In Yallah!dk we work with storytelling that undermine prejudices. We are a group of young Danish-Palestinians who go out and tell our own personal story. We tell you how it is for us to live in Denmark, and we are talking about Palestine’s special importance to us.
We are young people with Palestinian background raised in Denmark. All volunteers. Together with a project manager, we go out and tell our personal story, openly and honestly. This personal meeting and our story give a different picture of what we meet in the media and elsewhere.
For many of our audience, it is a colossal eye opener, perhaps for the first time speaking personally with a young person from an ethnic minority. We experience this again and again. After our story you can always ask questions and ask about everything, such as education, family life, religion, education, work and cultural differences and similarities. There are always many questions asked, and that’s good, because then we can talk about everything that the audience is particularly interested in knowing more about.
In Yallah!dk we are working on developing storytelling, i.e. the dissemination of our personal stories in new ways. We have developed our very own quiz “Guess a young Danish-Palestinian”, which allows for good personal conversations, and we have been very successful. We are also experimenting with other types of events, for example. shared dining or activities form the basis for a talk about our lives in Denmark.
Storytelling is a growing international trend, as in other countries, for example. Lebanon and the Netherlands it is used to break cultural differences between fighting ethnic groups. Similarly, we work in Yallah!dk to break down cultural and attitudinal differences between populations in Denmark, for the sake of cohesion in society.
Cultural bridge building
As a volunteer in Yallah!dk we get experience of standing up in front of a gathering and holding talks that will strengthen our confidence. By communicating our own history and cultural background, we get a better understanding of our own identity, as well as cultural differences and cultural opportunities in Denmark. In this way we work in practice with cultural bridge building. We also gain experience in working organized in a group with a targeted project and been responsible.
In Yallah!dk we have built up a community between us volunteers. We meet for cultural events, eat together, go to the theater, in the cinema and to debate meetings together. This is important for creating and maintaining a good social unity and working community in the group. And then we have fun together.
Yallah!dk is supported by the Intercultural Center at Aarhus Municipality and FO-Aarhus.
Huda Chaaban, projektleder Yallah!dk