This article is a result of a series of 7 interviews done to the 35 participants of Aroma: design the smell of challenge project — organised by Aventura Marão Clube in Amarante (Portugal), between 2nd to 10th July. During 10 days, the participants from Greece, Romania, Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt and Portugal, worked together to organise a Bike Parade, an Euromed Food Day and support a local street festival called Festa Amarantina. During the interviews we had the opportunity to know them all better, find out why they chose to be a part of this project and how this experience turned out.
The Portugal team consisted of Tomas, Pedro, Miguel, Sandra, Ana and Joana. They told us that the project interested them because they wanted to meet new people and make new friends. With this project they had the opportunity to do it with people from 7 different countries.
When we asked what they brought to Festa Amarantina the group told us that they were ready to share the Portuguese culture with the others. They also mentioned that by interacting with all these other countries, they were able to teach and learn at the same time.
The biggest misconception about Portugal is that the Portuguese people is poor and not open minded. They also feel like tourists are attracted to the country only because of the beaches. However, the group says that it is a beautiful country with a lot more to offer.
A surprising thing they shared with us about their culture is that, even though they all share the same culture, is difficult to find similarities in their differences. They don’t understand that together they complete each other — as the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa says – “To be big, be whole.”
The main challenge youth is facing in the country is the losing of traditions. Young people are not interested in them anymore. They think the solution to this problem is to stand together, participate, raise their hands and their voices and give their soul to the world.
Interviews and article by Denisa Gavriloni
(Participant of Aroma Project)