YE: Change your mind, Change the world
Our seven-member Slovak group had an interesting ten days at the beginning of summer in the pleasant surroundings of a castle in a small town in the northeastern part of a country that is often confused with ours - Slovenia. Within this period, we quickly formed a great team that understood each other exceptionally well and collaborated flawlessly. We also connected with participants from other countries, although the numbers of them were lower than expected. Interestingly, the representatives from Hungary were Mongolian, Chilean, and Pakistani, which gave us the opportunity to get to know people and cultures from distant corners of the world.
The harmony and cooperation among different nations and cultures were seamless. We all tolerated and respected each other, proving that we can cooperate and be friends even though we are all different.
As for the program, the day we spent with the local Roma community resonated with us the most, whether it was at the Roma Culture Museum or the Roma radio. The countries also exchanged their experiences with the Roma minority. We were surprised to see how dramatically the situation differs across countries. For example, in Lithuania, there are only around 5,000 Roma people, which is a significant difference compared to our approximately 500,000. We were also unaware of the extent of the Roma influence on Spanish culture. The biggest "wow moment" came when we discovered that the situation in Slovenia, a neighboring country close to us, is dramatically different. The Roma people are well-integrated into society, living a problem-free life similar to the majority while preserving their own culture.
Unanimously, we agreed that the best day was when we took a car trip to the Slovenian coast. We witnessed the beauty of Slovenia, experienced the friendliness of Slovenians, and enjoyed the first genuine moments of summer, basking in the sun and sea.