2007. december 4-én Paulo Coelho beszéde nyitotta meg az Interkulturális Párbeszéd Európai Éve – 2008 programot bemutató brüsszeli sajtótájékoztatót. A méltán elismert világhírű regényírót 2007 októberében nevezte ki az Európai Bizottság az Interkulturális Párbeszéd Európai Nagykövetének. Coelho a brüsszeli Berlaymont Palotában ebben a minőségében szólal fel. Az Interkulturális Párbeszéd Európai Éve – 2008 program céljai: (1) az interkulturális párbeszéd elősegítése az egyre nyitottabb és kulturálisan egyre összetettebb Európai Unió állampolgárai és állampolgársággal nem rendelkező lakói között, (2) a közös értékeken és a különféle kultúrák kölcsönös tiszteletén alapuló civil kezdeményezések támogatása.További információ az Interkulturális Párbeszéd Európai Éve – 2008 program weblapján:
Paulo Coelho eredeti, angol nyelvű nyitóbeszéde.
Press Conference Launch
”European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008“
Speaker: Paulo Coelho
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Commissioner Figel’,
How do societies and cultures grow? How do people grow? How are the members of a society and a culture to develop, to re-assess their own sets of values, if there is culture to act as a mirror, as a partner and sometimes even as a teacher? It is hard to imagine.
A society that keeps to itself has confined itself or is not even alive to some extent. Only the encounter and dialogue with others that simultaneously enriches and challenges ones own beliefs and views, These encounters allow usl to grow.
Today the world has grown smaller and yet expanded in so many ways. We often refer to it as a global village. If I look at myself, a Brazilian citizen giving this speech today here in the Berlaymont building in Brussels in the company of my fellow ambassadors from so many different countries here today, it certainly seems an accurate reference - a wonderful reference if I may say so.
While we are lucky to enjoy all the advantages of living in a global village, we should still remember that the fact that our cultures are so different in their manifestations, we still can find that they share the same values. And that intercultural dialogue has become a major part of our daily lives – not because we are similar, but because art allows different people to interact with each other. When we see important bridges collapsing – political, economic, religious – we still have culture to help us to understand each other. The European Union itself has seen changes that have brought new friends but also new challenges - the addition of new member states as part of the enlargement process, migration in Europe, the interaction with new cultures within and outside of the European Union. These developments have rendered the dialogue between different cultures within the EU more important than ever.
This is why today, we are here to launch the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008: to promote intercultural dialogue as an instrument to assist European citizens and all those living in the European Union, in acquiring the knowledge and abilities to deal with a more open and more complex cultural environment. To raise awareness in Europe of the importance of developing an active European citizenship which is open to the world, respectful of cultural diversity and based on common values. And especially to encourage young EU citizens to actively participate in the dialogue with other cultures within and outside of the European Union.
We, my fellow ambassadors and I, are here today to lend a face to this wonderful initiative and to support it with our own experiences in living in different societies and bringing our own culture into the world. We are not to forget that people are the motor, the essence of life, the heart of a culture. They have the power to make it grow and open it up to new impulses, to new views and ultimately to new friends. Because, the “other” can always become the friendly and the acquainted once we open ourselves to accepting differences.