Young people’s experiences and meaning-making at a multicultural festival in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonJournal of Peace Education. 2021, 1-19 10.1080/17400201.2021.1911792
This article explores young people’s experiences and meaning-making at a multicultural festival. Multicultural festivals aim to promote inclusion and challenge problem-oriented discourses in current debates on diversity and migration. Listening to youth voices from such a festival gives a sense of how young participants perceive representations of cultural difference, and how they relate these representations to their own identity and sense of belonging. The participants in our study are 86 young people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds between the ages of 12 and 20. They recorded answers to our questions about what they did at the festival as well as the memories that participation evokes using a specially developed app. Interpreting the broad spectrum of their reflections in the light of theories about intercultural learning and citizenship, we found that the young people were eager to learn about the Other by experiencing cultural differences and engaging with traditions different to their own. In addition, they experienced the festival as an inclusive space, open for transnational identities, and evoking a sense of safety and belonging. We conclude by arguing that the young participants take with them experiences and memories of diversity as the norm rather than the exception.
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.