What community did you miss?

Coming together, doing activities and creating communities is typical human behaviour. But what if you miss out on the activities or miss that community feeling? Luckily this journalist is willing to fill you in and take you around the Aarhus Festivalweek!

By Elena del Campo

“It’s really motivating to see people in the streets coming together”

The first step in my quest for a good view on this festival was to approach

a man at the information stand. This is where I met Jaime, a volunteer at

the festival. As you could’ve probably deduced from his name, he is

originally from Spain. 

 

His task to fulfil at this festival was to help out attendees who feel lost.

He told me he decided to volunteer here for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, he liked to do volunteering work as he finds it very fulfilling and inspiring from a personal point of view to do these kinds of things for society. It’s also a nice way to get involved in the local culture and a good opportunity to practice some Danish as a foreigner. Lastly, it’s a great way to meet other people. 

 

I asked him some more about the festival. Apparently it was his second time at the festival, but his first time as a volunteer. He stated that he really liked it last year, which compelled him to come back. “It makes the atmosphere of the city really vibrant and it’s really motivating to see people in the streets coming together and music everywhere”, he told me. In short he really likes the concept and finds it very welcoming. 

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“Life makes more life”

After hearing Jaime talk so positively about the festival it was time to approach

one of the events. We stumbled across a pop-up by the name of Folkehus, instantly

attracted by the mini-football table. Here I found Laura Rasmussen, a volunteer at

the Folkehus initiative.

                                                             Now what is a Folkehus, you might ask.

                                                             Folkehusene or tiny houses are places for

                                                             the people in Aarhus where they can be

                                                             a part of a community, relax and be together. They’re a way to meet                                                                 new people and work against loneliness, because as Laura puts it: “Life                                                               makes more life”. For her this is an opportunity to find people,                                                                             understand their place in life and try to make it better.

 

Currently there are a lot of seniors at these houses, because they are placed close to elderly homes, which confuses people to think it’s only for the elderly. She assured me this was not the case, and they’re currently executing a marketing strategy to show that the houses are for everyone. With this pop-up she hopes to open the houses up and show that generations can meet beautifully. 

 

Still not convinced of this project? Maybe the activities will. The volunteers organise things like bingo, ceramics, knitting, card clubs and more. 

(You can read more about them on this page: https://folkehuse.aarhus.dk/)

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“You get people to come out and be together”

But what do the attendees think? I asked Maria and Mette, 2 women who were sitting at the park. They came here to talk together while their daughters have a playdate in the creativity tent for kids a bit further away. 

 

Even though they weren’t very positive about this year’s festival specifically, overall they spoke approvingly of the festival: “I think it’s a good thing, yes, I think it's a good thing to have this every year in the city; You get people to come out and be together”. 

“There is lots of stuff to do, too much stuff, I feel like I’m gonna miss half of it”

Lastly, while walking away, I spotted a group of students playing irl chess (see the picture). It was Miguel, who moved here from Odense, who won against Dario and Anna, a couple from Spain.

 

For Dario and Anna it was the first time at the festival and they had already gone to a couple events, like the silent body event, which Anna called “cool and super funny”. 

Miguel had been here other years, he said he thought it was a great

idea and even went as far as to say: “There is lots of stuff to do, too

much stuff, I feel like I’m gonna miss half half of it”.

It was clear all three of them were fans of the festival as they said

they were for sure planning to come back. Anna even said she

wishes they would do it in the winter: “The good vibes of the

festival will cheer us up in the winter… could be nice”.

 

Finally, I asked them about the purpose of this event; why should

people come? They answered that it was a great way to show the culture here and a good thing for students to meet people and make friends.


 

I can't help but agree. It seems the festival is a great way to bring people together and cheer them up. Thanks to the amazing volunteers the city comes to life and motivates the people to get up and create community where it may have been missing before.

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