Freudenberg Promotes Intercultural Youth Exchange Program Between India and Germany

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The internet and social platforms such as facebook and twitter make this possible – with a click of the mouse. However, experiencing another culture close-up cannot be replaced by social networks.

Bangalore, Karnataka, India., December 23, 2013 - (PressReleasePoint) -Far flung countries appear only a stone’s throw away for the youth of today. The internet and social platforms such as facebook and twitter make this possible – with a click of the mouse. However, experiencing another culture close-up cannot be replaced by social networks. This is why intercultural exchange is especially important for young people. It broadens their horizons and has considerable advantages for school and career alike. Linel Vessaoker from Mumbai, India was fortunate enough to enjoy such an experience. The young student spent two weeks with a host family in Weinheim, Southern Germany, as part of the Freudenberg Group’s TANNER youth exchange program.  A tanner is someone who tans hides and the word stands for Freudenberg’s roots. The Group started life as a small tannery in Weinheim. TANNER is also an acronym formed from the initial letters of the words in the initiative’s slogan “Travel and navigate new exciting roads.” Linel did exactly that and discovered a penchant for empty streets and German cuisine on her travels.
Freudenberg started a business relationship with India in the 1920s when the German technology company began importing raw materials from India to Germany.“Cultural diversity is an important factor for success at Freudenberg,” says Dr. Jörg Matthias Großmann, Regional Representative of the Freudenberg Group in India “The international youth exchange program TANNER opens a window on cultural diversity and invites young people to experience it for themselves.”How exciting this is can be seen in small, everyday situations. For LinelVessaoker, 21, from Mumbai it was the peace and quiet which amazed her during her two-week stay in Germany. “It was a very novel and interesting experience to wake up to complete quiet – it’s so peaceful first thing in the morning in Germany. The streets are almost empty, regardless of the time of day. You can really enjoy a long lie-in. Where I live in Mumbai, it’s completely different,” explains the sociology student.
Linel needed to be as bright as a berry for the very extensive program her host family had prepared for her. “We tried to show Linel as much of Germany as possible. In addition to local sightseeing, we went to Berlin, Munich and Weimar,” explains her host Erwin Schollenberger, who works at Freudenberg IT, the Group’s globally-active IT service provider. Schollenberger’s eldest daughter works at Freudenberg and his youngest daughter Anna was also able to travel overseas thanks to TANNER. Together, the entire family prepared for the visitor from India. Just as Linel in India did, they read books about the other country to inform themselves. And they devised a plan for doing things together.Linel was so enthusiastic about the plan – a huge poster with colorful entries –that she used it for her own personal report and took it back to India with her as a keepsake.
During the exchange many young people discover quite unexpected preferences.  “I love sausages! In the cities I tried curried sausage, Thuringian rib steak sausage and Bavarian sausage,” explains Linel bubbling with enthusiasm. And no surprises for guessing the present Linel took back with her. Linel’s mother, who works in Mumbai at EagleBurgmann, a Joint Venture between Freudenberg and the EKK Group, not only has over 2,000 photos to look forward to, but also a selection of German sausage as well.
Since it was established in 1999, over 800 young people have been able to enjoy the benefits of TANNER and have made new friends right around the globe. Linel and the Schollenberger family have remained in contact since the visit. And a visit to Linel and her family in Mumbai by the Schollenbergers has already been planned as part of the next trip to Asia – with German sausage as a gift for the host.
About Freudenberg in India
Freudenberg has held business ties with companies in India for more than 90 years. The Group employs over 3,500 associates at 30 locations. Freudenberg in India recorded sales of Rs.1,114 crores in 2012. For further information please go to
About the Freudenberg Group
The Freudenberg Group is a family company offering its customers technically challenging product solutions and services. The Group develops and manufactures seals, vibration control components, filters, nonwovens, products for surface treatment, release agents and specialty lubricants, medical and mechatronic products. And especially for mid-size companies Freudenberg develops software solutions and IT services. The end-user can find modern Freudenberg household products in the shops under the brand names of vileda®, O-Cedar®, Wettex®, Gala® and SWASH®. The Freudenberg Group employed 37,453 people in 57 countries and generated sales of more than €6.3 billion in 2012. For further information, please go to

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