About

The Flying Carpet – intercultural encounters 

By implementing the The Flying Carpet in the teaching students, parents and staff members get an opportunity to introduce their culture and interests in a fun and lively way within an encouraging environment.

The emphasis is to not only work with aspects of national culture or backgrounds, but also individual interests and those things that matter the most in each and every person’s life.

The project should promote mutual respect and understanding between people in a concrete way and through different means of expressions. Everyone involved is received with acknowledgement, and through the cultural interaction that takes place the goal is to help developing life-skills that foster the view that diversity makes us richer, rather than seeing it as a cause for conflict.

Each individual is a participant and a spectator at the same time.

Awards

2010 and 2015: Nominated to the society price of “Fréttablaðið”, an Icelandic news paper, in the category “actions against prejudice”.

2017: The Icelandic contribution to The Nordic Language Festival in Aarhus.

2017: The Flying Carpet received The European Language Label.

Comments from teachers

The Flying Carpet should create:

Frames in which different cultures meet in mutual respect and understanding through different means of expression; interaction between all cultures and all languages. This includes the world languages, both spoken and non-verbal ones.

Enthusiasm and understanding of differences and similarities in our cultures.

A frame in which individual children can preserve their cultural identity when coming into contact with a new society.

Awareness of the value of own culture by introducing it to others.

The goals are also:

That people of all origin should feel proud of their own culture and share those feelings with others.

To evolve children’s ability to be active members in society and for them to realize the fact that different cultures can enrich their own.

Support a respectful integration.

Stimulate the children’s fantasy, curiosity and creativity.

During the development of The Flying Carpet project an effort is made to make everybody involved feel an ownership to the project, children as well as adults. The experience is that through this project parents participate during the process and teachers often meet new faces among the parents at the gathering itself.

Kristín R. Vilhjálmsdóttir, intercultural project manager at Reykjavik City Library and educator, created The Flying Carpet after many years of experience as a teacher in Denmark and brought it to Iceland at the beginning of 2008. An introduction to the intercultural encounters project can be booked and if requested the project manager is ready to guide and take part in the preparation of the project. Workplaces can also book intercultural encounters – everyone can take part.

More information: kristin.r.vilhjalmsdottir@reykjavik.is