Every two years this festival takes place in Dresden in front of the Church of our Lady. It was my second time participating and I enjoyed the peace academy more than ever. The motto this year was “What is the world worth for you?” All activities and get together were based on the main question. Plus we had a lot of fun beside that as well.
What is Peace Academy?
Two points are already captured in the name it´s a peaceful event and it is an academy because it is teaching. The Church of our Lady is hosting the festivities. That´s why I first got to know about it in youth group. Religion is not the main topic, but faith is what unites all participants. Over 400 people from all over the world come to Dresden to celebrate the unity that´s build.
Four days all about “What´s the world worth?”
It may sound a little bit long but when you start thinking about it you will see that there are many aspects you have to consider. Even though we talked about it for the whole time I still do not have the perfect answer because circumstances are always changing and I am changing, too. So well what have we done to work with the topic.
First of all we arrived Friday evening and went to our hostel which was close to the festival area. Returning to the camp we eat dinner. For all it´s worth the food is amazing. You can chose between a vegan and a normal dish, which is both delicious. After dinner we went into the church for the welcome ceremony and some games to get to know each other. The Taizé evening was later that night but we couldn´t sit much longer we decided to go for a walk. My friend, some guys from Belarus and I went trough Dresden and exchanged facts about our cultures. Our first night was short but I can tell you the following two were even shorter.
On the second day we went to the morning devotion on top of the church of our lady. Later we chose the workshops we wanted to participate in during the day. They always have a big variety of things to do and if it is enough time, I would definitely attend more. I decided to go on a walk with refugees after lunch. We walked past some places in the city and reached a cemetery for Russian workers who were forced to work in the war industries during the second world war. All day long we exchanged experiences and thoughts. It may seem unspectacular, but having the opportunity to get to know people and their stories was really worth it. The refugee crises most of the time occurs to us in the news but meeting immigrants with different backgrounds is way more interesting than reading about numbers.
Well after our trip we went back to the camp and the international evening got started. An evening full of cultural variety where everyone was able to show the group some traditional dances, songs, games and more from their country. We had an evening service afterwards and when we came back outside it was time for a silent disco. One of the best experiences I have ever had. Two years ago we already had the joy of dancing in front of the church with headphones. This time it was even better because we had three channels to chose and there was music for everyone.
The last full day of the academy started of with the Sunday morning service in the church of our lady. It was a public service, but it still was about the topic of the peace academy. Afterwards we enjoyed lunch and chose our last workshop. This time my friend and I went to a discussion about what animals are worth to us. A topic I am generally interested in and I am passionate about. When the workshop was finished we went back and just enjoyed the time with all the other guests of the peace academy.
After experiencing all of this for the second time I can say that everyone should come to the next peace academy. Most important it is so much fun and you gain so much from it! I just love it. You take so much back home.
Although this is a different kind of post I am writing today I wanted to share my experience from May with you. I hope you had fun reading it and we will see each other in 2020 in Dresden for the next Peace Academy.