Europe

Young Irish Berliners

Young Irish people invited to Irish embassy in Berlin to discuss and exchange experiences of moving to Berlin

November 01st, 2017
Eoghan Kilkenny, Berlin Global
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Ireland is a country with great history of immigration, however throughout much of the last few centuries history shows that millions of Irish people have left their home in the search of work, opportunities and adventure. Although traditionally the U.S and the U.K are the more common destinations, with the implementation of free travel throughout the E.U, for member states, cities across Europe have become attractive destinations for young Irish people and Berlin is a prime example.

The Irish embassy in Berlin hosted a meeting, on October 12th 2017, to bring together Young Irish people who are in Berlin to share, discuss and exchange experiences they have encountered in moving to and living in the city. The event consisted of an introduction and welcome speech from the ambassador Michael Collins followed by an exchange of experiences through four guest speakers who moved to Berlin from different backgrounds and with different goals. This was followed by a Q&A session where the 60 plus people who attended the meeting could ask for advice and also add experiences they have had. After this session the embassy arranged food and drinks supplied by Irish created businesses in the city (Jameson, Crazy Bastard Sauce foods and Hellogoodpie foods). Entertainment was also provided through Irish artists and musicians.

Culturally the event seemed to be a massive success with faculty members being pleased with the large numbers in attendance. The embassy expressed an open door policy for all, not only those Irish born but those with Irish roots, who wish to visit under any circumstance, which is vitally important to any young person moving abroad.

The food and entertainment showed how Irish culture and German culture can benefit from each other. Hellogoodpie's offered blends of many Irish food traditions with German traditions to create quite a tasty combination. Also as Berlin is a quite an expressive city in terms of the arts, it has enabled many artists to come here and to develop their skills and portray their work to a wider audience, such as was the case with artist David O'Kane who presented his visual creation during the event.

Events like this are an example of how Cultural Diplomacy can support German Irish relations through helping young Irish people integrate into German society yet still feel a part of an Irish community.

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