This winter is very beautiful. And what impression did our winter have on students that came to study at our university from hot countries and that first celebrated New Year away from their homeland?
Becerra Barragan Luis Efrain (Colombia):
- Winter in Russia is, of course, very beautiful, but too cold. When I saw snow for the first time I was surprised how white it was. In my homeland we don’t have snow at all. The most important event of the winter is New Year, which I celebrated with my Colombian friends, who live and study in Kazan now. While a chime of bells, as befits on our traditions, we prayed and ate 12 grapes. New Year in Colombia is celebrated in the bosom of one’s family. Gathering together, we thank the God for a past year and dream about future year. In Russia, one of New Year traditions is to eat a popular Russian salad “Olivier” and mandarins. Surprisingly, before New Year my friends and I went for shopping and we were given mandarins in some shops.
New Year holidays I spent with my family in Turkey. It was very warm there and not cold at all.
Puente Cuesta Luna Valeria (Colombia):
- I always wanted to see what real snow look like, lay on it and play snowballs. I can’t describe what I felt when I saw snowballs falling fr om the sky and softly laying on your hands. I celebrated New Year with my friends in Kazan. We ate different tasty dishes, danced and watched a firework. In my country at this time we have bright and interesting carnivals. People like in Russia met with their families, dance and have a tremendous time. There are a lot of different dishes on a festive table in Colombia. However, we have grape vines instead of mandarins.
In New Year holidays I watched movies in the Russian language, went with Colombian friends to museums, we walked a lot along Kazan. The winter city, decorated to this event, was unusually beautiful.
Wije Gunawardana Dilan Shalitha Karunanayaka (Sri Lanka):
- Despite of that that it is very cold in winter in Russia, I’m glad that I came here. Now I know what snow is and how New Year is celebrated in your country. I went to the main street of Kazan – the Baumana Street, wh ere we celebrated this big event. It was very interesting there: everything was decorated with bright lights, music played everywhere and people launched fireworks. People laughed, sang songs and danced; we also joined to this walking. Of course, these days I was in my country with my thoughts. In Sri Lanka people cook different sweets for a festive table. There is a tradition in Sri Lanka: We boil milk on a fire in front of our home for New Year and then we go to a temple.
I’m glad that after celebrating New Year we have several days off: we walked along the city, relaxed… and did out home works on the Russian language.
Santacoloma Ortiz Juan Felipe (Colombia):
In Russia I was lucky, for the first time, to see the Christian tradition - Epiphany bathing - and even take part in it. Honestly, I was preparing for the worst, as I was told that bathing usually takes place in the river in the open air. But these days are frosty! However, I was lucky: this year, bathing for students and university staff took place in a font in the church of the Holy Reverend Martyr Evdokia. But still it was a big test for me! In my country there is no such tradition in the religion. Now, having plunged into the cold font and personally knowing what it is, I advise all foreign students to try out this tradition for new sensations and experiences.