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Self-Identity: A Simple Definition 

Who are we? This is question that we all stumble upon at least one in our life. And it is not an easy one to deal with, as our self-identity is built, lost and found throughout perhaps our whole life.

Discouraged? Well, you shouldn’t be (unless you’re already 90, but even then, you will be too experienced to even care). This means that while there is life, there is hope.

Self-identity is basically the concept we have of ourselves, and the definitions we give to ourselves  as a result the role or position that we occupy in our lives or behaviours we engage in regularly. What does this mean? That we give labels to ourselves, “trend-setter”, “athlete”, “teacher”, “mother”, “activist” etc.

Source: Encyclopedia

Self-identity In the Case Of Migrants

When it comes to immigrants, the issue of self-identity becomes more complex. The idea of "where you are from" becomes unclear, and there are instances where young people may not identify with either the host country or their country of origin.

The concepts of self-identity and home are closely linked. Why? Research suggests that home is a place closest to a person's heart, where they retain their identity, integrity, and way of life. In the context of immigrants, the challenge lies in navigating this sense of self and belonging when the traditional notions of home and identity are blurred.


Source: Freepik


Men often see home as connected to their success and accomplishments. For women, it's more about considering home as a place for emotional comfort and protection. So, for guys, it's tied to achievements, while for ladies, it's about feeling safe and emotionally supported.

Cultural background

For European migrants, getting economically settled can happen quickly, especially when it comes to jobs and finances. However, how fast this happens is also tied to culture. On the other hand, for ethnic minorities, the process might take longer, but it's less affected by cultural factors.

Source: Freepik

What Is Intersectionality and Why Is It Important?

Find out here:


Other factors

Other factors that influence self-identity may be religion, educational level, language fluency, education received in the host country, forming communities in the host country and the flexibility of the new community to absorb new members.

Exercise: Intersectionality and Cultural Identities

Objective: promote critical interculturality and encourage reflection on the intersectionality of cultural identities. Materials needed: sheets of paper, markers and tape

Let's break into pairs or small groups of 3-4 people.

Write down all the cultural identities that pop into your minds - things like race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, ability, and more.

Once your group has a list, dive into a discussion. Explore how these identities intersect and overlap in your lives and the lives of others.

Think critically about the privileges and challenges that come with each identity and how they interact.

After about 15-20 minutes, share your thoughts with the larger group. Let's learn from each other!

We'll wrap it up with a discussion on why recognising intersectionality in cultural identities is crucial. How does it shape our understanding of diversity and inclusion? Get ready for some insightful conversations!

Young People Committed To Living Interculturality

The Festisol international committee has chosen this theme to explore throughout the year 2022.

Let‘s explore in more detail:

  • Youth engagement: how to support and strengthen it? 
  • Committing to critical interculturality: beyond living together? 
  • Anti-racist and committed youth: revolution, renewal or taking over? 

Source: Resources and reflections on the 2022 focus: "Young people committed to living interculturally“, Solidarities festival 2022

Committing To Critical Interculturality: Beyond Living Together? 

  • Critical interculturality is the second focus of Festisol 2022, and it's all about how different cultures connect. Just like youth engagement, it's a bit complex but full of cool ideas.
  • Interculturality is usually about celebrating differences, but there's a cooler way called critical interculturality. It's about looking at power and promoting a different way of teaching, going beyond just noticing cultural differences. It aims to change our society, saying no to an oppressive Western way of thinking.
  • This approach helps us understand discrimination and racism better by listening to the experiences of those who know it firsthand. It challenges our practices in art, history, and how we pass on our struggles.
  • So, it's not just about celebrating differences – it's about transforming our society and building a future that includes all kinds of histories, cultures, and identities.

Source: Resources and reflections on the 2022 focus: "Young people committed to living interculturally“, Solidarities festival 2022

Anti-racist and committed youth: revolution, renewal or taking over? 

  • Many young people are really into decolonial approaches, shaking things up in French anti-racist struggles.
  • This new generation is changing slogans, language, and how we take action. In many movements, especially led by young women, they're at the forefront of anti-racist struggles, like the big anti-racism and solidarity campaign.
  • Now, some things can be divisive, like non-mixing, the Islamic veil, or cultural appropriation, within anti-racist organisations. But we think the diversity in youth struggles isn't a problem – it's a spark for important debates, making our movements stronger and more progressive.

Let's keep evolving, debating, and making positive changes together!

Source: Resources and reflections on the 2022 focus: "Young people committed to living interculturally“, Solidarities festival 2022

Stop for a minute, digest the info, follow the diagram and reach your conclusions!


  • Migration and moving is as old as human history (otherwise the continents would not have been populated).
  • It is only normal for people to look for better living conditions. This has not changed during the centuries.
  • So given that people will continue to move and migrate, here’s another thought!! What if this process was treated as more natural, especially with young people?
  • What if the migrant or native-born youth knew and appreciated their locality, its stories, buildings, what makes it unique and had the desire to belong, contribute and be a part of it? Isn’t this what we call active citizenship? And wouldn’t the whole community benefit from it and wouldn’t it also benefit the development of young people ?

Could we agree on calling this a WIN-WIN situation?

In youth work, there are lots of ways to help both migrant and local young people feel included.

Many of these involve informal learning, covering several areas at once:

One methodology that addresses all the above is Place-Based Education.

Did You Know About Place-Based Education?

  • Place-based learning (PBL) is a type of education that involves students or participants in activities centred around local systems, histories, and interactions. The goal is to make learning more connected to everyday life (Zimmerman & Land, 2014).
  • When learners have hands-on or real-world experiences, they tend to build stronger connections to their community, gain a better appreciation for the natural world, and become more active citizens. On the flip side, when citizens actively engage with their surroundings, communities thrive, and the quality of the environment improves (Sobel, 2004).

Sources: Zimmerman, H.T., Land, S.M. (2014) Facilitating Place-Based Learning in Outdoor Informal Environments with Mobile Computers. TechTrends, 58(1)

Sobel, D. (2004) Connecting Classroom and Community. Nature and listening 2004.

So, in simple words:

Can you think of 3 place-based activities?

WATCH THE VIDEO: I Am European: Young migrants share their stories

As a young immigrant in Europe, you have several opportunities to participate and engage in your community. Exploring Opportunities through the European Youth Portal.

  • Discover diverse opportunities tailored for young immigrants in Europe.
  • Access resources like Erasmus+ for educational and cultural exchange programs.
  • Get involved in community and volunteer activities to connect and contribute.
  • Learn more and find opportunities at the European Youth Portal: European Youth Portal.

Engaging in Youth Work and Solidarity Activities

  • Participate in youth work initiatives focused on integration and inclusion.
  • Join the European Solidarity Corps for volunteer and work projects.
  • These programs help in personal growth and understanding different cultures.
  • For more information on youth work and solidarity activities, visit: Council of Europe's Youth Partnership.

When we consider youth immigrants, it is important to develop their soft skills so they can have their voice.

The course "Gamification in Youth Work for Inclusion of Immigrants" is exploring immigrants in the EU, checking out youth work Programmes, and honing soft skills through gaming.

Why is this crucial? Because by refining your soft skills, you're not just fitting in; you're amplifying your voice!

Ready to dive in? Check it out: .

Let‘s dive into active participation!

Ever wondered how to dive into active participation and make a real impact? We've got a toolkit just for you, based on a guide from the NGO e-Graine. This guide is your go-to for inspiration and empowerment to get involved in different initiatives.

First things first, it talks about why your engagement is crucial. Spoiler alert: it's all about building a world that's inclusive, sustainable, and fair. Pretty awesome, right?

The guide presents some cool tools and strategies. Think storytelling, interactive workshops, and peer-to-peer mentoring. These aren't just buzzwords; they're the keys to unlocking your motivation to take action.

So, are you ready to be a part of something bigger? Discover your potential, and let's make the world an even better place together!

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