ASHERN celebrates the Festival of Children, Culture and Inclusion with workshops on racism and conspiracy theories

On the way to normal life

How do you recognize conspiracy theories? What is the racism in everyday life that often goes unnoticed by those who are unaffected by it? Such questions were at the Children’s, Culture and Integration Festival on Sunday.


Current topics are also on the stage: the folklore ensemble “Sabawa” performed Russian and Ukrainian dances.

Photo: Stephanie Prins

In the end, it comes down to two aspects: “When people from here shake hands with newcomers, they have to accept them,” says Mimi Schwerer. Only then can the integration succeed. “Those who come here have to make an effort and learn German. We live here and should be able to talk to people without needing help,” says Schwerer, a volunteer with the interpreters group at Achern.

At Ottersweier, she runs a shop in Africa, and today in her booth at the Festival of Children, Culture and Integration, she tracks everything between braided braids and a juice bar.

Ebru Dogan also knows from his own experience that sometimes language skills are not enough. “As long as a lot of people in Germany don’t get rid of their xenophobia, integration will be difficult,” she says, as she sells food vouchers for Turkish specialties at the Alawite community booth from Buhl.

Program about Illenau: In addition to the lectures in the workshops, there were dances on stage and food presentations from around the world.

Program about Illenau: In addition to the lectures in the workshops, there were dances on stage and food presentations from around the world.

Photo: Stephanie Prins

In everyday life, she is regularly subjected to prejudice, through words, but more often through insulting looks. “I’ve been here since I was born. How bad must it be for the people who have only been here for a few months?”

We are all against extreme right-wing racism.

Sarah Sun Hee Martius, Anti-Discrimination Coach

Sara Sun Hee Martischius also breaks down prejudices with the course she offers that day at the Illenau Workshops. “We are all against far-right racism,” she says. It’s more about racism, which isn’t often meant in that way, but it doesn’t hurt those affected any more.

“Where are you really from?” It is an example that the anti-discrimination coach from Neustadt mentioned on her website and that a few people interested in Achern deal with as well. Another: “Asian is friendly, polite, and always smiling.”

Inclusion on the football field: a team

Integration on the football field: The “Bananenflanke” Ortenau team, mainly made up of children with mental disabilities, plays against guests from the South of the Palatinate.

Photo: Stephanie Prins

Integration into sport works well in Achern

Meanwhile, in the workshops’ courtyard, visitors are guided by Francesca Mücker, who is responsible for the festival with Ute Götz-Bannert in town. Some of the lectures planned here — how to recognize anti-Semitism, like conspiracy theories — had to be canceled because of Corona, she says, as Mayor Klaus Motasch did at the official opening in front of Illinois Town Hall: “We’re glad it could ever happen.” , so the OB.

When it comes to integrating into the sport, Achern is in a good position.

Bodo Sutterer, Team Banana Flank Ortenau

A little further, behind the climbing field and the graffiti wall, a little later, a soccer ball for Ortenau team “Bananenflanke” flies into the air. Children, especially those with mental disabilities, play against guests from the South of the Palatinate today. “Opportunities like this are good for kids to be noticed in public,” says CEO Roman Becht: What you see over and over will eventually be considered normal, so the idea goes.

In terms of integrating into the sport, Bodo Sutterer, vice-chairman of the board, believes Achern is in a good position. It is more difficult in schools because teachers are usually not trained in inclusion issues.

Not all of these obstacles seem to matter in the festival itself. Konrad Hassel thinks so too, he usually works in the bicycle workshop of the “Acherneinander” association and today monitors cyclists on the skills course. “We need events like this for synergy to come naturally. Here, people of all skin tones celebrate together and everyone is equal.” This is how integration works: “Just do it.”

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