Christmas 2018 will always be a curious memory for me. Since Christmas is always associated with snow and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, this year Christmas on Madeira was quite different from what I’m used to. In Austria, the main celebration of Christmas takes place at the 24th, whereas here the people care more about the 25th.
Usually, we buy a Christmas tree around the 22nd and decorate it on the 24th. Afterward, we go to church, eat some Fondue and receive presents. To be honest, nothing too special. My favorite Christmas habit is called “Christbaum loben” it if a funny thing to do and works as follows. After you served your time at home, we usually meet up with friends and start ringing on our neighbor’s doors. If they open, they show us their Christmas tree and we have to say how beautiful it is, even if it’s ridiculously ugly, after this procedure you always receive a shot of some liquor. Those tours are always really fun but can, obviously, end up in some quite drunk stories.
When it comes to the carnival, I’m not the right guy to speak about this. I hate dressing up and the music the (drunk) people usually play during the marches disgusts me. However, in the main carnival week, Austrians usually go to several marches, start drinking very early and end up puking in their friend’s trousers. The only cool thing when I was younger used to be the habit of throwing candy into the crowd. For me growing up in a family which is strictly against candy made out of pure sugar, it was a once in a year’s opportunity to get candy.
Austrian Easter was always really fun as a kid. Usually, your relatives and friends would bring along nests with chocolate Bunnies and hid them somewhere around the house. The kids have to search for them afterward and if successful, could eat their chocolate. Also, there is the tradition to bring a basket with food to church and let it be praised by the vicar. As I said USUALLY you bring along butter, milk, bread and stuff like this. Thanks to a very funny friend of ours my parents and the family of our friends started to replace the milk with wine. Well-behaved as they are, in the first year they bought along a basked with butter, bread and a small bottle of red wine. But as the years passed by, the amount of bread they brought decreased and the wine exponentially increased, until there wasn’t any space for bread left in the basket full of wine. Afterward, the “holy” wine gets consumed of course!
My name is Raphael Johler and I always used to like Christian habits. For me as a person which still isn’t quite sure what to think about religion and greater existence, it was nice to see how people struggling with a lot of problems could forget about those and just enjoy one or two days in this mystical land called Christmas/Easter
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing to a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.