Highlights Part 1: A Wedding and the European Cultural Evening

Cultural Evenings are always something we all look forward to. But only during ECE I realized that having your own Cultural Evening is very different from just participating in one. As during all cultural evenings, we changed our facebook profile pictures as well. After quite a hard time deciding between many creative options, we decided to pick famous painting or people from our countries and put our faces in them. Below are a few examples:

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Despite the various practices in the courtyard, the dance rehearsal to ABBA and the hours spent in the kitchen cooking (I officially became a master of flipping Spanish tortillas, taught by Miren from Spain), there were many more great moments, such as trying to convince everybody on campus that we had a Spanish-Norwegian couple. While the original plan was to make the ECE show resemble a grad trip through Europe, we later on decided to make it a Honeymoon and Wedding trip with flashback. Hence, we picked two Europeans to be a couple, in which case Brage from Norway and Miren had to pretend for three weeks that they were together, while at the same time we had to make sure that the whole campus still thought the show would be a grad trip. It was quite amusing. On the big day of the ECE show, the canteen was decorated with flags and candles. Elegant invitations were sent out with the request for formal attire and once again everyone was dressed in beautiful dresses and suits. Once the canteen was full, traditional wedding music started playing and to the surprise of everyone, Miren and Brage walked down the isle.The bride was beautiful, dressed in a long white gown and with flowers in her hair. Lucas, our second-year from Norway held a moving speech as Brage’s proud father and after we tossed our glasses, the delicious self-cooked dinner was opened.

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The show, held in the courtyard, was just as great as our wedding in the canteen. It started with a traditional Greek dance and ended with “Roma, Roma”. The couple encountered everything from bored reindeers, to crazy Harry Potter scenes during their trip to Europe. The flashback to the proposal took the audience back to Germany and Austria, where my Austrian husband Vincent and I were fighting over the origin of Jodeln and Schuhplattler, while Lukas (Norway) and Abraham (Germany) were giving the couple skiing lessons before the proposal in the beautiful Alps. When the couple came to the Mediterranean, it was caught between the long lasting dispute of Greeks, Turks and Armenians about the invention of Baklava (Pahlavas, Baklavas) and Coffee, with each nation claiming to own the special treat. It was a wonderful opportunity to show our common heritage and similarities and after a wonderful journey through Europe it was time to invite the entire community on stage to dance. The unforgettable day ended with lots of happy faces and squishy hugs.

You can watch the entire show on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcIfWxJ0OiM&feature=youtu.be

Of course our cultural interaction is not limited to the Cultural Evenings. Just before the break, us Europeans got together for a (not-so-European) brunch: Dim Sum. After countless minutes of trying to order vegetarian and pork-free Chinese food, we finally got to enjoy our delicious dumplings and rice with chili.