The Syrian week in one of the cultural activities of Khotoat Foundation in Germany, and is considered as a key to introduce the Syrian culture and a rapprochement between different cultures. The activity has been made incorporation with the familial center in Hanover from Monday 21.10.2019 till Friday 25.10.2019.
The activities lasted for an entire week. They included an introduction to the Syrian culture through videos, pictures, and cartoon on Syria along with an introduction to the Syrian cuisine and some special dishes which were prepared by Syrians and Germans. As it is a commitment made by the Foundation, some families and their children visited the elderly home where some Syrian and German songs were sung by the children. Flowers and Syrian deserts were served to the attendees.
Mrs. Butheina Al-Ktefi supervised and talked about the activity of mutual meals saying that “the activity was a beautiful opportunity to introduce the Syrian society to the German one which is still vague to a lot of Germans even though the Syrian presence has existed for years. Food and cooking habits are considered one of the dimensions of introducing a certain community to others. That is why the activity of preparing Syrian food among Syrian, German, and women from other nationalities was successful in introducing the diversity of the eastern cuisine in general and the Syrian cuisine in particular, while comparing it to the German cuisine that is entirely different from our Syrian one. The success of this activity was shown in the harmony between the Syrian and German women during cooking and the willingness of German women to learn how to prepare Syrian food and their desire to repeat the event again.
The Foundation conducted a reading workshop for kids where two stories issued by the Foundation were distributed and read in Arabic and German. The reading performed through three groups of kids in (Petermannstrasse) familial center and in (Gebrüder Körting) elementary school. The stories were composed by the Syrian kids Haneen Al-Shweikh and Sama Al-Shweikh.
The event was concluded in a special cultural activity when the Traditional Syrian band performed a dance from the authentic Syrian culture in addition to a diverse Syrian feast. Games and kids activities were involved in the cultural activity that displayed some aspects of the life in Syria. The kids with their parents participated in a contest about information on Syria. Souvenirs on the Syrian culture were distributed as prizes on the kids.
During the activity, some drawings were sent especially to this occasion from kids inside Syria were displayed. Mr. Saad the activity coordinator talked about it saying that “it was a chance and a challenge at the same time as it is not an easy job to arrange a variety of activities to introduce a different culture in one week. The important thing in this event was not only displaying the Syrian culture but also the event extended to include a societal activity that involved a visit to the elderly home, a reading workshop, and a community participation. The week was a nice opportunity to show the project of Khotoat Foundation with its social, constructive, and humanitarian scopes as it builds bridges of communication with others and introduces the local community to the authentic Syrian culture and the Syrian man. The week displayed the excellence of Khotoat Foundation at its work”.
Mrs. Buthaina Al-Kteifi talked about the joint food activity, saying:
“…. This is a beautiful opportunity to present the Syrian culture to German society through this activity, as the Syrian culture is still opaque to many of them despite the presence of the Syrians among them several years ago.
One of the most important aspects of general and cooking habits is through which one can define the culture of a society.
That is why the effectiveness of participation in preparing Syrian food between Syrian women and German women and others of different nationalities was an enjoyable and successful experience to introduce the richness and diversity of oriental cuisine in general and Syrian in particular, and its comparison with German cuisine is completely different from our Syrian cuisine.
The event succeeded in conveying an image of our culture, which emerged through the beautiful interaction of German women during cooking and their desire to learn how to prepare Syrian food, and this experience should be repeated again in the future …. “.
the coordinator of the activity Mr. Saad Al-Khidr talked about the activity in general:
“…. The activity was a beautiful opportunity and a great challenge at the same time. It is not easy to implement a variety of activities in one week, to introduce the culture of a country.
It was important in the Syrian week is that there wasn’t limited in its presentation of the Syrian culture to aspects of folklore or culture, but is extended to include social activities such as visiting the home of the elderly, reading workshops and community participation. “
The various activities represent a great opportunity to introduce the Organization with its social, developmental, and humanitarian dimensions and its establishment of bridges of communication with the other and introduce the authenticity of the Syrian culture to the German society.