from the Mayor
of the City of Munich
Dieter Reiter
Patron of the Balkantage 2021

Photo: Munich Press Office / Michael Nagy

For 14 years now, the Balkantage in Munich have been providing an insight into the great cultural diversity of South-Eastern Europe. With an exciting mix of films, exhibitions, literature, music, folklore, and discussion forums, they offer a programme that is as varied as it is stimulating and have long since become an integral part of Munich’s cultural landscape. This year, due to the Corona pandemic, many programme items must take place online – with the positive side effect that the international, digital networking of many participants can benefit from this.

The importance of the Balkantage for our urban society lies in the dialogue between the cultures and ways of life of all the countries on the Balkan Peninsula and in the opportunity to get to know these cultures better here in Munich. After all, Balkan nationals make up about one tenth of Munich’s city population, not counting Germans with a migration history from this region. The cultures of the Balkan countries are therefore an inseparable part of Munich as a city that sees its cultural diversity as an opportunity and a great enrichment.

Through their thematic focus and their respective annual motto – this year “Balkanconnection 2.0 – The Young Generation and the Future of the Region” – the Balkantage also always have a strong connection to the developments in the Balkan states and the people who have their roots there. There is great interest in the current situation in these countries in Munich as a city in the heart of Europe and the EU.

For all these reasons, I was very happy to take on the patronage of the 15th Balkantage. I would like to thank the organisers, the association “Hilfe von Mensch zu Mensch”, for this enrichment of cultural life in Munich and wish all visitors of the Balkantage stimulating cultural experiences and interesting encounters!