On 4th of March 2006, for the first time in the Baltic Defence College history, an „International Night” was celebrated. The event was honoured by the Ambassador of the Republic of Germany H.E. Mr Julius Bobinger, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway H.E. Mr Stein Vegard Hagen, Defence Attachés of Finland, Norway and Lithuania as well as invited guests from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia Poland, Serbia and Montenegro. Among the participants were also College staff members, students and their families.
„International night” was opened by the Commandant of the Baltic Defence College, BdeGen Algis Vaičeliūnas who in his speech stressed that BALTDEFCOL is a unique institution in terms of its environment and spirit – there is no single dominating or consolidating nation within it. Therefore the functioning of the College is based on mutual trust, common work towards achievement of the main goals and professionalism of each faculty member, the Commandant stated. „International Night” was another expression of true multi-national spirit – a creation of different cultures and traditions which contributed greatly to the real success of this event. This evening was a continuation of a similar event organized in November, 2005 – „Baltic Night” – during which guests of BALTDEFCOL, staff members and students got acquainted with the history and traditions of the three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. After the opening speech of „International Night” everybody was kindly asked to try national dishes and drinks as well as learn more about the cultural heritage and history of following countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden and Ukraine. Each country presented a table with a large variety of food, drinks and reading material.
„International Night” was a clear proof of how unique is each nation which participated in this event. Denmark presented its national strawberry dessert with a very special name – Rødgrød med fløde – only those who were able to pronounce it, could have a try. Ukraine asked everybody to try their typical soup – Okroshka. Romanians stressed their love for food, one could see it by just a glimpse on their table. Poland offered its traditional food Bigos made of mushrooms, meat and cabbage. Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were just a few among the countries who presented their wine culture. Germany and Czech Republic proved once again why their beer is famous all over the world. Still, this is just a small insight of what one could enjoy during „International Night”. Every single country had an equally important contribution to those wonderful impressions all the participants of the event were able to take home with them.
A live band attracted all the participants to the dance floor. A stage was also open to anyone willing to perform for others – it welcomed dancers who gave a stunning performance by two Arabic and one Azerbaijani national dance. A great value to this event was added by several country representatives wearing their national costumes – such as Croatian, Polish, Azerbaijani and Bosnian & Herzegovinian clothing and even Scandinavian Viking hats.
International Night” created a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the company of distinguished guests, colleagues, students and their families. Moreover, it was a chance to learn more about the large variety of nations. Every single part of this evening created a completely new understanding of a true multicultural spirit. It was more than clear, that all the countries had put a great effort into this event which made the evening therefore even more enjoyable.
Text by Laura Pakaste Photos by Rain Sirendi
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