Once again, towards the end of the summer semester, we went together into the International Village. To know each other better, to embrace our differences, to learn about our strengths and weaknesses, to experience foreign culture, to have a gastronomic experience, to exchange information and kindness, and to enlarge our artistic horizons. Welcome to the International Village!
Our handy ESN colleagues prepared everything, from tables to the flags representing countries and brought all the various food cooked by Erasmus students. Finally, Erasmus students came and we started our programme with an artistic piece from Bulgaria. The programme was introduced by Erik Ilko who specialises in public speech. The starting point was mesmerizing and touching – singing, accompanied with piano and violin. Then we went on to continue with representation of various countries from all over the world by their own inhabitants. It was funny, oftentimes hilarious, interesting and most informative. We have learned that Latvia was never conquered for long because Latvians always found a way how to expel bad influences from their country, that in summer, they have burning fields everywhere and consider it normal and that their country is almost everywhere full of trees. We have learned that in Finland, it is a terrible thing to touch a stranger in a bus, that Australian people are obsessed with halving upper and lower Australia like a cake whenever there is some danger, from diaspora of rabbits to colonisation by Japan. We have learned that really there are as many stories as many countries there are; that people are always different and similar at the same time. We also had a show of Polish and Turkish dances, which enlightened the atmosphere with friendliness and happiness. Everybody joined to dance the dances of the strangest fashions and movements, we could sense that these dances were created in different times, but still are actual for the common folk of their countries. During the breaks between representations, we were encouraged by Erik to come to the tables and try different and national food from all over the world. Needless to say, most of the people went to try everything and after a while returned to eat from their own tables! Maybe the taste is really a thing of upbringing. What a delicious evening! We tried Polish krowky and pies, French cheese, strange, but beautifully looking (however, for most of us, the taste was terrible and after a while I spit it out on my plate) black rhombus shaped sweet with Finnish ornaments, American mac´n´cheese (this one was eaten maybe the fastest), Spanish tortillas and many, many more. The table with Slovak food was the largest, because we are the welcoming country. It was funny to watch everyone trying out everything possible! Diedre from the U.S. said to me that she tried Kofola, but said that when she wants to have a coke, it must be a coke. My mistaking Spanish flag for Portugeuse was heavily frowned upon - well, it’s a shame not knowing the flags! It was really funny to watch the grimaces of all the people trying out different food – it was like travelling from heaven to hell in seconds! But all in all, most of the food was delicious and very tasty.
Before the end, there was a performance of Slovak national dances and songs. Folklore dancers from folk ensemble Urpín came to show us something national. I think that all the Erasmus students enjoyed it and it was intriguing for them to watch.
We had many hilarious experiences and everyone had a great fun. However, it was not just that – new connections were formed, different lives were shown and understood. We have understood that we have to stand together and that in a country which is welcoming others with the same generosity with which it loves it’s own people, a better life can grow.
Eva Midlíková, President of the ESN BB
Recommendations and comments to this page are to be adressed to: Ing. Dana Straková