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Language Pavilion MeM – Livingroom of Languages.

Where can you experience many languages in 2018 and enjoy activities and food from many different language communities? In the specially-designed language pavilion MeM (Frisian for ‘mother’) in the Prinsentuin. At MeM it’s as homely inside as its outer appearance suggests!

An unusual pavilion, in the shape of two female figures and dedicated to language – and to “mother” tongues – will arise in the Prinsentuin in Leeuwarden in 2018: “MeM” (Frisian for mother). MeM is the “living room” of Lân fan taal, and is the place in which small languages from across Europe, regional languages and dialects from the Netherlands, and minority languages spoken in Leeuwarden will take centre stage from April to October. These include Basque, the Celtic languages, Friulian, Catalan and Võro, but also Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Papiamento, German and, of course, Liwadders! One of these languages, in addition to Frisian, will always take central stage at MeM. A total of around 30 language communities will participate: 10 from Friesland and the Netherlands, 10 from Europe and 10 from the city of Leeuwarden.

On Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon, the relevant language communities will arrange activities: poetry, music, storytelling, theatre, lectures, discussions and presentations. Each Sunday, we bid farewell to one of the language communities and welcome the next. Throughout the week, during school hours, the pavilion will be a meeting place for school groups and of course there are the ‘Going out with heit&mem’-Saturdays for the whole family in the surrounding Language Garden.

Ordering a little differently
At MeM you can enjoy a drink and a small bite to eat. As much as possible the menu consists of dishes from the region featured at the time. At MeM everything revolves around language, but you’ll also experience that language is more than just the spoken word. You will not only need to decide whát you want to order, but also hów!

Collections & exhibitions
During the course of the year, the roof (or in fact the skirt) of MeM will gradually be covered with the most beautiful words and terms of endearment written by visitors and the participating language communities. The words will be written on roof tiles in the form of “post-its” and attached to the roof. By writing down their most beautiful words, visitors will playfully take a step back from their own languages, and thus open themselves to other languages and cultures at MeM. Collections of words associated with anger and frustration will also be created at MeM.

Opening Hours
Open daily from 30 March-28 October 2018.

Opening hours April, May, June en October*
Monday to Friday: 12.00-18.00
Thursdays to 23.00
Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-18.00

Opening hours July, August, September*
Monday to Sunday: 10.00-19.00
Thursdays and Fridays to 23.00

* opening times can vary depending on (extra) programming.

Weeks 13-23 will focus on the Frisian and Dutch regional languages ​​and dialects. In weeks 24-33, European minority languages will follow. And “last but not least”: in weeks 34-43, the languages ​from Leeuwarden. Also check out Afuk.frl.

Afûk (coordination), BUOG, different language communities and organizations, HoorFriesland