Varna: the youth capital of Bulgaria (II)

During the last months of 2017, The(Y) Volunteers team went to Varna to keep a close eye on two of the most important appointments in the agenda of the Youth Capital of Bulgaria till the end the year. This second article complements and concludes our work in Varna, started in August 2017. You can read the first part here.

Varna Multicultural Fair

On 19th November 2017, volunteers and representative from 15 countries gathered in the heart of Varna to share their cultures and traditions at Varna Intercultural Fair.

The event, organized by Varna European Youth Capital 2017 association, had a wide programme of activities lasting all the afternoon and gave participants the chance to discover the cultural richness of Bulgaria, Slovakia, France, India, Brazil, Argentina, Russia and United States, among other countries.

In the colorful setting of Yunashky Salon, people of all ages could practice foreign languages with native speakers, discover curiosities about unknown regions like Siberia, taste typical food and flavours from Eastern and Western Europe, listen to songs played with traditional instruments as the Indian Sitar, but also learn the steps of national dances such as the Karichka (“circle dance”) from Slovakia, the Brazilian Capoeira, the Argentinian Tango and other Indian ones. The event closed with a Salsa party to the rhythm of Latin music.

Varna Closing Ceremony

On 15th December 2017, the closing ceremony of Varna European Youth Capital 2017 was held nearby the Black Sea. Hundred of partners and youngsters took part in the event, an unmissable appointment in the agenda of Varna to celebrate the successful completion of its one-year mission as European Youth Capital. This prestigious title gave the city the chance to showcase, through a multi-faceted programme and innovative projects, its youth-related cultural, social, political and economic life and development.

A performance by the young Bulgarian musicians Martin Zayranov and Kristian Nikolov -transverse flute and violin duo- officially opened the event, followed by a video to review a year of youth initiatives to encourage social transformation and innovation. Thanks to them, as said Marija Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Varna has shown its potential to contribute to Europe mission.

Ilina Mutafchieva, President of the National Youth Forum (Bulgaria), also addressed words of thanks to all the people who made possible the initiative, encouraging the youth to continue to contribute actively to the development of Varna according to the line established by the EYC programme. Finally, she personally awarded the successful youth projects that will continue to run also in 2018. Beyond the closing ceremony, Varna also welcomed the final event of the Council of Europe for this year, hosting a joint political session on the theme of Youth Mobility.

What’s next?

In the upcoming months, Varna will also hold an international conference on youth participation, entrepreneurship, digital age and sustainability. This Winter Summit will officially formalise the network of European Youth Capitals from informal partnership into an organisation of European scale and will adopt its work plan for 2018.

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