VI International Student Forum “Dialogue of Cultures” held in PSU
On May 18, 2017 Penza State University hosted the VI International Student Forum “Dialogue of Cultures”. Since morning 15 national thematic platforms were organized in front of the buildings No. 1, 3, 8 of PSU. The event raised considerable interest not only among students: “Dialogue of Cultures” brought together government officials, university administration, lecturers, representatives of ethnic communities, and journalists.
“The event takes place on the eve of the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development sanctioned by the United Nations. It is currently held on May 21. Today’s “Dialogue of Cultures” is already the 6th forum. This year we have decided to unite this event with the opening of the memorial sign commemorating the erection of the monument to the 45th meridian. Our students have discovered that the 45th meridian is passing through the territory of our university. The representatives of countries through which this meridian is also passing, study in PSU,” Alexander D. Guliakov, Rector of PSU, addressed the gathered audience.
The celebrations started with the opening ceremony of the memorial sign. The right to open it was given to PSU Rector Alexander D. Guliakov, Chairman of Auditing Chamber in Penza Oblast Mikhail N. Makarov and representatives of 9 countries through which the 45th meridian is passing, they are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Madagascar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
The beautiful ceremony was followed by “Friendship circle dance” in the course of which university students in national costumes let colored balloons go which represent the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups living in Penza Oblast, Russia and in the whole world.
“Inasmuch as more than 1500 international students study in PSU, it is crucially important for the university to establish dialogue between cultures, between students for their better adaptation, more comfortable living and studying conditions in the university,” emphasized Sergei M. Vasin, PSU Vice-Rector for International Affairs.
Then the guests of the event strode to the concert venue “National cohesion”, where the official opening ceremony took place. These opening remarks were followed by welcoming addresses made by Alexander D. Guliakov, Rector of PSU, Mikhail N. Makarov, Chairman of Auditing Chamber in Penza Oblast, and Yuri V. Toropin, officer of the UN Secretariat in New-York.
The guests witnessed a beautiful and striking parade of flags. This year the forum was held under the motto “To unity through dialogue of cultures”. It was not by accident. 2017 is a significant year for Russia from the point of view of youth cross-cultural cooperation as on October 14 – 22, 2017 the International Festival of Youth and Students will be held in Moscow and Sochi. It will bring together more than 20 000 young people from 150 countries of the world. The forum “Dialogue of Cultures” is one of the platforms to prepare Penza student community to this festival.
The forum opening ceremony also included a video link with Moscow and students of M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, who are the prospective participants of the International Festival of Youth and Students-2017, welcomed the audience in Penza. The opening ceremony was followed by the concert, in which leading creative groups of PSU, PAII, Penza, Penza Oblast and guests from the Republic of Mordovia – ensemble of folk instruments “Gaigema” took part.
The forum programme comprised the range of educational, sport and cultural events. There were two round tables “Russian language as a means of successful cross-cultural communication” and “Legal culture within the context of globalization issues”.
“Today our university has become a mini model of the whole world. It is great that you have an opportunity to visit various countries and to study their cultures and traditions without leaving home town and even the university territory. We dance African national dances and taste Arabic coffee; some of Indian students create mehndi on our hands. We also get acquainted with Tatar traditions and Chuvash religious faiths. In the building No. 8 we visit the exhibition of paintings, while in the building No. 1 – the exhibition of books,” noted the students of PSU Medical Institute.
At the closing ceremony creative groups from Penza and Penza Oblast gave their performances. To top it off, the forum participants were able to taste local food of different countries in the House of national cuisine.