Lycée Pasteur

Connecting Through Peace

Participants 2ndes

Participants from other countries

Mirnovskaya School NI ,Ukraine
Beaupré Community Primary School, UK
Sekolah Ciputra (I), Indonesia
Masaryk Grammar Schoo, CZ
Mirnovskaya School #11, Ukraine
Gymnasium #8 (I), Russia
YarDLC Combined Team (I), Russia
Instituto San Luis Gonzaga (I), Argentina
Liceo Patria Quinta Brigada (I), Colombia
BRIDGES, Argentina
Escuela de Enseñanza Media Nº435 "Luis María Drago",Argentina
Tunaskolan, Sweden
Joensuun Normaalikoulu (1), Finland
IIPDEP (1), India
Cotter High School (1)
Provincial College (1), Russia
Vasilkovskaya School (1), Russia
St. Julie Billiarts High School (1) USA
Council Rock High School (1) USA
Colegio Babeque Santo Domingo
Zwelibanzi High School (1) South Africa
Lycee Technique de Commerce M Delafosse (1) Senegal

Questions for classroom twinning

1) Have you had any contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures? In which way are you different from them and in which way are you the same? What kind of things do you find unexpected, disturbing or difficult to deal with? Have you managed to overcome these situations? How?

2) Much of the violence and hatred we witness in our society springs from fear of the unknown or is culturally created. Have you experienced this and how? What do you think would be the best ways to lead a peaceful co-existence? What elements/situations bring people together in spite of cultural differences?

3) In the world we live today, television, computers and the Internet have enabled us to connect with people from all over the world and learn about their cultures much more quickly and effortlessly. On the one hand, this connection facilitates understanding and peace, as it is an enriching experience, opening up new patterns and producing a new flexibility.  On the other hand, it brings about change and rupture with established and set ideas. Many youngsters alienate themselves from their community and way of life and lose their identities trying to copy other cultures. This may generate misunderstandings, friction and violence as they later find they do not belong anywhere or that they are influenced and controlled by a culture they do not fully understand.
     How do you view this? How far does this influence you? How important is heritage to you and how important is change? How do you see yourself and people from other cultures?

From left to right
in the foreground:
Anne Sophie, Magali, Nathalie, Charles (sitting down)
in the background
Marc, Pierre

discussions in class


discussion on the forum

The aim of these questions is:

- To make you aware of the concept of a 'Culture of peace' and "Manifesto 2000 for a culture of Peace and Non-violence";

- To show our common responsibility towards peace and non-violence;

- To develop the understanding that differences in culture, socio-economic background, religion, language, history or colour of skin give you a broader perspective , widen your horizons and should not be obstacles towards peace.

- To develop your own views on how to make a positive contribution towards a culture of peace and non-violence.

Summary of Discussion

        We have already had contact with many different people and cultures because our parents are on the move, so most of us have already lived in different countries and met people with other backgrounds.

        It is true that sometimes there are things that make us uncomfortable or that we do not understand. Like for instance one of us lived in Arabia where women have to cover themselves. Well, it is strange for us who do not see things the same way. We know one girl who was discriminated against because of her origin and name - she was different from the other girls. When people got to know her better, everyone thought her ways were really nice and pleasant. In this group one of us has suffered violence and hatred because of the conflict in the Middle East.

        We are all different , which is a good thing because the world would be very boring if we weren't. We are all different because of the upbringing our parents gave us, because of the customs, food, books we read and things we prefer. On the other hand we are the same, because we all live on planet Earth, we are all human beings so there should be no violence among us. Yet, some people consider themselves superior to others - what is a civilized world and a primitive world? Some people think that they are superior because they are technologically more developed, have written more books or have more money. Because of this they think it is right to impose their culture on other countries, to teach them the "correct" or "civilized" way to act. Take for example what happened when Latin America was discovered and many local cultures were destroyed. You cannot connect through peace if you impose, use force or control others. If others are to change, this must be done because they have decided - they must have the freedom to choose.

        We believe the Internet and new technology helps to bring people together and discuss, gives us a lot of information about other cultures so we are no longer isolated in our groups, towns, country. However, we also see there are people who try to influence others with distorted ideas - for example hate or revolutionary groups, pornography. This generates misunderstandings and can provoke violence.We are not influenced because we feel it is not a positive thing. One of us thinks these sites and publications should be censored.

        Change is important - but we cannot forget our culture, our origins, what we believe in, or feel superior or inferior. We should be allowed to believe in different things, have different images of the world...but we must not forget to always to respect the other and connect through peace.

9 people took part in these discussions: Marc, Pierre, Magali, Charles-Henri, Nathalie, André, Charles Philipe, Stephane and Morris

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