Prnjavor pupils promote the rich diversity and cultural value of national minorities

When everyone works together, with positive energy and strong will, nothing is difficult – say students who have dedicated over six months to learning about national minorities, and their traditions, customs and culture.

“We will present the customs, traditions and legends of the Romanian people, and have worked hard. We are sure we will win on today’s quiz”, said Ahmet, Ismeta, Danilo and two Đorđes, pupils of Meša Selimović school from Lišnja.

In Prnjavor, a melting pot of cultures and religions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or “Little Europe” as it is known, students from 12 primary schools in Prnjavor municipality hosted a competition and interactive performances about 17 minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Addressing the students, Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation in the Delegation of European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasised “There can hardly be a more pleasant way to celebrate diversity and foster a universal culture of inclusivity, than through sharing information about the culture and language of various national minorities! Cultural diversity is our richness. Diversity of languages, music, art, traditions and folklore can only improve the quality of our life.”

“When I see everyone present here today I understand the local and wider significance of this event,” said Ambassador Drahoslav Stefanek, Head of Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo, noting that the local government has recognised the importance of education and awareness raising of youth in their communities so as to support dialogue and interaction between pupils.

In partnership with local partners, civil society and institutions, the European Union has actively supported Bosnia and Herzegovina on the path towards removing all sorts of discrimination and supporting socio-economic integration of minorities. The event in Prnjavor is part of the project ‘Strengthening national minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, with the goal of raising awareness and improving the position of national minority groups living in Prijedor municipality.