The Flower of identity - Taison
It is an activity through which the participants use the idea of "the flower of identity" in order to get aware of the multiplicity of each one's identity and get more sesitive and respect other people who are "different".
· The aim of the tool is to make participants more sensitive on Identity issues and Majority/minority relationships
discovered based learning, peer learning
1. The facilitator reads a short story "Taison" or gives a printed version of the story. (It is a short story presenting the life of an immigrant child in the Greek educational system. In the story it is presented the idea of the "flower of identity" and how the 15 year young boy finally manages to be included in the school. While he was feeling safe he was a victim of a racist attack on the street). (5-10 minutes)2. The participants are given papers and pens and they are asked to draw a flower of a daisy. Each petal should contain a characteristic of his/her identity (e.g. woman, Christian orthodox, etc), or whatever they think constructs their identity. When they have finished, they pin or tape the designs onto their shirts and walk round the room so that they can see what each other have done and realize that each one is unique. Relaxing music is played (15 minutes)3. The participants have to find a partner and identify three things they have in common. They can use the common things on the daisy flower. Otherwise they can find something common they (always, sometimes, never) do, feel or think. The pairs try to find another pair who shares the same characteristics. If they can't find another, then they have to make a four and negotiate three new characteristics which they can claim all share. The fours have to become eights by the same procedure. The activity is over once all the participants form one single group and have identified three things which they all hold in common. If the group is very large we can check that they all share the same characteristics by asking players to sit in a circle and, once a characteristic is mentioned, those who identify themselves with it must stand up. If somebody does not "fit" we should try again with another characteristic. (30 minutes)4. Discussion – Evaluation (20-30 minutes)1. How did you feel showing yourself as a unique-different from everybody else?2. How did it feel when you saw how many characteristics you share with the rest of the group?3. Is it a matter of choice when we exclude or include someone?4. In our daily lives, when do we like to feel unique and different, and when do we need to feel the same as or equal to everybody else? 5. Have you ever had to hide your identity in order to be accepted?6. Have you ever felt discriminated against because you were different or because you were associated with someone else?7. Have you ever been forced to give up a part of your identity in order to be accepted in a group? 8. Did you enjoy the activity? Talk about what you have learned.
Papers, coloured pens, pins or sticky tape. Any kind of relaxing atmoshere music can be used.
The participants realize that they have more common things with people they considered totally different because of different ethnicity or nationality, colour, etc. They realise that inclusion or exclusion of someone in a group is a matter of choice.
The tool has been used several times. The participants enjoyed the story which gave them hints on how to draw their "flower of identity" and what to write on each petal. An advantage is that it can be used with any age of participants.
Depending on the group some more questions could be asked as: what do you think of stereotypes?What do you think of people who support different football teams?Are there any people who you don't like because they belong to different religion?How could you react if you were Taison?Do you think that refugees should be protected by the state and that they should live safe in the hosting country? The participants could use the method of brainstorming to find out why people become refugees? Are they obliged or do they choose it?They could take interviews to one another in order to find out how their attitude towards "different people" has changed after participating to this workshop.
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