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THE HEART OF EUROPE: in Germany
Lee Sugyeong  |  speak_up_lala@daum.net
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승인 2014.05.11  21:34:27
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ALL PHOTOS FROM LEE

Europa Universitat Viadrina Frankfurt (EUVF) is located near the border of Poland and Germany. Whenever we wanted to eat pizza, we had to cross the river that links Poland and Germany.  We went shopping for cosmetics and groceries in Poland but lived in Germany.  It was a really unique experience as an Asian because we often consider border-crossing as really hard due to the association of the boarder as a line between two nations.  However, there was no controlled line. It was like one big European nation.  Also, at university, there were students from more than 30 different countries.  I learned how to say hello in more than 5 languages.  It was a really good opportunity to share cultures and know the country.  Especially, I made many Vietnamese friends who were born in Germany due to their great interest in K-pop and K drama.  We enjoyed watching Korean dramas with English subtitles.  I had a great time with them and other friends while I stayed in the city as an exchange student.

KOREAN CHU-SEOK IN GERMANY

Three weeks after my arrival, Korean Thanks-giving arrived.  However, that same week, one of my Mexican friends invited me to celebrate Mexico Independence Day, so I celebrated Thanks-giving Day with foreign friends.  Koreans invited other friends and prepared Korean traditional food such as Jeon and Chicken with Cola sauce for the party.  Even though it was hard to make the food, we enjoyed the meal with others and explained the Korean holiday and food.  I enjoyed the experience of being with people of other nationalities at Chu-seok.

CHRISTMAS DAY WITH THE HOST FAMILY

   
 

German families prepare for Christmas three weeks before it arrives.  Every weekend, they invite friends and relatives to their home to bake cookies and enjoy a meal together.  My host family mother invited my friend and I to make cookies with her children.  I’d never made Christmas cookies, so I was really excited and did my best to make them tasty.  As for the children of the family, it’s very common to see them making cookies even though they have other duties during the Christmas celebration.  For example, the 5th daughter of my host family even made a cookie-house all by herself.  Her parents complimented her and the way looked totally different from that of Korea parents.  They always spoke well to their children with words like “It’s gorgeous” or “Perfect” and encouraged them to develop their creativity.  After making cookies, we enjoyed a meal together and talked about Korean culture and society.

INTERNATIONAL DAY

   
 

International day at Europa Viadrina is a special annual event.  Students from more than thirty countries prepare food and special performances involving dance and culture.  It’s a good chance to try a variety of food and drinks.  At the same time, students learn about other nation’s food and customs. Especially, many students wear their traditional clothes.  Also, Koreans there wore traditional Hanboks and cooked Bi-bim-bab for others so that they could try a dish made of various mixed vegetables.  Many friends liked it when we wrote their names using the Korean alphabet like ‘크리스토퍼(Cristopher).’  In the middle of the day, a special stage opens for each nation’s students to introduce their home culture.  Everyone wanted Koreans to perform PSY’s famous song, but my friends and I wanted to showcase a more traditional song like Arirang.  We fused Arirang and PSY’s song together and practiced a dance with all 10 Korean students. Foreign friends were really happy to hear PSY’s song and they felt that the dance number to Arirang looked really charming and gorgeous.  Finally, International Day ended and all Korean students were really satisfied with their effort.  We expected to win 1st prize for that day. At night, they announced the winning nation’s representatives.  First prize was given to the Korean students, and we were really excited and felt proud. International Day at the school in Germany was one of the most memorable days for me.  I felt really proud of my country and traditions, and I was surprised to realize how much foreign students loved Korean culture.

 

   
 
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