On the occasion of European Day of Languages, has been celebrated on September 26 in all European cities since 2001, the Children’s Cultural Centre Belgrade in cooperation with the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, the Council of Europe, the Ministry of European Integration, the network of EU National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC Cluster) and the City Administration of the City of Belgrade organized a program for children and young people on the Republic Square in Belgrade. Celebrating European Day of Languages promotes multilingualism throughout Europe and language learning regardless of age and surrounding.
The youngest visitors had the opportunity to learn about the cultures and languages of different European countries at the stands of embassies and cultural centres, enjoy delicacies, take part in a prize quiz and thus test their knowledge, but also to familiarize themselves with the work of Create Europe Serbia, EU Delegation to Serbia and the Ministry of European Integration at their stands.
The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Belgrade, Plamena Halacheva, greeted those present in several languages and reminded that “in Europe currently around 280 languages are spoken, while 24 languages are official languages of the European Union”.
“European Day of Languages is a celebration of the wealth of languages that make our continent so special. Linguistic diversity is our cultural heritage. It helps us to appreciate all differences and helps us to understand that diversity is our strength”, said Nadia Ćuk, Deputy Head of Office of the Council of Europe in Belgrade, at the opening of the event and pointed out that linguistic diversity is a tool that can be used to achieve greater intercultural understanding.
Nataša Mihailović, Secretary for Culture of the City Administration of the City of Belgrade, emphasized that learning different languages is not only learning words and grammar, but also involves understanding those cultures and ways of thinking: “Through play, song and socializing, we learn how to better understand each other and build bridges.”
In addition to the Belgrade Children’s Cultural Centre, which is the main organizer of the event, this year’s event participants are the embassies of Finland, the Kingdom of Denmark, Slovenia, Sweden, the Republic of Portugal, Ukraine, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Spain, Austria and the Republic of Poland, as well as the Italian Cultural Institute, the French Institute, Goethe Institute, the Austrian Institute, the Czech Institute Belgrade, Yunus Emre Enstitüsü – Turkish Cultural Centre Belgrade, the Association of Single Parents and Families of Children with Disabilities “Plava skoljka”, Delegation of the European Union, Council of Europe, Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia and Desk Creative Europe Serbia.
In addition to the programs at the stands, quizzes, short language lessons and lectures on different cultures, the attendees had the opportunity to enjoy the entertainment program and performance of the Choir of the Belgrade Children’s Cultural Centre, led by Nevena Ivanović, M.A. the performance and dance class of the Belgrade Dance Centre and the performances prepared by the students of Belgrade schools.
It should be noted that 20 organizations from Serbia participated in 40 projects of Creative Europe 2014-2020 – Contests for literary translations, with 317 literary works translated from over 30 languages.