The article as I wrote it for the broadcast on the English channel of Radio Bulgaria on Tuesday. Let’s see how much they keep. I’ll inform you tomorrow about the times and where you can find a webstream.
The twelfth edition of the Balkan Youth Festival was one of European intercultural exchange by participants coming from European Union countries, as well as non-EU states. From Albanians to Swedes, Turks to Frenchmen, Bulgarians to Fins, Hungarians to Greeks, Macedonians to Spaniards, the festival aroused a feeling of “Europeanness” within every participant. During the day, participants as well as spectators could enjoy a variety of cultural expression ranging from folk music and dance from Kosovo, to breakdance performed by French, Bulgarian and Albanian b-boys, to graffiti painting by Turks and Macedonians, or join one of the horos initiated by one of many folkdance companies from various Balkan countries. Modern and traditional culture from all corners of the European continent came together in Sandanski, in Southwestern Bulgaria, to celebrate the seeming paradox of unity through diversity. The participants managed to inspire each other, and their enthusiasm could be seen throughout the many events of the festival. One expression of this enthusiasm was not witnessed by everyone. These were the parties at Hotel (Ask Geri for the name) where the participants were staying. On one floor one could find b-boys from different nations breakdancing together. Only a floor down you’d find a horo spontaneously erupting and lasting for several hours. Even though most participants were on a very exhausting sleep diet, the roundtable group got together every morning to discuss youth and the future of Europe in an informal setting. The twelfth edition of the Balkan Youth Festival was a great example of what Europeans can achieve through unity; a spectacle of cultural diversity inspiring people crossing the boundaries of age, nationality, ethnicity and language.
It will be combined with an edited version of an interview I had with a Macedonian graffiti writer.