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Start date: Jun 15, 2015, End date: Mar 14, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

2015 is the year of the Milan EXPO with its main theme «Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life». We felt that at least 3 out of the 5 main “thematic routes” of the EXPO are highly consistent with two issues related to our target: young people from peripheric backgrounds, be it geographically or socially. As a matter of fact, working in social environments where youth access to information and to opportunities are much lower than in bigger, more central and more culturally open cities, has shown us that on the age range 13-30 is at a very high risk of falling for nationalist and anti-European ideologies and, paradoxically, is also the generation least attached to local culinary traditions. As this two problems usually are not linked together nor dealt with a common approach, we believe that building an exchange on the theme of gastronomic traditions could help us in “Killing two birds with one stone”. The 3 thematic routes of the EXPO that fit perfectly our exchange idea are the ones called “The story of man, stories of food”, “Sustainable food = an equitable world” and “Taste is knowledge”. As our project does, they also refer to 2 main ways to cope with the issues mentioned above: the acknowledged that combinations of different tastes and flavors within different cultures are a real map of the specific culture and it’s history and thus can be a great intercultural tool for discovering cultures different than one’s own and the need to make people more sensitive to maintaining a better balance between food production and natural resources. So, in September 2015, with a group of 32 participants aged 15-18 from Italy, France, Hungary and Slovenia, in the “EuroChef” youth exchange we’ll spend 9 exciting days in the little village of Allai, in Sardinia, cooking, reciprocally knowing cultural roots and life styles, exploring the infinite opportunities given by mixing cultures and ingredients into an “European diet” and sharing tips and methods for more equitable and sustainable ways of eating. And we will do this by mixing the usual non formal education methods and tools (active workshops, mixed groups tasks and debriefing moments, creativity...) to a true “hands on” approach inspired by very famous show formats such as “Master Chef©”. By working in mixed nationality groups and by building a strong team spirit we will involve participants in a fun approach yet rich in responsibility roles and chances for going deeper in analyzing hows and whys of food choices and cultural differences. More specific thematic workshops will help us in the more “thinkative” moments and a final dinner with the local population will demonstrate the potentiality of conviviality as an intercultural tool. By sharing on the Web the best of the newly invented recipes, together with the social media coverage of the exchange, we’ll spread the taste for eating well and making friends around a table. The impact on participant as well as on the population of the hosting village will mainly be the promotion and better visibility of the idea that from cultural mixes there can be much more pros than cons and that our cultures are never monoliths completely separated one from the others, but rather a constantly work in process path of contamination between many far away cultures, often relying on food as a sort of beneficent Troy Horse. Individually then some participants will also get to know and, maybe, appreciate, alternative dietary styles, improving their health and contributing to a more sustainable approach to food also in their home towns, spreading our intercultural idea and also Milan’s EXPO message. And, of course, yes, we did ask for the EXPO Non-Onerous Grant and recognition!
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