Games from Around the World
Playing games isn't only for children and sports are meant for all. Beyond having fun, Games from Around the World (GAW) will encourage better integration in our communities here in The Netherlands. It is designed to explore local Dutch and continental games and sports which cut across cultures. Playing these games and sports will open our eyes to how many traditional games are similar to those in different countries.
Secondly the unique games can reveal the beauty of people's cultural identity, and help people who are finding it difficult to integrate or make friends, to be able to use this medium to overcome these challenges. We hope that everyone can play, meet new people, discover new things, and remember good old days from their countries or origin, which they can have here in The Netherlands.
"I do believe that playing these games will help us to remember that first and foremost, we are human (...)" - Miracle Uche C. (Chairperson of UID)
We would like to thank again for everyone who joined us and made it a successful event! Also, a big thank you to our volunteers, donors, partner organisations and sponsors like Jumbo Supermarkten and WIJDOENMEE.NU Trefpunt Vliethage Stichting Mooi Escamp IVluchtelingenWerk Nederland VluchtelingenWerk Zuidwest-NederlandShe Matters!
Watch the best moments from our last big event this year and experience the beauty of how sports can help to build bridges among people even without speaking a common language! No matter of age, gender or cultural background we all had fun together, worked as a team to win games, shared an amazing multicultural food and laughed and cheered during the Tug of Peace.
“GAW is an amazing event that brings people together. I have been to other integration events in Amsterdam, but the events organised by Unity in Diversity are very different because they are organised by young people. The team is very nice and Miracle is amazing – every time she sees me she laughs. UID brings together very nice people and I hope they will organise more events – either like this or (something to) do with storytelling. At the end of the day, I even made a new friend, so you can also write that down.”
“I was a French professor in Syria. GAW is different from the Integration Chatroom in a way that it gives you a better opportunity to meet new people since it’s a very open space. I came here with my friends, the food was very nice and these events are important because you can create relationships with new people. I want to keep working on my Dutch skills so I can get a good job. ”
One of the most colourful corners during the Games from Around the World event was set up by Hala from Syria.
Upon approaching the table, you were engulfed by the amazing colours of crochet designs, and the warm smiles she shared with the attendees who gathered around her table to ask about her crafts.
When asked about her life she retreated;
“We would be here for days if I would talk about my life story…”
So, we talked about her passion, about her little crochet project which she started back in 2013 while living in Dubai. She always liked to create something and her friends in the Emirates, both Syrian and Emiratis, have supported and encouraged her to share her creations with the public. Her first debut on the market place turned out to be a success. Since then, she has turned her passion into a blooming Instagram business.
When she is stitching together a doll or an item, she does not just create a new item for sale, but she is placing her heart into the whole process.
Her motto is “handmade items made with love for you and for your loved ones”.
Hala has arrived in the Netherlands in 2015, where she has been trying to set up her business as well. However, as Hala stated, “to start here is really hard, not like in Dubai…some help about how to start a business would be really good”.
Hopefully, Hala will find a way to reach the stars with her business in the Netherlands as well.
Feedback from Hala about GAW: “These events are good platform to grow.” (the business) “Not many people know about the event.”
Yonas, Eritrea, 31
“It is better here, Miracle (UID’s Chairperson) brings together the community and encourages diversity.”
Yonas, from Eritrea, with a big smile on his face has shared with us that he has been in the Netherlands today (25/11/17) for exactly 1 year and 4 days! He was happy that he could mingle with people from all around the world which was not the case when he was in Italy for 6 months, and that he could play volleyball, table soccer and try the sac race which he has not done before!
Yonas has arrived at the event (Games from Around the World) with friends as it was his first event he had tried with UID. He has emphasised that they would definitely come back again.
“But, you know, it feels weird to go to people, just like that…”
Against all the positive impressions, Yonas still feels a bit out of his place when he is around Dutch people. However, he has been attending integration courses for months now and says, that “Dutch language can help to connect and share any culture…”.
“When you do something physical, you don’t concentrate on the emotional side (of making friends). It is a lot easier to build bridges.”
Anas arrived in the Netherlands from Syria 4 years ago, and has been an active member of UID since the beginning. When you talk to him, you are encompassed by his cheerfulness and eagerness to build a new life here, in the Netherlands.
He said, he knows a lot of people by sight, but he feels like it is hard to build meaningful friendships just through talking. “Sports quicken up the process and to meet with Dutch people.”
However, his tone changes when he starts to talk about his challenges with integration. “You know, integration does not always go right…people start to stick to their people and just not integrating…” “Life here is different”- he says, – “and things are done in a different way than home, even bills are done in a different way”.
“What are friends in the Dutch society? It is different at home!”
After an interval, he is back to his jolly self, and talks about how much fun he had and how great it is to be active with others.
“Lets’ take a photo then! – Did you know you need to say money to get the best smile?”
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Jennifer, 25, Germany:
How did this event remind you of your culture, your place of origin?
“Therefore, that I’m from Germany the Netherlands are already pretty similar to my culture. And so there I just got to know new cultures and other people from other places from the world. It did not really remind me of my country of origin.”
Have you played any of the games in your home country before?
“Oh yeah. I played table tennis at my home country and table soccer. Yeah.”
Do you think games can help you have contact with people from your community more easily?
“I think games definitely connect because you also don’t necessarily need many words depending on which game you play. So you can definitely connect easily.”
How would you describe your feelings about living in the Netherlands?
“For me personally it’s just like a limited time of staying in the Netherlands, so I know that I’m gonna leave at some point. I feel fine, I really like The Hague and I think that’s what makes me feel really comfortable and I really like the Netherlands.”
Do you UID helps you meet new people?
“Definitely brings together many different people. So yeah, sure it helps meet new people.”
Did you enjoy the event?
“It was really fun. Yeah, definitely. We met new people, we enjoyed the food, we played some games. It was a really nice day.”
What was your favorite game then?
“Table soccer, because I’m really good at it.”
Celine, 19, the Netherlands:
How did the event remind you of your home country?
“Oh, we did the sack jumping thing and that’s a very Dutch thing.”
Do you think that UID helps you meet new people?
“Oh yes. Because I met a lot of nice and really open people that were really down to talk and I don’t know, meet up and stuff.”
And how did you connect?
“We played table tennis and like the table soccer?”
Did you enjoy the event?
“I did. I don’t know, it was just a very loving and accepting atmosphere. It was really nice.”
Any other remarks that you would like to give?
“The food was amazing and the volunteers were lovely.”