Luxembourg’s multi-cultural associations
Firmly on everyone’s calendar, the crowd-drawing International Bazaar, which would have been in its 60th year, has been cancelled this November for health and safety reasons due to Covid-19.
But did you know that there are numerous clubs and associations in Luxembourg that represent the many nationalities that have made this country home? Many organise year-round activities and cultural events, and host language and folkloric groups, to foster better relationships between countries and cultures. We put a few in the spotlight:
Nordic countries have a wealth of societies and clubs from the Swedish Women’s education association to the Nordic women’s club. Den Norske Forening i Luxembourg was founded in 2000, and is open to all Norwegians and other nationalities connected with Norway who live in the Grand Duchy or greater region. The Finnish Luxembourg Society, FINLUX - Suomalaiset Luxemburgissa, was founded in 1993 and organises language courses, cultural visits, and community events. It has an evening of Finnish song planned for March 2021.
If you’re missing some Scandinavian cuisine head to ScanShop for products from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. It stocks marinated herring, Norwegian fishcakes, and Arctic Finnish Squeaky Cheese. There’s also a Finnish bakery (Bakerson) in Dalheim run by Algot.
The Luxembourg Latvian Association aims to unite the Latvian community, improve communications between Latvian expats and Luxembourgers, and promote the country’s traditions and languages.
Established in 2008, it runs a mixed choir, Meluzina, adult and children folkloric ensembles, has a school for children to learn culture and language, and a handicraft club Sāntāpslis. Latvians can vote in home parliamentary elections and referenda from a Luxembourg polling station set up in 2010, and the country’s movies form part of the CinEast film festival.
Although Estonians first moved to Luxembourg in the 1990s, the majority arrived after the country’s accession to the EU in 2004. The Luxembourg Estonian Society, Luksemburgi Eesti Selts, supports cultural ties between Luxembourg and Estonia, and aims to preserve its language, culture and traditions through a weekend school and a library, whilst it invites residents to social and cultural events.
The group also has a craft circle, children’s story circle and a women’s folkloric dance group. Their music ensemble regularly perform Estonian pop and ballads. Estonian artist Tiina Laan-Dondelinger lives in Southern Luxembourg and regularly exhibits her art, whilst the Russian Market in the Gare district stocks some Estonian foodstuff items.
G’day Aussies and Kiwis. The ANZ Club created in 2015 has about 300 members and organises social activities for Australians and New Zealanders living in Luxembourg. The group holds events for ANZAC Memorial Day and hosts a regular meetup at Oscars on the last Thursday of the month (this regular meetup will be affected by current Coronavirus restrictions).
You won’t be able to stock up on vegemite and Lamingtons at this year’s bazaar but Kichechef in Capellen has a great collection of Maxwell & Williams mugs, plates and other gift items with a decidedly Australian theme, featuring cockatoos and possums amongst other antipodean wildlife.
Les Amis de la Corée was founded in 2008 by Orie Duplay and her friends as a non-profit organisation to promote human and cultural relations between Korea and Luxembourg through language lessons, concerts, performances and participation in multi-cultural events. Last year the Altrimenti Cultural Centre hosted Korean guitarist Denis Sungho, whilst the Cultural Centre Scheiss in Merl was the site of a Korean Weekend which included displays of K-pop dance and martial arts demonstrations, together with Korean food and a Kimchi workshop. ArtsKoCo in town also brings new Korean artists to Europe.
Samahan Lux brings together Filipinos in Luxembourg and was started in 1997 in Gonderange by seven friends to raise money for charity. It was registered as an official charity in 2007, and aids Filipinos in their home country with interest-free micro-finance loans. The association also promotes performance and visual arts and holds an annual Christmas party.
The Arabic Association for Cultural Exchange, AACE, was founded in 2017 and promotes inclusion with a motto “culture for humanity”, for peace and integration through intra-cultural and artistic exchange. It provides space for the Arab community to reconnect with their cultural heritage, and invites everyone to discover the Arabic arts through film screenings, exhibitions and music events.
The Cercle Libanais aims to foster debate in the country around social, economic and cultural issues in Lebanon. They organise meetups and after work events, whilst Turkuaz promotes living together, fostering dialogue and mutual understanding across cultures. They do this through conferences, seminars and events that allow residents to discover Turkish cuisine, in addition to organising sporting activities. Turkuaz also runs Turkish and French language classes.
There are several societies and associations representing African countries, but the Maison d’Afrique was founded in 2010 as a reception area for peoples arriving from Sub-Saharan Africa. It provides training, language courses, interpreters and translators. To help Africans integrate into Luxembourg and contribute to their host country, they run a citizenship integration programme.
Asociación Ecuador Para Todos promotes the history, culture and customs of Ecuador in the Grand Duchy. They organise social events for the community including traditional food for sale, and promote the work of their group, including one member who makes and sells masks in Luxembourg. Takiri Bolivia Luxembourg invites everyone to join them to discover Bolivian customs, dance and music.
Lëtzebuerg-Crna Gora is a Montenegran asbl that organises consular days, stands at festivals, classical concerts and celebrates the country’s Independence Day (last year at Schifflange). They also organise trips for members to nearby cities and sites including Blankenberge and Strasbourg.
The more established Serbian Cultural Centre in Beggen also hosts regular events for its 1000 members and plans to open a library.
The Scottish Country Dance Club is not operating during deconfinement, but prior to this it held beginners and advanced classes on Tuesdays for those interested in learning this style of dancing. It normally hosts a ball for dancers to try out their skills on St Andrews Day in late November (not taking place this year), and has more than 10 nationalities in its group.
Find out more about other associations
You can find a list of CLAE-supported organisations representing nationalities or communities here, more information by country on the stands that were present at the International Bazaar last year, and a list of world food speciality stores in our LT Expat Hub article.