Where cultures meet

SAMSAYA: Everyone seemed to have fun at the international day. Foto: Kjetil Høiby

Volda University College (VUC) invited both international and Norwegian students to share experiences from studying abroad and being an international student. Special guest, Samsaya, gave a mini-concert and talked about her international life as an Indian-Norwegian artist.

By Natalia Scripnic

At the international day 54 Erasmus students and 27 other internationals came together and brought their different cultures to Volda. Every nation presented its home country and universities to motivate Norwegians to go abroad. Stands with traditional food, pictures and information material aroused people’s curiosity. The smells of the national cuisine filled the air around the canteen to motivate passing people to join.

Getting started
Becky Bakr, international responsible of the student organization STIV, welcomed the guests and declared the international day for opened.

– One of the most colorful events at VUC, Bakr says.

Dunia Soriano Celma from Spain and Petr Stepanek from Czech Republic, are both part of The International Office team, and told us that they have been very excited about this day since they started preparing.
– The importance of cultural variety should stand in the foreground at a day like this, Petr thinks.

Special guest
The day started at 10.00 in the morning where all international students prepared their stands with food and pictures. Some of them also presented their home universities. Ina Galbur, an international student at VUC, showed us a national dress from Moldova and caught a lot of attention with it:

– I am very proud of having this opportunity to represent my country here in Norway, Ina says.

She enjoyed that so many students were interested in her small country, and the meaning of her costume.
Around lunchtime the 31-year old singer Samsaya performed a few songs on the stage of the international day. The audience was keen on her show, and danced along with the artist.

Inviting Samsaya to the international day might have been motivated by her having an international background, as well. Samsaya was born in Hamirpur, Northern India, and came to Norway with her family when she was 11 years old. She was early influenced by hip hop and played in several bands.

Later the international students got the chance to show traditional dances or just presenting their hobbies. The African community showed, together with other internationals, traditional African dances. Daria Kuznetsova from Bulgaria performed a contemporary dance and Katja Gallas from Germany sang You’ve got a Friend by Carole King. Unfortunately, we hadn’t had the chance to see Alva Hlavata and her Oriental Belly Dance, but the show was postponed to the opening of VEKA on Rokken.

Three competitions were on the program of International day. The prizes were free semester in Australia, an Ipad or 8000 crowns to be spent on studies.

The latter found its winner when volunteer Thomas Burmeste Kleppe randomly draws his own name frome the lot box. While Thomas could start planning to spend his money in Japan, the Band Belveder played the last tunes of this year’s international day.

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