IDay, the perfect occasion to see the world
IDay, one of the biggest international festivals in the Östergötland region, took place on 25 April at Linköping University. Students from all around the world had made a lot of preparations in order to show everyone the beauties of their countries and celebrate cultural diversity.
Both master's and exchange students had put in a remarkable effort in making iDay one of the greatest celebrations that Linköping University has to offer. They had decorated their own stands and cooked special dishes from their countries in order to let others get a taste of life in other corners of the world.
IDay provided many people with the opportunity of experiencing a broad spectrum of cultural diversity. Tasting a special desert from Bolivia, accompanied by a drink from Taiwan and a snack from Ghana could have taken you on a rollercoaster ride around the world within the comfort of one location. That is how iDay felt for most students.
“I have been studying here for a few months and this was the first time I travelled abroad. This experience is amazing. I never imagined seeing so many people from so many countries in one place and actually taste some dishes and see their traditions. It’s really great,” said an exchange student from Hungary.
The participants at iDay were just as excited about the event as the visitors. While some were a little shy and only presented their country’s dishes, others were very active and tried to entertain their guests as well as they could. This was the case at the country stand of Ghana. Four energetic and charming students dressed in traditional clothing were greeting everyone that passed by their stand covered by pictures representing dancers, singers and extravagantly dressed people. Besides learning a bit about the culture, visitors could also find out what their Ghanaian name would be.
When preparing for iDay, some students worked in teams and some worked alone, and in most cases the results were spectacular. Karen Losantos, an exchange student from Bolivia, prepared everything on her own. She decorated one of the most colourful stands of the event and prepared traditional dishes from all the regions of Bolivia.
“I prepared everything yesterday. The poster took me two hours to cut and decorate and the food took me five hours to prepare,” said Karen, with a pretty little Bolivian flag painted on her right cheek.
She carefully presented all her dishes, with a map nearby to show her visitors the regions that the food belonged to. Her favourite was Quinoa cake made in the Andes region and her visitors seemed to enjoy it as well.
The German stand didn’t have a lot of things prepared as the two students had been travelling through Europe the week before iDay. However, the stand looked like a lot of fun and the students prepared the famous Bavarian cream, decorated in the colours of the German flag. The verdict was unanimous: absolutely delicious.
On the other hand, the Italian stand was full of special dishes, but not for long. By 12pm, only two hours after the opening of iDay, there was almost nothing left on the table. The famous tiramisu was completely gone and there were only few pieces of lasagne left.
While at some stands the atmosphere was calm and relaxed, at the table belonging to Taiwan spirits were getting restless. Soon after that the show began - war dances combined with parodies, boys with masks fighting each other, three students simulating a motorcycle while another rode on it. The team had prepared for weeks in advance and the show they put on was truly amazing. What followed was a traditional song and dance from Ghana, traditional dances from Japan, some revolutionary songs from Italy and much more.
IDay was an event for everyone. Even if not all international students in Linköping had a stand for their country, no one felt left out.
“I think it’s very important to be here and take part in iDay. It’s a great opportunity for students from all over the world to interact and be together in a relaxing and fun environment”, said Darja Utgof from the International Office.
The fun continued until closing time at 4pm, as another iDay came to an end.
Text: Alexandra Lia Grindean (student reporter)
Photo: Alexander Häger
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Last updated: 2017-02-13