Fortune-telling, quizzes and sugar painting: St Petersburg University celebrates the Day of Philologist and Orientalist
The Day of Philologist and Orientalist has been celebrated at St Petersburg University. Following the tradition, the celebrations have been held in the University’s Modern Sculpture Park.
The celebrations were opened by Alexey Rodionov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies at St Petersburg University. In his opening address, Alexey Rodionov reminded that the tradition of the spring festival in the University courtyard is resumed after two years of hiatus following the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
This is important to have certain constants in life that you are looking forward to. It is like Sun’s daily path: it begins every morning in the Land of the Rising Sun. Then, it comes to the Land of Morning Calm, moving to the Middle Kingdom, then to Indonesia, India, Iran, Türkiye, Africa, Europe and so on. It is the same with us: the holidays succeed each other in time, and here comes the Day of Philologist and Orientalist.
Alexey Rodionov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies at St Petersburg University
‘It’s a wonderful festive tradition when tulips are in bloom in our courtyard, when Ho Chi Minh is honoured with floral tributes, when Confucius and Pak Kyongni are decorated with balloons,’ said Alexey Rodionov.
The participants and guests were greeted by Mikhail Koryshev, Dean of the Faculty of Philology at St Petersburg University. He expressed confidence in the future professional success of the University students. ‘If you are just starting your professional journey, you will have to explore and learn a lot to become a professional in your field. We are ready to help you along your path as you reach your goals. We are confident that your professionalism will foster your creativity, originality and dynamism,’ said Mikhail Koryshev.
This year, the main focus of the event was folk art. Gyztamam Dzhabieva, a third-year bachelor’s student in the Italian language programme and the chairperson of the Student Council of the Faculty of Philology, addressed the gathering next. ‘Once a year, a miracle happens: students of all departments from the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Asian and African Studies get together to take a short break from their studies, have fun, enjoy delicious food, and participate in exciting contests. We hope that today you will be able to appreciate the creativity of different peoples of the world, taste dishes from across the globe, and most importantly, enjoy yourself,’ she said.
Igor Cheremushkin, a second-year bachelor’s student in the Arabic philology programme and the chairperson of the Student Council of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, picked up the idea.
Orientalists and philologists have gathered for a festive occasion. Allow me to draw an analogy: the four corners of the world have met here. We are happy to see you all and hope that this event will bring you a lot of joy and a healthy dose of positive emotions.
Igor Cheremushkin, a second-year bachelor’s student in the Arabic philology programme, the chairperson of the Student Council of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies
During the celebratory event, the University students were able to embark on a ‘gastronomic tour’ across Russia, Spain, Japan, Korea, France, Thailand, India, Germany, Israel, Italy, and China. Some of the ‘tour destinations’ were really creative, for instance, our ‘gastro-tourists’ were demonstrated a traditional Chinese folk art of sugar painting — tánghuà. These are edible paintings drawn on-site with hot, liquid brown sugar, attached to a wooden stick. The artisan created vivid images of flowers, storks, or butterflies, to name just a few.
The guests could also take part in contests and quizzes, test their abilities and win a souvenir. The organisers prepared: a Culture shock quiz; a game "¡Say Silently!"; a game "Magic people"; and a fortune-telling game "Tarot people".
Finally, another traditional part of the Day of Philologist and Orientalist was a concert by students from different academic programmes. The performers demonstrated their talents in singing, dancing, and reciting poetry. Some of them, following the main theme of this year, performed in traditional costumes from around the world.
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