As the international semester closing event of last December was met with great success, we organized the event this year as well. Our Erasmus students, our new Stipendium Hungaricum students and those already spending their second or third academic year at our university, were invited. Besides our Kazakh students doing their part-time studies and our Chinese students finishing their full-time studies, we also asked our Hungarian students and Mikulás to come.
It was the Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy with our call for “INTERNATIONALIZATION AT HOME – SPEND AN AFTERNOON WITH OUR ERASMUS AND STIPENDIUM HUNGARICUM STUDENTS!” that had the most positive feedback. The students of the Faculty and their teacher Ibolya Koloszár offered to present the same dance show featuring Spanish, Kazakh, Turkish, Hungarian and English songs at LIGNEUM Visitors’ Centre which they had already performed during their “International Evening” on 4th December. It was a joint performance of the Hungarian third-year students of the Faculty and their Erasmus exchange students and visiting students from Kazakhstan.
On 5th December, Eliza Karcsai and Laura Reichardt, students of the Faculty of Pedagogy, started the programme. They introduced the Hungarian “Santa Claus”, Mikulás, and his history to foreign students. Their presentation about bishop St. Nicholas, his companion called Krampus in Central Europe and the story about how St. Nicholas became “Grandfather Frost” and “Santa Claus” was followed by learning songs with György Árendás. It was a worthy way of welcoming Mikulás who was very pleased to hear his favourite song beginning with “Mikulás, Mikulás, kedves Mikulás”. He taught foreign students the "HO-HO-HO" greeting in “Santa Claus’ language” and rewarded his audience with “szaloncukor”, the traditional Hungarian Christmas candy. Although he had to hurry to the Mikulás ceremony organized for the children of the university staff, he watched the dance show and a group photo was also taken before he left.
We had snacks and conversations in the break, and were delighted to taste the little spicy breads so reminiscent of flat Hungarian “pogácsa” baked by Doa'a, our Jordanian Stipendium Hungaricum student.
After the break, we admired the dance of Ghanaian, Azeri, Kenyan and Turkish students, and learned a lot about Iraq and Ethiopia thanks to the presentations by Chenar and Tesfaye, our Stipendium Hungaricum students. Then the programme continued with the Spanish and German Erasmus students of the Faculty of Forestry: Carmen and Cristina shared interesting facts about their country, while Alexandra, Nadja and Pia tested our knowledge of Germany in an interactive, playful way. Thanks to Rosita, our Indonesian Stipendium Hungaricum student, the programme was finished with a collective music-making surprise session. Rosita and her compatriot taught us how to play the bamboo-made instrument called “angklung”. It was a great experience to play and sing two songs from the musical "The sound of music” together.
But let’s move on to the photos and videos (made by our colleagues Dr. Ferenc Facskó, András Somos and Tamás Németh) of Mikulás’ visit and the dance performances as they show perfectly how successful the event turned out to be in 2018 as well.
Many thanks to all participants, presenters, performers and colleagues who supported the event and, last but not least, to Mikulás!
Written by Márta Sándor, translated by Barbara Lakatos