International Day of Peace Observed in Novosibirsk, Russia

2017-09-21-Russia-International Day of Peace Observed in Novosibirsk, Russia

Novosibirsk, Russia—The 2017 International Day of Peace was celebrated with debates between college students on the topic "Eurasian Union: Present and Future."

Several teams from different Novosibirsk colleges met on September 21 in the Novosibirsk Regional Youth Library for the debates. The students actively and with great pleasure participated in the activities.

This was the second year that the Novosibirsk Regional Youth Library was the site for an International Day of Peace celebration. In 2016, a team of young people received certificates of Young Ambassadors for Peace in the library.

This year’s program included a narration of about 400 “hot spots” in the world and a discussion of the future of interethnic relations. Dmitry Oficerov, the secretary general of the Siberian branch of UPF, spoke on this topic.

The participants paid tribute to the victims of violence during hostilities. During a game called "Russian Express" they tried to determine the temperature of peace in the hall. It turned out that the temperature was very close to critical. Most of the young people in the room were prejudiced against almost any person who differed from them in any way. Clearly, in real life not all of them would behave so irreconcilably, but there is a serious reason to ponder the issue.

Before the debates, each team received a case with articles and media publications on the topic of interethnic relations. Taking them as a basis, it was necessary to prepare a 22-minute speech. Some talked about the impact of migrant labor on the economy of Novosibirsk and Russia. Others spoke about the complexities of life in our country from the viewpoint of migrants. Some teams were to disclose the theme of mutual influence of different national cultures, and what needs to be done to ensure the integration of migrants into the local community.

There were doubts as to whether this topic would be of interest to young people, as many people today are apolitical. However, the organizers were surprised to see such emotion, perseverance, desire to express their opinion and argue! Even those students who, according to the teachers, usually keep silent and behave discreetly found convincing arguments and tried to speak out.

Although the young people did not have enough knowledge and facts, they exhibited great enthusiasm and interest and the desire to solve the migration problem!
All the participants did well in debating. But the first and third places were earned by two teams of the trade-and-economy college. The second place was won by the team of the Kosygin Cooperative Technical School. Each member of the winning teams received a wireless computer “mouse” as a prize from UPF.

During the meeting, everyone had a chance to check his or her knowledge of migration policy terms.

Between the remaining teams, Dmitry Oficerov organized a mini-tournament on the issues of teamwork and quick-wittedness. A big bar of chocolate was shared in a brotherly manner.

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