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Feeling 'Home Sweet Home', Delicious Food and Lots of Fun

Celebrated twice a year, the Cultures Day is dedicated to the diversity of cultures and nationalities at HSE University – St Petersburg.

On December 5, the hall of the 4th floor of the campus building on Kantemirovskaya street was absolutely packed with the students. Organized by the student society – CIS and Baltic Countries Association – with support of the university, the Cultures Day is the largest event run by students for students. This time, the event attracted around 500 students from 17 countries.

Olga Krylova, the Head of the International Office, and Ksenia Kuzmina, the Head of the Unit for Student Extracurricular Activities, greeted the students and appreciated the opportunity to get an insight into the heritage of different cultures. The event was attended by Valentin Vanyov Angelov, a Сonsul, Second Secretary of the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in St Petersburg who came to support his fellow citizens. 

The official part of the event was continued with the awarding ceremony of the student ambassadors who were chosen a week earlier as well as a presentation about the exchange opportunities for HSE students.  Daria Zima, an Academic Mobility Coordinator, announced that the call for applications for semester, year-long international mobility, and double degree programmes will be open from February 1, 2019 till March 1, 2019 and invited to take part in the information sessions.

The entertaining programme of the festivities included country presentations, performances and interactive activities. What celebration could go without food and drinks? Everyone could jump at the chance to taste hummus, banitsa, pilau, croissants, lavashes, and other appetizing dishes. The heritages of different cultures shared through music, dances, songs and food are all that students adore in this most anticipated event. It might be a double pleasure to be embraced by your peers! Congratulations to the students from the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia and Mongolia who won in the costume contest, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the winners of the art contest, and Armenia and Uzbekistan who prepared the best food stall! 

‘It is important that the Cultures Day often gathers together people from the same diaspora who perform and create side by side. The event also allows us to meet representatives of the diaspora in St Petersburg, who support us and the university, and they are always ready to help with costumes and decorations’, said Milena Mkrtchyan, a sophomore student of the Bachelor’s programme ‘Asian and African Studies’.

Cultures Day is my favorite celebration because it associates with my home and motherland. I have taken part in the third Cultures Day, and every time I am overcome with emotions and astonished by the people who are very open and committed. I was very excited to meet students and teachers who were genuinely interested in my culture –  clarified how exactly certain dishes were cooked or requested to teach a national dance. 


Milena Mkrtchyan, an HSE student