Volunteers’ Voices 2/2017: food

Editorial: Against mindless excuses based on cultural differences

The board of Maailmanvaihto decided in their latest spring meeting to include into Maailmanvaihto’s civic advocacy strategy dismantling stereotypes related to foreigners. The aftermath of the tragedy in Turku has proven this goal to be very topical. It is easy to just blame cultural differences for problems that arise. The more and the closer you look, the more you notice these sorts of explanations for such problems. The challenge for us is to get more people to realize the individuality of people with different backgrounds. As a Finnish person, I am not responsible for the actions of any other Finnish person, so why would foreigners be responsible for the actions of other foreigners?

Maailmanvaihto offers young people the chance to live as a member of a foreign culture for a significant amount of time. One of the main objectives of this time abroad is to get volunteers to develop a more detailed idea and a wider perspective on various issues. We encourage and support volunteers in sharing their thoughts and experiences, and by doing this we get even more young people to see the world from a wider perspective.

Our school visits in Finland reached about 1 900 youngsters and children last year. In addition to that, our volunteers wrote blogs and articles, and shared their experiences with participants in various events. For young people, the most influential messages related to other countries are those told by other young people who have actually lived in these countries. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in spreading Maailmanvaihto’s message for their role in dismantling stereotypes!

The theme of this issue is food. I welcome you to read about all the encounters that people have had while eating, both in Finland and the rest of the world. Enjoy your read!

Anni Koskela
Secretary general

In this magazine

6 Kutsu syyskokoukseen
7 Ajankohtaista
Teema: Ruoka | Theme: Food
— 11 From feeding volunteers to making a living
— 16 Ruoan merkityksestä taiwanilaisessa kulttuurissa
–18 Reseptigalleria: makuja muilta mantereilta
–22 Välähdyksiä aterioiden ääreltä
26 Intercultural learning and pristine beaches
28 Arki vaihtoon ymmärryksen rakentamiseksi
32 Tule mukaan toimintaan
33 Leirielämästä eväitä ammattiin ja päinvastoin
34 Maailmanvaihdon toiminnan lähtökohtia
35 Tapahtumakalenteri

ISSN 2342-2629 (Printed)
ISSN 2342-2637 (Online version)