"Coffee with cardamom"UNHCR and Jonava municipality join together for intercultural event
Prepared by Renata Kules
© El Artography/UNHCR
17 June 2021
“Coffee with cardamom” – UNHCR Representation for Nordic and Baltic Countries and Jonava municipality joint intercultural event in Lithuania.
On May 21, the World Day for Cultural Diversity, also the Memorial Day of National Communities of Lithuania, UNHCR Representation for Nordic and Baltic Countries organized a joint event with Jonava municipality in Lithuania.
The joint intercultural afternoon “Coffee with Cardamom”, took finally place after a long COVID-19 quarantine break. Members of the Jonava community and their representative Eugenijus Sabuti, member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, was among the guests registering for the event.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, prevention measures for the event in Lithuania remained a priority. The participants at the event were distancing and using face masks.
While waiting for the official opening of the event, guests had the opportunity to taste coffee with cardamom and Syrian delicacies, which the organizers brought especially for this event from Syriana – a shop set up in Vilnius by refugees from Syria. Participants were getting acquainted with interesting tastes.
Olena Rohoza from Ukraine, working at the Jonava Social Services Center, spoke on her fascination of the Baltic Sea, which she hopes to visit more often in the future. Ms. Rohoza praised Lithuanian police officers for their friendly attitude.
Jonava Police Unit attended the intercultural event and officers emphasized on the support available for the community.
At the end of the event, Mr. Abdulrazzak Awf from Syria, performed a song in Arabic and surprised the audience by also singing the following part “I wrote a letter on the white sand”, in Lithuanian. The performance, especially the part in Lithuanian, was met with the greatest applause of the audience.
The Intercultural afternoon also received media attention. INIT TV prepared a news report which was part of the evening news released for the Kaunas Region. On the retractable banner in the background, you can find words in Lithuanian which describe the essence of the event: ‘understanding’, ’empathy’, ‘warmth’, ‘dreams’, ‘safety’, ‘commitment’, ‘trust’, ‘respect’ and ‘optimism’.
UNHCR Nordic and Baltic Countries is grateful for the efforts taken by Jonava municipality and the Jonava Social Services Center for this intercultural event. UNHCR hopes that Jonava municipality continues to inspire other communities – both in and outside of Lithuania.