My first Sunday in Luxembourg, a couple of weeks ago, was one of the most boring days of my life. With all the shops closed and not-so-nice weather, I could just wander around the city thinking that every single Sunday of the following five months would be like that.
I was proved to be wrong by the stunning amount of interesting activities and events taking place in Luxembourg City every weekend – yes, even on the dreaded Sundays.
The one I enjoyed the most (until now) happened last weekend at the LuxExpo, in Kirchberg. The massive conference and exhibition centre hosted over three days (11th-13th of March) the 33rd Festival des migrations, des cultures et de la citoyenneté (Festival of migration, cultures and citizenship), with food, literature, music, workshops, and more than 400 stalls from a variety of different countries and associations.
The event, organised by CLAE (Comité de liaison des associations d’étrangers), attracts thousands of visitors every year and is intended as a celebration of diversity and multiculturalism.
I have to admit I hadn’t done much research about the festival before attending it: I just wanted to escape a potentially boring Sunday, so I headed there with a couple of friends to have some exotic food and what not.
We were all surprised and amazed by the melting pot of nationalities, cultures, colours that were hiding in the grey, unappealing LuxExpo building. We had a nice walk between endless lines of stands, distracted by women in traditional African attires, the smell of Danish smoked herring coming from somewhere, conversations in Indian, people dancing to the rhythm of Brazilian traditional music, second-hand books in every language we could think of, exotic weird-flavoured drinks.
There was so much to explore we didn’t even know where to begin. Not that it really mattered anyway, because, I suspect, getting lost was definitely the right way to experience the festival.
It was then when I realised that all those people, cultures, stories, are all around me every day here in Luxembourg (whose population is made up of over 45% foreigners!). The festival was just a sample of the huge diversity we can find in every corner of this city, which we may be just too busy or too self-absorbed to notice.
So, in the end, what started as a nice day out, with the mere purpose of avoiding Sunday boredom, turned into an opportunity to become more aware of the reality I’m living in, and of all the exchange opportunities I might be missing.
Written by Silvia Morani
Communication Trainee at TermCoord