Foreign Students Presented Cultures Up Close

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On Tuesday 4 March, VMU international students presented cultures of various countries of the world in the event “Cultures Up Close” at the Kaunas Officers’ Club “Karininkų Ramovė” (A. Mickevičiaus Str. 19). The students vividly presented their native cultures and traditions, transporting the audience to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Latvia and South Korea.

The evening began with the speech by the head of “Karininkų Ramovė”, Major Donatas Mazurkevičius, who highlighted the importance of international relations. After introducing all the participating countries and their relations with Lithuania, the major regrettably announced that the event is not attended by Ukrainian students, who had to go back home due to the troubling situation in their native country, where people are fighting for their independence.

After the opening speech by Major Mazurkevičius, the participants and guests were greeted by Roberta Paškevičiūtė, the president of ESN VMU. This student organization was later introduced by its Public Relations Coordinator Dominykas Graibus.

The first ones to take the stage and introduce their culture were students from Azerbaijan. They showed the beauty of their country by comparing the way it was in the Soviet era and the way it is now. The transformation was impressive, especially because some of the guests had visited Azerbaijan in their youth. However, as pointed out by those who have never been there, it wasn’t necessary to have travelled to Azerbaijan in order to appreciate how the country changed through the years.

This presentation was followed by students from Georgia, who demonstrated the beautiful landscape of their homeland and provided a lot of interesting new facts about its culture. The students showed videos of folk dances performed in traditional clothes, celebration customs, songs, etc. Everyone came to understand that Georgians are very hospitable. Naturally, everyone also came to understand a few things about Georgian wine.

The distant land of Georgia was replaced on the stage by Lithuania’s neighbour, “sister” Latvia. Three students from the nearby Baltic country surprised everyone with their fluent Lithuanian speech. Still, the Latvians convinced everyone that Latvian and Lithuanian have their differences by using examples of words in both languages that are pronounced similarly yet have different meanings. The students also surprised everyone with their performance of a Lithuanian song. At the end of the presentation they showed some photos that captured the moments of their daily life in Kaunas and revealed the love and affection these foreigners feel for the city and Lithuania as a whole.

Last but not least, the evening of presentations was wrapped by a South Korean student who wore traditional clothes of her compatriots. The main goal of her presentation was to reveal the numerous similarities between Lithuania and South Korea, but quite a few differences were pointed out as well.

Another surprise was the appearance of two girls who entered the stage dressed in South Korean traditional attire and demonstrated the correct way of bowing when meeting a stranger in their country. Moreover, the girls also served some traditional South Korean dishes, letting everyone have a taste of this exotic land.

After the presentations, their authors were awarded gifts by Major Donatas Mazurkevičius. He closed the event together with the president of ESN VMU once more emphasising the value of friendship amongst countries. “Cultures Up Close” was not the first and definitely not the last event organized by ESN VMU together with “Karininkų Ramovė”. Events like these create strong relationships between countries and that is what ESN VMU strives to achieve.

Ernesta Strakšytė

Photos by Evelina Kurtinaitytė

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