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Cultural Diversity Celebrated at the University of Szeged

Cultural Diversity Celebrated at the University of Szeged

2024. May 06.
4 perc

The International Student Union of Szeged (ISUS) - the student union of the foreign students of the SZTE Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School, the Faculty of Pharmacy, and the Faculty of Dentistry - organized the 11th International Cultural Evening. The event, which has become a tradition, took place on April 26 this year in the Pick Arena.

This year, students from 18 countries represented their cultures at the International Cultural Evening, or ICE as it is called at the university. The students presented national music and dance performances, followed by serving traditional dishes at their stands. The elements of the spectacular evening provided insight into various cultural heritages by telling unique stories. The International Cultural Evening can be considered as one of the most special events in Szeged. The attendees were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Márta Széll, the strategic vice-rector of the University of Szeged, Prof. Dr. György Lázár, the dean of the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School, Jamal E.J. Mohammad, President of ISUS, and Botros Mekhael, Vice President of ISUS.


11th International Cultural Evening at the University of Szeged. Photo Gallery: István Sahin-Tóth

– This event offers an excellent opportunity to learn about different cultures and get to know our students' national characteristics better. We all know that the future of humanity lies in our diversity, culture is the intellectual force that binds us together. I encourage the participants to learn about each other and make friends! Personal experiences and friendships lead to greater mutual respect and more opportunities for all of us, emphasized Prof. Dr. György Lázár, dean of the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School.

During the evening's colorful show, the students representing their countries first paraded their national costumes on the vibrant "catwalk", presenting a kind of fashion show. This was followed by music and dance presentations and food tasting. Plenty of mobile phones were raised in the air to capture the unforgettable moments.


Students from Sierra Leone during the catwalk performance

– There are many different ethnic groups living in Sierra Leone, which we call tribes. On the catwalk, we will present the beautiful, traditional clothes of many of them, and then we will perform a national dance. Today we brought cassava, among other things, said Marvel Smith, one of the students representing the West African country, Sierra Leone.

The students working enthusiastically at the stands were also happy to show us which pieces of their culture they brought to ICE. We learned that the East African island country, Seychelles, participated in the event for the first time, while Indonesia is already considered a multiple returnee. In addition to everyday Indonesian food, we also learned about the martabak, which resembles an omelet, and the green cake made from pandan leaves, and about Indonesian beliefs and mythology.


The Indonesian stand, one of the 17 booths decorated and represented by students

– We decorated the stand with Cambodia flowers, which we offer as donations to our ancestors in many Balinese ceremonies. We also display several Indonesian mythical creatures that are featured in our legends. People believe that they conjure up good or bad things. People give donations to the good creatures, and organize ceremonies against the evil ones, shared Azizul Wicaksono, one of the students representing Indonesia.

Brazilian students in Szeged have been regularly participating in ICE since 2019. They brought the atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro to the guests of the evening.


Students from Brazil during the catwalk performance

– We represent the diversity of Brazil, each state of the country is very different. We want to show you how colorful and glamorous Brazil is in the most extreme way possible. We want people to really feel as if they were in Rio de Janeiro. The depiction of one of Rio's most characteristic areas, the Copacabana beach, serves this purpose, explained sixth-year medical student Anna Baumer Machado.

We also talked to students representing Turkey, the country forming a bridge between Europe and Asia.

– When people think of Turkey, the first thing that comes to mind is a feast. We brought our most famous dishes, such as baklava and lokum sweets, which we call Turkish Delight. Capadoccia's hot air balloons and old objects that our ancestors used in their daily lives can be seen at the stand - explained the first-year medical students representing Turkey.

For the event of 2,000 guests, in addition to university leaders, lecturers, and students, the Hungarian ambassadors of the participating countries were also invited.

Text: Karina Bartha

Photos: István Sahin-Tóth