AEGEE-Novi Sad has been given an opportunity to host the most wonderful AEGEE event – The Agora. The Agora is the most important meeting within AEGEE, it is our member’s General Assembly. The aim of the Agora is to decide on the work we are all doing as an organisation, control the work of those who administer it directly (the Comité Directeur and the Commissions), change whatever we don’t like and suggest new ideas to be applied in the future. The Agora is a forum where opinions from all around our network are shared. It is the direct participation of all the antennae in the administration of our organisation.
So when we, the honoured members of the AEGEE-Novi Sad, found out that we are going to be hosting the Spring Agora 2022, we had an idea to celebrate this great success with all of our friends from all around the Network. And to give all of you a small preview of what you can expect when applying for AGORA 2022. We invited you to join the Agora Celebration Event (ACEd IT) which was a collection of the most important things that are to be seen and admired when visiting Serbia, more in particular Novi Sad and Vojvodina. During the ACEd It Event, we aspired to give all of the participants a close look at the ways of the Northerners and Serbian culture in general.
Let us first tell you that we take a lot of pride in the fact that we successfully managed to bring people to Novi Sad from many European countries at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. After so much time spent in the lockdowns at home, everyone missed the social life we had before the pandemic. In addition, we definitely missed our friends from other European countries. This was a (very much needed) cultural and social exchange for all of us. While some of the visitors were here for the first time, the others were very happy to come back. And we were thrilled to welcome them to our beautiful city.
The first day of the event was reserved for the indispensable City Rally. While wandering around the town our guests had an opportunity to see all the important and charming spots our hometown has to offer and hear more about the important dates in our history. After the city tour and some delicious ćevapi ( a local speciality made of grilled minced meat), it was time for everyone’s favourite European Night. An activity well known among the AEGEEans provides an opportunity for participants to present their country’s traditional specialities. As usual, the richest table was one which belonged to the hosts of the event, where the participants could try local delicacies such as kajmak, ajvar, delicatessen, sweets made in Serbia, homemade rakija and many more. In addition to trying Serbian food and beverages, everybody present could also try specialities from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Turkey, France, Greece and Belgium. Since the night was filled with laughter and constant chatting, we would call it a success! The highlight of day No3 was ‘Going out Serbian style’ during which we showed our guests how we, the locals, prepare for the night out. Judging by the comments we heard the following morning and in the questionnaire that was disseminated after the event, everyone was thrilled by the fact that we actually make a few stops before entering the club. The fourth day of the event was reserved for the trip to the nearby town of Sremski Karlovci, which used to be a centre of Serbian cultural and administrative life in the Habsburg monarchy. In addition to being a cultural gem, Sremski Karlovci is also well known for land suitable for growing vines. Because of that, the inevitable stop during the ACE Summer Event was wine tasting during which we visited three respectable wineries and tried local wine varieties everyone loved. The saying goes ‘save the best for last and that was exactly what we did! For the last night, we organised a Gala Night during which we explained what Slava is, a traditional Serbian celebration of house Saints the protector of a family home, and showed how a typical Slava looks like.
Agora Celebration Event showed its participants just a glimpse of the atmosphere they will have a chance to experience during the Spring Agora 2022, which will be the peak of a year-long project The future relies on us that our antenna will be implemented starting from October. The focus of the project will be on the active participation of young people, showcasing the importance of taking an active role in shaping the future we want to live in and showcasing the successful projects implemented by the local youth.