European identity: how Europe Day promotes the rapprochement of nations and cultures
May 10, 2024

European identity: how Europe Day promotes the rapprochement of nations and cultures


In my opinion, one of the most important days in Europe is Europe Day.  We celebrate Europe Day every year, remembering the history of the European Union, the traditions of different countries and, of course, their culture. But how do different cultures intertwine in European countries, including Ukraine? How does this affect European identity and how does it bring nations together? Culture is a very powerful thing, because it is the identifier of each country. Culture unites people within countries, but if we are talking about the European Union, then we must talk about a bigger scale, where the culture unites the whole Union. So I want to talk about the impact of culture on European identity. 

Europe is not just a continent or a part of the world; the most beautiful and accurate association with this word is “home”. We don’t need to do anything to become European, we already are. But the thing is that we need to feel how it is to be European. To feel our European Identity. That’s why we celebrate Europe Day every year. It’s also a reminder of how things were back then when the European Union appeared, and why we have to be together now after all these years.   

First of all, what is it – the European Identity? European identity is defined by two key layers: Europe as a cultural community of shared values (cultural identity), and Europe as a political community of shared democratic practices (political identity). According to our topic, we will talk about the cultural aspect of European Identity. 

Globalisation

So, to begin with, we are living in a post-industrial society where globalisation is developing very fast, especially with the advent of the Internet. The Internet has become a resource for searching, sharing and exchanging. Obviously, it’s playing into the hands of cultural development in Europe. For example, European music, literature, cinema and other art forms often become popular in different parts of the world, contributing to the spread of European cultural heritage. It is also important that European culture is known for its influence in the global media and cultural industry. Celebrating Europe Day gives us an opportunity to share different art forms with the world. For example, in Ukraine, some schools give lectures about outstanding artists from Europe, explaining to children why we should know not only our own outstanding people, but also European ones. Because Ukraine is a part of Europe, we must also develop our European identity. Europe Day is an opportunity to remind us of this once again. 

Cultural exchange

Europe Day has its own deep and strong history. This day became a symbol of unity and relations between countries. Europe Day can stimulate and support this cultural exchange through festivals, parties, different lectures and events, where we can learn more and more about Europe. These things are trying to show us the cultures of different countries that are united in the EU. Culture, in turn, unites people. And that is about European Identity, when each person in Europe can feel that he or she is an important part of the Union. 

Languages

Culture is also about the way we speak. It’s no secret that the European Union brings together countries with different languages. This leads to the preservation and support of linguistic diversity and promotes the learning and use of different European languages around the world through educational and cultural initiatives supported by Europe Day. It’s a great opportunity to learn new languages and speak with native speakers on Europe Day. To share traditions and different “secrets” of your own language and to learn more about others. 

Cuisines

Usually there is a lot of tasty food at different cultural and international festivals or events, especially when they are dedicated to Europe Day. You can try a lot of different food because European cuisine is known for its variety and flavour. Italian pizza, or French ratatouille. Who doesn’t know these dishes? Popular dishes from different European countries often become favourites in other parts of the world. So, Europe Day can be used to promote and popularise European cuisine internationally. 

Let us repeat one important thing. Europe Day is a symbol of unity. The European Union is about safety, democracy, friendship and great relationships between people or countries. The EU is literally based on these values, just as European Identity is. Europe Day offers an opportunity to celebrate the values that unite the nations of Europe and to identify areas for future joint action. It is also a time to promote understanding and to foster cultural exchange, which helps to bring Europe’s peoples and cultures closer together, and contributes to global understanding.




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