The European Union celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and throughout the EU people are celebrating from capitol cities to small villages all with the logo of 'Together since 1957'.
One canton in the Cote d'Or department of Burgundy celebrated with stalls, photoshoots and friendship.
The president and staff of the MJC at Venarey les Laumes organised festivities for the anniversary itself, 25 March.
People of various nationalities in the canton rallied round to prepare stands from their countries and promote them with pictures, foods, maps, flags and presentations.
Mme Carmela Chateau, the president of the MJC, organised a group of European students on the Erasmus programme from the University at Dijon to attend the event and enlisted people to host a couple of students to lunch.
The students arrived by train from Dijon to Venarey les Laumes and were meet by their host families. Everyone made for Alesia, the site of the battle between Caesar's army and the Gaul revolutionaries led by Vercingetorix. Photographs were taken around the base of Vercingetorix's statue.
Back at the hall where the fete was taking place the students, hosts and people from the canton of Venarey les Laumes lsistened to speeches by the mayor of Venarey les Laumes, Patrick Molinoz, and Mme Chateau. A vin d'honneur was then drunk to the European Union.
After lunch everyone returned to the hall where the public visited the stalls, asked questions and took away information on the countries. The students made presentations of their homelands, some giving facts while others, like the Italians, sang songs.
Too quickly the students had to get their train, but not before addresses, e-mails and telephone numbers were exchanged.
A tiring but extremely interesting day where friends were made and boundaries crossed most successfully.
- by Coral Luke
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