Skip to main content

On October 28-29, Associate professor of the Department of Social and Humanitarian Technologies Mykhailo Kostiuk took part in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the IKZ (Integration Culture Center) in Mettmann district in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Ukrainian delegation also included the head of the NGO "International Society of Germans of Ukraine - Wiedergeburt" Volodymyr Pinkovskyi and the trio of bandurists "Leliia" from Lutsk.
The IKZ was founded 20 years ago to help migrants from different regions of the world who settled within the district to integrate into German society as quickly as possible. The centre, on the one hand, tries to help foreigners get to know German culture, and on the other - to support, develop and preserve their national cultural traditions. The Center pays special attention to working with children of different ages, offering them various group work, interesting educational excursions and various cultural and educational projects.



The celebration took place in the Konrad-Heresbach-Gymnasium. The head of IKZ Liliia Lavruk, the Mayor of the city of Mettmann Sandra Pietschmann and other officials addressed the audience with a welcome speech. Then the representatives of the center showed short presentations of the most interesting projects to the participants of the celebration, and children's art groups demonstrated their performances. The performance of the Lutsk trio of bandurists "Leliia" consisting of Olha Churina, Olena Bohdan-Opeida and Lesia Starenkova was especially warmly perceived by the audience. The members of the creative team presented a multi-genre concert program of Ukrainian songs accompanied by a unique Ukrainian national musical instrument - the bandura. On this day, there were also discussions and debates regarding plans, promising projects and areas of work of IKZ. The celebration took place in a warm, family atmosphere.


The next day, October 29, the Ukrainian delegation attended Düsseldorf, the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia. In the Foundation Gerhart Hauptmann House (German-Eastern European Forum), Associate Professor Mykhailo Kostiuk gave a presentation on a joint Ukrainian-German scientific and educational project - the mobile exhibition "Volyn and North Rhine-Westphalia: Bridges from the past to the present", of which he is the scientific director. Among the participants were the descendants of Volyn Germans, whose ancestors lived in the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries in different regions of historical Volyn. After the presentation, they thanked the scientist for the interesting and informative exhibition, and also expressed their desire to share it in other regions of Germany and even offered their help in organizing such events. Associate Professor M. Kostiuk accepted this offer with gratitude and interest because it opens up potential opportunities for new showings of the mobile exhibition in Germany next year.


After the end of the official events, there was a conversation with their organizer Dietmar Schulmeister about the possibility of continuing cooperation and implementing new joint scientific, educational and cultural-artistic contacts between Volyn and North Rhine-Westphalia.
In addition, the Ukrainian guests made short tours of Dusseldorf and Cologne. It was interesting to walk along the Rhine embankment, to see the monument to the famous German composer Felix Mendelssohn near the building of the German Opera on the Rhine, and to admire the original architectural structures and cosy squares. A special impression was made by the majestic building of one of the oldest Catholic churches in Europe - the Cologne Cathedral of the 13th century, which is rightfully considered one of the symbols of Germany. It was also a great pleasure to see Ukrainian flags near the buildings of various institutions and even in the windows of residents, as a symbol of support and solidarity with Ukraine.


Доцент Михайло Костюк