What can we Lithuanians learn from foreign students at Klaipėda University? The ability to enjoy small things and real surprises, and to be natural, spontaneous, and always ready to celebrate life.
Such a joy of life festival was celebrated in Klaipėda University on Friday, the 5th of March, to mark the opening of the Ideas Factory Students Activity Club, an area for foreign students‘ leisure time activities. The festival that can be called the birthday of the Ideas Factory attracted a large number of students from different countries: colourful India, dancing Nigeria, mysterious Bangladesh, a dreamland Turkey, neighbouring Latvia, undiscovered Romania, and far-away Iran… Over 70 students from all over the world came to celebrate the birthday. Students from India, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Turkey brought invaluable presents that turned the birthday celebration into a fiesta of nations and cultures: national songs and dances were performed, Turkish poetry was recited, and then, on a multicultural dance floor, students of different countries were dancing, free of either language, cultural, race, or confession barriers. It was a holiday of friendhip and understanding.
Even when the dancers were getting tired, the festival did not come to an end. More surprises were in store: students who gathered at the entrance to the Ideas Factory headquarters watched the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Ideas Factory Club. The ribbon was cut by the initiators of the Ideas Factory: Senior Co-ordinator of the Department of Student Affairs Marta Dangilė Palmaitytė and Vice-President of the KU Student Union Irma Radavičiūtė. Upon entering the premises of the Ideas Factory, students were met with brown bread and salt, a symbol of the Lithuanian hospitality tradition; inside, they were offered coffee and tea, delicious rolls and cookies instead of the birthday cake and listened to Lithuanian folk tunes. Simultaneously, students could watch an exhibition projected on the wall: playful shots recorded what foreign students had managed to see and do in KU and the city of Klaipėda over several months of their friendship with Marta and Irma. Over 100 shots were demonstrated.
The creative team of the Ideas Factory sincerely thank everyone who contributed to the festival: KU Vice-Rector prof. Leta Dromantienė who stayed with us in our birthday celebration; Kristina Mataitienė, Senior Specialist of the Department of Studies, Inga Marozienė,Manager of the Centre for the Infrastructure Supervision, Rasa Povilaitienė, Specialist of Infrastructure Supervision, UAB Jogundė, photographer Rita Gorodeckienė, Student Union branch in the Faculty of Health, and the Faculty of Health administration.
THANK YOU; WITHOUT YOU WE WOULD NOT BE HERE!
Marta Dangilė Palmaitytė,
Head of the Ideas Factory Creative Team