By Yassine Berrouj - Helsinki
By Yassine Berrouj – Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland recently hosted one of Finland’s most famous festivals, known as the World Village Festival. 80,000 people visited the festival on May 24, 2014, representing countries and cultures from all over the world.
The festival offers world views and possibilities for discussion, as well as music, circus, dance, theatre, art and activities for attendees. It offers new perspectives on tolerant multiculturalism, development cooperation, global issues and expanding one’s possibilities for affecting everyday life. In addition it is an opportunity to taste food from all over the world and meet up with multicultural organizations that represents a country or seeks to support a minority. The festival is a great opportunity for Moroccan associations that are active in Finland to foster their ideas and get more support and for people to join their activities.
Several Moroccan associations participated during the festival. One of them, Morocco’s Friends in Finland, organized a stage discussion about the status of Morocco after the Arab spring. Moroccan journalist Abdessamad Benalla was interviewed about the effects of the Arab Spring on Moroccan culture and society during the festival.
During the interview several people silently protested against torture in Morocco. One demonstrator held up a piece of paper that said “Stop torture in Morocco,” “Free Moroccan rap singer Alhaked.”
Next to one of the Moroccan organization’s stand was the stand for “The Sahrawi friends of Finland.” This organization aims to foster and distribute the Polisario’s ideologies about the Moroccan Sahara. One Spanish person and two Finnish young women worked together in the name of this organization with the Polisario’s representative in Finland in order to gain support from the Finnish public view of the Moroccan Sahara.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers. Photo by Ritva Nyberg