The Song of Cultures – case study from Germany

The “Song of Cultures” choir on stage at the Osdorfer Born culture festival, © Frieder Bachteler


Singing together, dancing, having fun, talking together. New arrivals, long-established residents, refugees, neighbours and friends – everybody’s singing songs from different cultures and regions of the world together. This happens every Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Hamburg Adult Education Centre/Zentrum Mitte. The event initially targeted refugees and neighbours in the area to enable them to come together. Over the past year, the venue has become a regular place for people from Syria, China, Iran and Afghanistan to meet with locals and to sing together.

Success factors

“He who sings scares away his woes”, as the saying goes. The participants go on a short journey around the world together in song, singing Persian, Spanish, German, Russian
or Chinese songs. The focus is on new songs, old and new rhythms from home and a desire to create something together beyond borders.

The event pursues a deliberately low-threshold approach via choir singing: Anyone can take part if they enjoy singing, and they can start at any time. No previous knowledge is required.

This enables playful, attractive contacts outside of the usual learning of grammar and spelling in the German courses that are held at the Adult Education Centre.

More information

Hans-Hermann Groppe
Hamburger Volkshochschule


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