Bridge of Friendship between Russia and Germany finds its builders in NSPU

A Summer School “Study and reconstruction of the culture of Russian Germans living in Western Siberia” started on 26 August at NSPU. It was sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

This Summer School received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service due to its uniqueness: it allows to get acquainted with the customs and traditions of the Russian Germans living in several areas and also study the cultural heritage of this ethnic group: national songs, dances, costumes, traditions, ceremonial and everyday food. Both European and Russian students were invited to participate.

Rector of NSPU Alexey D. Gerasyov launched the Summer School with an opening speech.

- First of all, I would like to thank the German Academic Exchange Service for their support. Our university seems to have deserved this opportunity to work on this project as we have taught the German language and the German culture for more than 75 years. At the moment around 200 students are studying at the Faculty of Foreign languages, which means they are going to become German teachers at schools in our region, - mentioned Alexey Dmitrievich. – I would also like to thank our project partners: Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SB RAS, Novosibirsk State Conservatory named after Glinka, the Novosibirsk Regional Russian – German House. I hope our cooperation will make this Summer School a big success.

The participants of the Opening ceremony of the School were Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts, Mr Bernd Finke, Minister of Education of the Novosibirsk Region Sergey V. Fedorchuk, Deputy Director of the Novosibirsk Regional Russian-German House Viktor G. Protokovilo, consultant of the DAAD Information Center in Novosibirsk Tatyana N. Molodtsova

- The role that the Russian Germans can play in developing present and future relations between our countries can be characterized as building bridges in its high symbolic meaning. They are well familiar with both Russian and German cultures, and this experience might contribute towards the interaction and mutual understanding between our countries, - said Mr Bernd Finke.

- Russia and Germany have had a very long history of interaction, which was both positive and negative through hundreds or maybe thousands years, the countries have had a significant influence on each other. Restoring these connections and traditions, we are sure to build a bridge of future relations as the ability to speak openly and understand each other is the first step in creating peaceful and respectful relationships. A friendly communication is much more constructive than an aggressive competition, - mentioned Sergey V. Fedorchuk.

The organizer of the Summer school is the Institute of Culture and Youth Politics NSPU. Long term artistic relations with German colleagues helped the ICYP teaching staff create an interesting project of study the cultural heritage of the Russian Germans in Siberia.

- In our previous project “The Russian – German wedding ceremony” we were guest participants, we gave workshops and directed the performance in Germany. Being organizers seems rather challenging but extremely interesting, - said the Head of the Department of Folk Culture and Musical Education ICYP Nina A. Chikunova.

The participants of the Summer School are looking forward to the coming trips in German villages from Slavgorod to Lake Teletskoye and meeting people who keep carefully cultural peculiarities of the two countries.

- I’m greatly inspired by this project and really grateful for having an opportunity to participate which seems impossible for me in other circumstances. I’m feeling a burning interest as I learn new things every day and I’m looking forward to what comes next. Apart from that I hope to improve my Russian which I started a year and a half ago. I must admit it’s a really difficult language, that’s why I’d like to learn more about Russian culture and meet new people, - said Conrad Hurfler, a student from Germany.

The project finishes on September, 9. The participants are expected to improve their professional skills as well as knowledge in the Russian languages and the Russian culture.

Alina Kirienko