The south of Luxembourg is a multicultural, young, dynamic and very colorful region. On every street corner one hears people speak Portuguese, Italian, French and of course Luxembourgish. This region is a region of contrasts!
The southern region of Luxembourg city is situated idyllically in a friendly landscape strongly influenced by its earlier industrial culture. Since the 1880s, immigration and emigration became not only an important economic and social factor, but also shaped the cultural identity of the region. During the boom of the iron and steel industry, foreign workers from neighboring countries (Germany, France and Belgium) as well as from more distant countries (such as Italy) came to work and live in this region.
Today you don’t see much of the dreary former steel industry. In contrast, the region has changed a lot over time and has created a new identity, influenced by its industrial past, new technologies and the diversity of its inhabitants. Both progress and integration of all peoples characterize the area.
The city of Esch-sur-Alzette, which is located in this region, is the second largest city in Luxembourg. The city of around 34,000 inhabitants from 122 countries, has been skillfully transformed into a recreation area. It presents itself as a modern, dynamic, multicultural and up-and-coming university city, full of young people. Here, people are enthusiastic about street theater, music festivals and the “Rockhal”, which offers the most varied cultural program of the entire region. It soon becomes clear why Esch-sur-Alzette, as well as the entire region with a total of 18 other municipalities, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2022.
After a short stroll through the shops of this multicultural city it becomes evident that people here are very open, among other things due to its intercultural character, where people from different linguistic backgrounds live. One immediately feels good here.
The intercultural character of this region naturally fosters acceptance and tolerance. The cohabitation in this region of contrast is also manifested by the festival of the LGBTQ+ community which takes place every year for a week in Esch-sur-Alzette. The “Luxembourg Pride”, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019 with an incredible number of events, shows how diversity and the fight against discrimination are celebrated.
All events are organized by and for the local LGBTQ+ organization “Rosa Lëtzebuerg Asbl”. These events are not limited to one part of the population, but welcome all those who have culture and tolerance at heart.
Throughout this week, a whole series of activities is offered, such as a ceremony in memory of LGBTQ+ victims of national socialism and all homophobic crimes. Other events include thematic exhibitions, a scientific symposium, various discussions with political representatives as well as films on various LGBTQ+ topics showing as tolerance and acceptance.
However, the highlight of the week is certainly the LGBTQ+ movement’s street party, which usually takes place on the second weekend of July. At noon, a parade begins in front of the town hall. The parade recalls the atmosphere of the Love parade in Berlin: rainbow-colored flags waving in the wind, magnificently costumed people to admire, music blaring in the streets and all the people party peacefully next to each other. The event celebrates life and brings people together.
“Rosa Lëtzebuerg Asbl”
The movement however consists of much more than just celebration and approaches the subject more formally. On the day of the street festival, it is for instance possible to discuss the values and objectives of the movement at various information booths distributed around the streets.
The “Rosa Lëtzebuerg Asbl” organization was founded in 1996 and is particularly active in this field. It defends the rights of and promotes equality for LGBTQ+ and fights against discrimination. This non-profit organization also runs other important events in the region, which anyone interested in the subject, should not miss. Their work in raising awareness and promoting tolerance is very impressive.