3rd Trasnational

Maria Morante- Italy

From the 16th to the 22nd of September, I had the opportunity to visit India thanks to the CulTY project (Cultural Tourism for Youth Initiatives) which involved four countries: India, Vietnam, Greece and Italy. The aim of this project is to promote the cooperation between Europe and Asia in order to improve the potential of youth workers as well as the insertion in the sector of alternative cultural tourism, which represents a great possibility of development.

Thanks to this experience, I had the possibility to visit unbelievable places of worship, such as the Sun Temple in Konark, to discover customs and traditions of natives, to discuss with them trying to find solutions in order to improve their conditions of life.
This was the last meeting of the project, so there had been moments of reflection about themes like cultural tourism and new strategies to improve tourism in unknown places, but also moments of icebreaking with little games and activities to get to know each other.

I have had the possibility to meet people from other countries and to have discussions with them in order to share ideas.
From the first day, my expectations about this experience were very high because this was my very first time in India and I did not know what could happen. Indeed, at the arrival in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, it was clear that I was going to be in contact with a suggestive country that has many faces and many things to give.

For me, the best moment of this entire journey has been the visit at the tribal village. On that day I ate with the villagers, I saw their houses, their animals, their children, I listened their music and danced with them. It really moved me because I learnt that anyone is happy in his own way. It is not fair to bring my kind of happiness there because these people, even if they are poor and isolated from the rest of the world, they are happy with their life. Maybe they do not even need to build roads or to have smartphones: all they need is to have water and to cultivate fields, which are their only way of sustenance.

This project taught me to have always an open mind looking at things from many perspectives and that it is important to share ideas and to discuss with other people in order to create better opportunities.

In closing, I can say that on the plan of relationships, I am happy to have met some special people from other countries, but most of all I have found new friends from my own delegation with whom I have shared many funny and happy moments.

Luigi Gentile- Italy

Participating in the CulTY project represented for me not only the chance to live an amazing experience in a fascinating country but also the opportunity to gain an extremely useful knowledge about cultural tourism for youth initiatives.

It was my first time in India and I was very excited with many expectations. At my arrival in Bhubaneswar I met the other participants to the project and we focused on the goals, objectives and activities of the CulTY project.

The Seminar about Responsible tourism, Sharing ideas about cultural tourism and the Cultural activities in the tribal village were stunning and extremely useful in order to think about the organisation of alternative tourism activities and alternative itineraries for minor sites. We had the opportunity to visit many interesting places within Orissa State such as the Sun Temple in Konark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We had the possibility to create a network where everyone could share her/his experience, best practices and innovative ideas in order to valorize local communities throughout a sustainable tourism.

Tourism could be a strong engine for the development of a territory and these kinds of initiatives are a great opportunity and a hope especially for disadvantaged local communities.

I can say that my expectations were satisfied and I met fantastic people from India, Vietnam, Greece and Italy. Day after day our relationships have strengthened and we all became friends sharing our experiences, knowledge, skills and very funny moments.

Lucia Oione- Italy


On my bucket list there was for sure seeing India one day. I did it, or at least I saw a very small part of that world, but this wasn’t just another check on that list, this was a real and significant experience. CulTY gave me the opportunity to know, to understand a culture that changed my point of view, the chance to see images that will live in my mind forever. In Bhubaneswar we had the opportunity to hear from people that work in the local community in the field of tourism and during those few days we shared not only laughs and nice moments with the other participants of the project, we shared ideas, we had deep conversations about accepting the differences, we did workshops concerning new ideas that would help the development of another kind of tourism in that reality.

The deepest experience I lived during those days it was the tribal village, a place where you let yourself get carried away in another dimension, a completely different reality that you have to face to understand the two faces of the development. There, this was like a challenge, there, you can’t see it first-hand. And it was bittersweet. On one hand I looked into those dark big eyes and I felt like I wanted to do something for them, in particular for those kids, walking barefoot in the mud, on the other hand I smiled seeing how beautiful and unique was their uses and costumes, their songs, their way to dance and the smiles they had for us like they were really proud of showing us their world. They seemed to be really happy in the way they live so we also talked about, during a group discussion, do they want to change all that? Do they want that their village becomes an important tourism point? We still don’t have the answer, maybe we just have to respect their originality.

We also tasted the history of Odisha through their amazing temples, like the one in Konarak, the Sun Temple, we saw amazing, spectacular dancers hard to forget, and we enjoyed the seaside market in Puri. So, what I keep from this adventure? I keep the consciousness that if you have the courage to think “outside the box” and to take a deep breath and face a reality that it’s not the reality you use to live every day, you learn a lot. About yourself, about appreciate yours and other cultures, about the “trip”, and cooperate to create one and only reality where the best of each one of us can help someway someone.

Flavio Garmegna- Italy

The CulTY project gave me the amazing opportunity to travel in India, discovering one of the ancient human culture. The countries involved in the project were India, Vietnam, Greece and Italy, this created a point of connection between Asia and Europe.
I had the possibility to study customs and traditions of an Indian tribal village, trying to find solutions in order to improve their conditions and testing myself about the sector of alternative and cultural tourism. The sixth day there was a meeting where we reflected about new strategies to improve tourism in unknown places, looking for an innovative model of tourism business. In this way I had the possibility to meet new people from other countries having discussions with them in order to share ideas and create a network where everyone could share his personal experience, focusing together on the goals of the CulTY project.

I also had the opportunity to visit fantastic places, such as the Sun Temple in Konark (UNESCO World Heritage Site), discovering the Indian architectural beauties. In conclusion, I can say that my expectations were completely satisfied and I’m proud to have met special people with whom I shared many nice moments. This project taught me to watch things from different perspectives and improved my knowledge getting my mind more open.