Europe Day in Chicago
Enlarge image Europe Day Presentation (© Germany.info/Chicago) “Who do I call, when I want to call Europe?” Henry Kissinger once asked. Answering this question is almost impossible, but explaining what Europe is about was part of the idea behind the Chicago version of "Europe Day".
What exactly does “Europe Day” mean? It is not a national holiday like the 4th of July. Europe Day is the birthday of the manifestation of the idea of a more united Europe.
On May 9, 1950 the ideas behind the European Union were put forward by the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman. Today this day is celebrated as the anniversary of the “Schuman Declaration”, which was the principle founding moment in the creation of the EU.
Europe Day is celebrated in various forms in most member states of the European Union. It is the occasion for activities and festivities designed to bring the EU's institutions closer to the public and European peoples closer to one another. Enlarge image Europe Day Presentation (© Germany.info/Chicago)
Since last year, May 9th celebrations in Chicago have evolved. On this special day, Consuls representing 15 countries in Chicago met with students from 15 Chicago area high schools and gave them an overview of the EU from its founding until today.
Helmut Rausch, German Deputy Consul General, used this opportunity to share his own experiences with the EU at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.
On May 9, 2012, many students gathered in the school’s library to listen to Deputy Consul General Rausch’s presentation. A group of students recently went on a trip to France and Italy that was led by French teacher Marianne Doulgeris and were therefore even more interested in the continent on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The presentation was followed by a session of questions and answers during which similarities between Europe and the U.S., the economic situation, the upcoming NATO summit and the diplomatic service in general were discussed.
The college preparatory high school is located in the far south of Chicago and prepares about 600 students for professions within the field of agriculture. As juniors, the students choose a career pathway on which they concentrate for the next two years. Enlarge image Europe Day (© Germany.info/Chicago) 5 different pathways are offered: Agricultural Finance, Agriculture Mechanics, Animal Science, Food Science & Technology and Horticulture. Aside from academic excellence, the school offers lots of unique extras such as a barn with chickens, pigs and cows, beehives, tilapia ponds, green houses and much more.