The Day of International Student Unity (DISU) was held at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) on November 24. The great international festival introduced students to traditions, art and culinary skills of 45 countries and peoples whose representatives are studying at FEFU. The festival gathered about 3,000 guests and participants, including those from other universities in the region.
"It's great to have the Days of International Student Unity invented and organized by the students! One clearly understands how important it is now to be together, communicate and build peace," Victoria Panova, FEFU Vice President for International Relations, welcomed the participants. "If you want to achieve success and create the future, you must necessarily work in a team of different people, but at the same time striving for the same goal. And our festival is perhaps the best example of people's consolidation!"
One of the most striking events of the Day of International Student Unity was the parade of peoples. Delegations of the participating countries marched with the flags of their states and republics, showing the vast geography of the DISU. Students presented national costumes, games, household items, conducted master classes, performed national dances and songs at the exhibition-fair for the whole day.
"My sister and girlfriend have prepared the presentation venue of our country on the DISU for two years in a row. I helped them from home and always, so to say, was here in absentia," said Lusine Harutyunyan from Armenia (School of Economics and Management). "Therefore, when I entered the master's degree program at FEFU, I knew for sure that I would take part in the festival. So cool, it's awesome when so many different people gather in one place! There is no war, only peace and friendship!"
"I am participating in the festival for the second time, and it’s always joyful to have so many opportunities to meet different people," said Eugenia Namzhilova from the Republic of Buryatia (School of Biomedicine). "At the stand we tell about our people, the legend of its origin: it is believed that the Buryats originated from the Hunter and the Celestial Swan Virgo. We also have prepared small yurts and statuettes depicting a girl and a boy in national costumes."
"My clothes depict our national pattern of ‘buta’. It can protect from the evil eye, brings good luck and symbolizes fire, because there is a lot of oil and gas lying at the surface of the earth in Azerbaijan. Sometimes they break out of the cracks and burn," said Gara Kuliev (School of Engineering). "I participate in the DISU in order to show my people from the best side and get acquainted with others. I am grateful to the organizers for such a friendly atmosphere."
"We want to tell about our Chechen people, about their hospitality, rich culture, and peacefulness. Last year, I was just a spectator and decided that I would have to participate in the next DISU. I'm wearing the national clothes that girls wear in the Chechen Republic every day. It symbolizes modesty and good breeding. We brought the attributes with us that tell about our nationality and religion, prayer beads, books about the Vainakh people," said Milana Ezirkhanova (School of Law).
"I take part in the DISU a third time. Every year I come here to show what cultures there are in Africa. Very few people know about Cameroon, about our continent, and I try to tell others a little more. I now have a national shirt from Côte d'Ivoire: this is also an African country," said Cedric Camua (School of Biomedicine). "At past festivals I've found a lot of friends from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, America, and other countries."
It was also the first time that the festival had the 'Cook Together' culinary contest. Those who want to try themselves in the role of cooks of exotic dishes learned to make authentic snacks, main dishes, and desserts for a month. In total, students cooked 32 kinds of treats: mamalyga (Moldova), sadza (Zimbabwe), pumpkin pie (Egypt), satay (Malaysia), dairy burfi (India), and others.
The Days of International Student Unity at FEFU Project was recognized at the nationwide level and was awarded National Prize in the final of the Russian Event Awards. The festival also entered the short list of the Eventiada Awards international competition and won the award in the Best Event of the Year nomination.
Today, more than 3,000 students from 67 countries are studying at FEFU. The University is focused on adaptation of the representatives of different countries to the life in Russia, and the DISU Festival promotes interethnic friendship and develops tolerant relations among young people. The large-scale festival is being held at the initiative of the FEFU United Student Council in collaboration with the Association of Russian and International Students and the Model UN of the Russian Far East, with the support of the FEFU Department of Extracurricular Activities and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science as part of the Program for the Development of Student Associations.