Achern celebrates children’s, culture and integration festival with workshops on racism and conspiracy theories

Towards normalcy

How do you recognize conspiracy theories? What is racism in everyday life that often goes unnoticed by those who are not affected? Questions like these were at the Children, Culture and Integration Festival last Sunday.


Current topics also on stage: the folklore group “Sabawa” showed Russian and Ukrainian dances.

Photo: Stefanie Prinz

In the end, it comes down to two sides: “When people from here shake hands with newcomers, they have to accept them,” says Mimi Scheuerer. Only then can integration work. “Those who come here must make an effort and learn German. We live here and must be able to talk to people without the need for help, ”says Scheuerer, who is a volunteer in the Achern interpreting pool.

In Ottersweier she runs an Africa shop, today at her stand at the children’s, culture and integration festival she keeps track of everything between braided braids and the juice bar.

Ebru Dogan also knows from personal experience that language skills are sometimes not enough. “As long as many people in Germany do not get rid of their xenophobia, integration will be difficult,” she says, selling food stamps for Turkish specialties at the booth at the Alevi community from Bühl.

Program around Illenau: In addition to lectures in the workshops, there was dance on stage and food offerings from different parts of the world.

Program around Illenau: In addition to lectures in the workshops, there was dance on stage and food offerings from different parts of the world.

Photo: Stefanie Prinz

In everyday life, she regularly experiences prejudice, through words, but much more often through derogatory glances. “I’ve been here since I was born. How bad must it be for people who have only been here a few months?”

We are all against right-wing extremist racism.

Sara Sun Hee Martischius, trainer against discrimination

Sara Sun Hee Martischius is also working to break down prejudice with her course, which she offers that day in the Illenau workshops. “We are all against right-wing extremist racism,” she says. It’s more about racism, which is often not meant that way, but it does not hurt those affected less.

“Where do you really come from?” is an example that the anti-discrimination coach from Neustadt mentions on his website, and which a handful of interested people in Achern also deal with. Another: “Friendly, polite and always smiling, typically Asian”.

Inclusion on the football field: The team

Inclusion on the football field: The team “Banana Flank” Ortenau, which mainly consists of children with mental disabilities, played against guests from southern Palatinate.

Photo: Stefanie Prinz

Inclusion in sports works well in Achern

Meanwhile, visitors to the workshop’s courtyard are guided around by Franziska Möker, who is responsible for the festival together with Ute Götz-Bannert in the city. Some of the planned lectures here – how to recognize anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories – had to be canceled because of the corona, she says, as Mayor Klaus Muttach did at the official opening in front of Illenau City Hall: “We are happy that it can happen at all.” , so OB.

When it comes to inclusion in sports, Achern is well positioned.

Bodo Sutterer, Team Banana Flanke Ortenau

A little further, behind the climbing wall and the graffiti wall, the Ortenau team’s Banana Flank’s football flies a little later through the air. The children, especially those with mental disabilities, today play against guests from southern Palatinate. “Such opportunities are good for children to be noticed in public,” says President Roman Beicht: “What you see over and over again will eventually be considered normal, so the thought goes.

In terms of inclusion in the sport, Vice President Bodo Sutterer believes that Achern is well placed. It is more difficult in schools because teachers are usually not trained in inclusion issues.

All these obstacles do not seem to have any significance at the festival itself. Konrad Hasel also thinks so, he usually works in the association Acherneinander’s bicycle workshop and today keeps an eye on the cyclists on a skills course. “We need such events, so that togetherness becomes a matter of course. Here, people of all skin colors celebrate together, and everyone is equal. ” How the integration succeeds: “Just do it”.

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