Roskilde Festival is not just for Danes. It’s an international festival with guests from all over the world. Some of them even come to be volunteers. Our reporter Noemia from Brazil asked Mareika from Germany how she ended up as a volunteer at RF14.

As soon as I saw Mareika running around up and down and so concentrated in the middle of all that profusion of colors, smells, textures and flavors, I decided to talk to her. I really needed to find out what moved that read haired girl with freckled skin in volunteering at the kitchen of FoodJam, a restaurant with a do-it-yourself concept, located at the City Centre East Area at Roskilde Festival.

Mareika, a 21-year-old girl, is German and studies Nutrition and Health at the University of Copenhagen. That is the reason why she decided to work with food in order to put into practice her knowledge on this field. It is her first time at Roskilde and she is sure that it will not be the last.

“The first thing I thought when I applied for this job was that this was a unique opportunity to enjoy the festival while putting into practice my knowledge of nutrition”, she says.

“If I had not been able to volunteer, I would not have come. Even though I could afford a ticket, I wanted to be a volunteer”, she confides.

For Mareika, as for numerous volunteers, volunteering in Roskilde is a way to participate and enjoy the festival at the same time, while collaborating.

Foto: Ivone Lopes

Danes are open and festive

The girl has been living in Denmark since November last year. She comes from Flensburg, a border city between Denmark and Germany. Her fluency in both languages allows her to be closer to the Danish culture. But despite of this and the similarity between the two cultures, Mareika sees differences and particularities between both while at Roskilde Festival, from the perspective of her volunteer work. With enthusiasm, she tells me:

“In Roskilde, Danes are very, very open and festive and they really care about people. Doesn’t matter if you work for 5 hours and have a lot to do. If it is time to eat, you are just invited to do so. I wouldn’t do this job in Germany, for example, because there would be too much stress. Here it is like everyone has to be happy, and I really like it”, she adds.

Working in 4 shifts of 8 hours each, Mareika is a culinairy adviser, who also does the dishes at the restaurant whose proposal is to teach the Roskilde Festival goers how to prepare their own food. For 50 Dkk, participants have at their disposal fresh and organic ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood. A team of volunteers provide orientations about the preparation. After fed, the participants leave the festival with a new skill: cooking and appreciating the value of a nutritious food.

Washing dishes with a smile

However, rather than see the enthusiasm of the participants on making their own food, is to see the commitment of volunteers helping them on this mission. Mareika confirms my impression:

“That is so nice being one of those people running around, helping people, giving them ideas, telling them what they could do and what they could experience themselves”, she says while washing the dishes.

Foto: Ivone Lopes

As a Brazilian and an international volunteer at Roskilde myself, I get delighted with two things: the delicious food carefully prepared at FoodJam, and the impressions of the German Mareika when she enthusiastically accounts for her first time as a volunteer. Despite belonging to such different cultures, Mareika and I share the same enthusiasm for being first time-volunteer. And we both agree: there should be a restaurant with the same concept as FoodJam not only during Roskilde Festival, but also out there, in the real life. Food for Thought.

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