On December 10, young leaders from the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN) started arriving at the Slow Food headquarters in Bra, Italy. Coming from countries across the world including Bulgaria, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and the USA, participants from a total of 23 countries will be in town over the weekend.
Here for a meeting that kicks off this Thursday, the ever-stronger international youth network decided to meet in person to exchange ideas and experiences, make plans for the coming months and years, and of course, celebrate local food on one of the most important dates in the Slow Food calendar – Terra Madre Day.
First held in 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Slow Food movement, Terra Madre Day – a global celebration of local food – now takes place every year on December 10, the day Slow Food was officially founded as an international organization in 1989.
Elsewhere across the world, a huge diversity of events were held this year – involving over 185,000 participants taking part in 750 events. More than ever, the events highlighted the importance and role of traditional and local food, and was a moment for communities everywhere to celebrate and communicate their unique messages to the world.
In Italy, the Catania Convivium joined an orange harvest on land confiscated from the Sicilian mafia – a symbolic gesture in the battle for a society where producers are free to work without fear. In Romania the Bucharest Convivium recalled and shared their grandparents’ recipes. In South Korea the Slow Food Youth Network held a kimchi swap, to remind participants of the traditional way to prepare the increasingly industrialized national dish; and this weekend in northeast India, 3000 people at the Mei Ram-ew festival organized by the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society will celebrate and give rightful value to fragile Indigenous food systems. In the space of twenty-four hours, these communities join hundreds of others across the world holding dinners, picnics, demonstrations, workshops, debates, markets and cooking competitions; demonstrating for the fifth time the heterogeneity and unity of the worldwide Slow Food network.
A huge thank you to all of you who took part!