From Monday 17 to Friday 21 January 2022, the Turkish and Azerbaijani students of the Vogel-Polsky Promotion organized the first Student National Week of the second semester. "It was our honor to present Azerbaijani art and culture to a huge multicultural community at the College of Europe. Exploring art and cultural traditions of other nationalities is always fascinating. Although we were not able to implement all our initiatives due to pandemic restrictions, we were still very excited and motivated to manage it through transition to a new reality. Instead, we focused on the ways to adjust our national week to current circumstances and finding alternative solutions", says Khadija HUSEYNOVA on behalf of the Azerbaijani students.
"Together with my fellow students from Azerbaijan, we have organized art and photo exhibitions of two renowned Azerbaijani artists based in Paris. Art is a representation of national identity, and I believe that it is an excellent way to explore our flourishing western and oriental culture. Moreover, we had national cuisine day and online quiz with numerous prizes including Azerbaijani tea-set and premium quality wine “Savalan”. Since it was my 1st experience to introduce our culture in Europe, I had an indescribable feeling when I saw students enjoying the exhibitions, our national cuisine and gladly sharing their positive impressions with us. We are grateful to the College of Europe for creating such an amazing opportunity and inspiring environment for us to promote and explore each other’s cultural heritage. We also thank all students of Éliane Vogel-Polsky promotion for their support and active participation."
The Turkish students of our Bruges campus also enjoyed their national week to the fullest. "The most delicious day was of course with the national cuisine at the canteen. We had the immense pleasure to share our traditional cuisine, many sorts of pastry (börek) with cheese and spinach, sarma, yoghurt soup, sorts of meze, rice with orzo topped with chicken, qutab flatbread, green beans and of course the one and only baklava. Turkish Society also served Turkish Coffee to enjoy while listening Turkish and Azerbaijani songs at the canteen", explains Turkish student Yağmur POROY AKKAN. A photo series of the traditional lunch in the student restaurant can be found HERE.
"As we were organizing the first national week of the promotion, we felt the responsibility of organizing a perfect opening, which would also motivate students for upcoming weeks. With the POL simulation game ongoing at the same time, all we had in mind was the climate issue. So, in relation with that, we held a conference on Wednesday about the climate crisis from the Turkish perspective. The conference entitled “The Climate Crisis and Green Energy Transition: Is Turkey Ready to Face the Challenges?” was opened by Rector Mogherini’s speech, and our guest speakers were H.E. (R) Ambassador Mithat Rende, the Chief Climate Change Negotiator of Turkey and H.E. Ambassador Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU."
"The conference was followed by an online quiz on general knowledge about Turkey and Azerbaijan. We prepared questions about Eurovision winners, national sports, famous cities and many more. Top 5 winners had the privilege to choose their prizes, but all participants received special gifts to enjoy Turkish and Azerbaijani culture. There were some COVID restrictions during our week, no external guests, no parties and no reception. Nevertheless, the lovely feedbacks we had from students at the beginning of the week from the national day at the canteen motivated us for the rest of the week.”
"Our last event was a paper marbling workshop, Ebru art which is a traditional Turkish art originally used for decorating precious books and manuscripts. Students showed their artistic skills by creating their unique Ebru art piece, and keep them as a souvenir of the National Week. There are really good artists at the College! It was an amazing experience, and we would like to thank the College for giving us this opportunity, but also all our friends for enjoying this week with us!" The pictures of the Ebru workshop are available on the Instagram page of the Turkish Society.