Mixed Marriage: an editorial
The main objective of the activity is exploring how different perspectives on same realities exist, and to develop argumentation competences while respecting others’ opinions
Start the activity forming four groups of participants and locating them around four tables and supply them with the necessary equipment (notepad, pens, brochures, manuals).Inform participants that for this activity, they will become the editorial team of well known newspapers.
Introduce the following scenario:A marriage is taking place between two people of different origins (religious, ethnic, cultural, social...). Families and friends are invited to the occasion. Among them, there are four journalists. The journalists represent: A conservative religious journal.An extreme right-wing journal. Sociology magazine.A society magazine that interviews the two spouses
Each group is assigned a newspaper and will prepare, from the wedding scenario, an editorial for their respective newspaper. (NB - The first two papers are against mixed marriages. The third and fourth express a position in favour of mixed marriages). The editorials will describe a completely different atmosphere (scents, the music, the food, the presents, the wedding...) and express different opinions on marriage, from communal, political or scientific, and ideological positions.
The Editorial team prepare a flip-chart on the form of their newspaper frontpage with the main elements they want to underline about the wedding.
Each group “editorial team” presents their newspaper frontpage work in five minutes.The rest of groups take notes for discussion and questions for clarification are allowed.
Once the four “editorial teams” have presented their frontpage, the facilitator leads the debate. The key ideas and themes are marked on a flipchart. Focus on the following questions: How does each describe the marriage? (Diversity of opinion even about a simple thing, people can have different opinions). How to explain many differences? (Different backgrounds, different experiences, different experience of life, different interests.)How can we explain the positive or negative attitudes of one vis-à-vis others? (Favourable/unfavourable prejudice, lack of communication/communication, misunderstanding/understanding, racism/tolerance)
For concluding the activity the facilitator may use the following questions to guide the debriefing: How do you feel? Did you identify your culture in this wedding? Until what limit can different cultures interact? What is our role as a youth leaders while we are working with different cultures?
As this exercise deals with core values, the team should be well prepared. Groups should have the will and dynamics to share and interact with each other.
Facilitator may ask the group to identify in their realities similar cases regarding the different views media and society have around concrete issues specially those linked to diversity. This exercise may be followed by other activities of the Handbook that raise issues about identity, exclusion and discrimination.