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World Reporters' Culture & Networking Party

On Friday, November 15, our Foreign Students World Reporters team organised its last networking party for 2019. Therefore, this time the party had a special theme to it – sharing culture. That is why, all of our members attending the party had prepared a traditional dish representative of their national cuisine along with a short presentation of their country.

Among the guests were some of our mentors and supporters, such as Mr. Jinwoong Lee, as well as people we have met and interviewed during the course of the project like the AI-focused law expert Mr. Michael Bae and Mrs. Ahyeong Shin, a reporter from Korea's daily newspaper “Donga Ilbo” (“동아일보”). We also invited some of our friends who were previously unfamiliar with our activities, however, at the party they instantly expressed great interest in it, with the intention of joining for the next term.

Since the beginning of the project, our team was brought together by the about Korean culture and society, which left us little time to focus on sharing the unique features of our own cultures. So, we saw last week’s party as an opportunity to change that – not only did we get to know each other’s countries better amongst ourselves, but also presented them to our Korean mentors who have diligently taught us about Korea’s social values over the past 6 months.

Dalia from Egypt showed us her county’s centuries-old, but still well-preserved national treasures and natural sights, with additional focus on some Egyptian dishes that seem similar to Korean foods. She shared with us an Egyptian traditional meal she had prepared at home, called “moussaka” (“مسقعة”). It is made with fried eggplant soaked in tomato sauce and then baked.

Following Dalia, Binta presented her country, Senegal, and its capital city, Dakar, which is also where she is originally from. While talking about her country’s history, she showed us a beautiful video of her hometown which made the audience wish to visit immediately. Binta also played us a song about the beauty of Senegal and demonstrated some dance moves with it. The dish Binta had prepared was “fatayas”, meat-filled bread pies seasoned with unique local spices.

Patricia introduced not only about Mozambique, where she lived for most of her life, but also Zimbabwe, where she was born. Thus, she compared both countries' cultures and pointed out what was unique about each. Being fond of fashion herself, she drew our attention to some specific patterns of Mozambique and Zimbabwe's traditional clothes and the way they are worn in both places. Patricia’s homemade dish was “arroz com manteiga”, savoury rice with peanut butter.

After a short break during which we enjoyed the foods together, Regina from Hungary delivered the next presentation. She taught us a couple of simple phrases in Hungarian and proudly talked about those famous people in the history of her country, who have changed the world with their inventions, amongst which are the ball pen (László József Bíró) and C vitamin (Albert Szent-Györgyi). The food Regina shared with us was “palacsinta”, which is a Hungarian twist on what is commonly known as crepes, filled with jam or cocoa powder.

Jana from Serbia presented her country’s folklore with a famous folk song “Ajde, Jano” (“Come on, Jana”) which was also a reference to her own name. Jana also talked about famous national figures, including sportsmen, such as tennis player Novak Đoković, who nowadays present the country in its best light. The dish she presented was a Serbian version of rice pudding, called “sutlijaš”, sweet rice cooked with milk and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Serbia’s neighbouring country, Bulgaria, is the home country of Margarita. She presented the region in detail, through both its natural sights and rich history, recommending the most beautiful places for tourists to visit. Margarita also intrigued us with stories about some of Bulgaria's representative festivals. To the table, Margarita brought Bulgarian yogurt, which the country takes great not only in its taste but also in having the patent of the bacteria that triggers the conversion of milk into yogurt.

Katya from Russia had chosen a creative approach to explain her country, since she believes there are many worldwide-known, however, sometimes very misleading stereotypes about Russia. Therefore, she delivered her presentation as an interactive quiz during which our guests could guess whether some of the popular opinions were true or false. The statements included Russia being the country with the most alcohol consumption or the coldest country in the world. To our surprise, we were never able to collectively guess the correct answer! Katya’s dish was ham rolls with cheese and garlic which Russian people usually prepare as an appetizer for parties.

Similar to Patricia, Janith also carries the legacy of two countries. However, his two homes are not closely located. On the contrary, Sri Lanka and Canada are even situated on different continents. Nevertheless, Janith decided to focus on presenting the culture of Sri Lanka, assuming it was the one we were more unfamiliar with. By showing beautiful pictures of its historical sights, Janith explained the cultural and religious origins of his country. He also stressed the must-visit spots in case we decide to travel to Sri Lanka. The food prepared by Janith was a popular Sri Lankan side dish, traditionally served with rice, called “sambol”. It is prepared with freshly grated coconut, chili pepper and red onion.

In addition, Jana, Foreign Students World Reporter’s project manager, carried out one more presentation which was a brief summary of this term’s activities of our team with a sneak peak into our future plans. Finally, the World Reporters team expressed its gratitude to all members and mentors for the hard work and opportunities we have shared this semester. We promise to do our best until the end of the year and hope to complete the term successfully.

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