth for Diversity, Tolerance and Democracy” in Burg. First, the project was in the hands of the Evangelical Reformed church of St. Petri; since 2016, the “Arbeiterwohlfahrt” (AWO) has been coordinating the Intercultural Week in Burg. Jana Kaufmann-Päschel assumed the project management after Tatjana had left. Residents from Friedensau supported the work with donations in the past. The aim of the Intercultural Week in Burg is to strengthen civil society in general, and to support local networking among people with different cultural, religious and racial backgrounds. Getting to know and appreciate each other will pave the way for a deeper feeling of togetherness. Diversity really connects.