What is Kolibrí?

kolibri_800The Kolibri Festival is a way to experience multiculturalism and multilingualism in Finland through children’s eyes. Kolibrí – the Ibero-American children’s cultural festival offers artistic, recreational and educational program for all families. Kolibrí brings a multidisciplinary program in a multicultural setting which is open to different kinds of families, irrespective of nationality or language. The events and workshops are free of charge.

Whom is Kolibri for?

The workshops are intended for babies and preschool aged children together with their parents and grandparents. They are led by Ibero-American artists living in Finland. The workshops will be mainly held in Portuguese and Spanish, although anyone can participate in them, even without these language skills, since the instructors all speak Finnish, Swedish or English and we will arrange for translation as needed.

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Our proposal also considers as part of its core the problematic of bilingualism of families, resident in Finland, whose weak mother tongue is either Spanish or Portuguese. That is why, yearly, we promote a seminar where researchers, basic education professors, cultural promoters, artists, therapists, NGO representatives, mothers and fathers meet with the purpose of analize, thinking and presenting possibilities, limitations, initiatives and expose the issues from the governments, NGOs, and families on this regard.

Where?

The Festival takes place in various places in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area during the spring (18.-31.05.2015) in Espoo Libraries: Entresse, Iso Omena, Saunalahti, Sello and Kirjastoauto, in Helsinki in Malmitalo and in autumn (15.09-3.10.2015) in Espoo Libraries: Entresse and Sello, also in Espoo Cultural Centers Karatalo and Kannusali; in Helsinki, in Vuotalo Cultural Center and Tiedekulma.

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What is on the Program?

The programme consists of workshops, performances, exhibitions and concerts where we become familiar with Ibero-American culture, traditions and art through dancing, handicrafts, singing and playing music, among others.

During spring and autumn we will arrange a family party to wrap up the series of workshops. In autumn we will organize a family concert in Portuguese or Spanish with visiting performers, in cooperation with the embassies, and the first ever performance by the greater Helsinki metropolitan area Latin American children’s choir.

Who created Kolibrí?

This artistic and educational creation is the work of parents from Ibero-American countries and Finland living in Helsinki. We are cultural and bilingualism activists with different professional skills. We firmly believe Kolibrí provides a space for meeting and dialogue which promotes social inclusion and integration of those who have a second native language and therefore, a second culture; an important addition to the cultural diversity that exists in Finland.

We produced Kolibri 2015 in cooperation with Cultural Centres and Libraries from Helsinki and Espoo, and in collaboration with the Ibero-American Embassies in Finland. During the Kite week in Espoo we have the support of the Embassies of Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, Spain, Uruguay y Venezuela.

Kolibrí received the financial support of Arts Promotion Center Finland and also the financial support of Vuotalo and Malmitalo and the Libraries from Espoo.

Why is a Spanish and Portuguese language children’s cultural event important?

In Kolibrí project, language is seen as an integral part of culture, because indeed it is considered the main tool for the transmission, diffusion and creation of knowledge within society. We want Kolibrí to be a multicultural network that supports the development of cultural bonds related to the interconnection between Spanish and Portuguese language and the languages of the host country: Finland.

The immigrants of the greater Helsinki area are a part of the present and future local history. The artistic and cultural experiences of children of  bicultural  families, where they get to know Ibero-American cultures in a local setting, are important for children’s identity development and also to provide a space for interaction with the diverse local community. Our aim is to attract both, immigrant, and other families particularly interested in or curious about Ibero American children’ s’ culture or in children’s culture in general.

Most of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking attending families do not take part in the event only to ”consume” culture, but because Kolibrí ‘s programme helps and supports their children’s language development through very specific artistic manifestations. On the other hand, other families and children come to have the chance to expose themselves to and get to know other cultures, artistic expression, values and languages. The entry point is kept low though, we don’t expect everybody to master all the languages so we include in the program workshops around other art expressions such as music, literature, dance, among others offered in Portuguese and Spanish but with the possibility of translation into English, Finnish and Swedish.

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