We also had a member of the European Parliament in to listen to and ask questions to. These questions were generally on the topic of policy making in the EU effecting Salesian Practices. This topic was part of the backbone to the seminar; with participants later being asked to draw up a model for a policy change that they felt was necessary. A few of the questions regarded intergenerational dialogue, which was the other key theme of the seminar.
Participants were from 13 EU member states, and all had English as a second or third language. This vast multiculturalism allowed us to learn a great deal about how the Salesian family operates in Europe, and also the various Salesian projects going on yearly throughout the EU. Our highlight of the weekend was the intercultural evening that took place on Saturday, where every participant brought a product from their country to share with the group, and each country had to present another. This presentation included a song, dance or game. We taught Spanish participants “Princess Pat” which got everyone involved, whilst we had to learn and perform a traditional Austrian dance.
At the seminar, we made lifelong friends from the many countries involved, and also learned a considerable amount about their individual countries’ cultures and customs.