By Jana Eckei (Germany); Class of 2014 – International Politics and History
When I was leaving Mercator College on the morning of Sunday, 23rd September – something was different – A breeze of excitement, a bustling atmosphere, friends all dressed up in their elegant traditional clothes, busy carrying artifacts that remind them of their home countries to the Information Resource Center (IRC) foyer. There were many unfamiliar faces all over campus. What was happening? It was Sports meets Cultures time!
Approaching the IRC, I was surprised not only to hear the pond bubbling peacefully in front of the main entrance, but also arrows whizzing through the air – the archery club was presenting and teaching eager students and guests how to use a bow and arrow. Loud c
heers for the local American football team reverberated in the area around the pond, I had to watch out not to get tackled as I made my way towards the sizzling steaks and sausages on the barbeque that filled the air with an appetizing aroma.
Entering the IRC foyer, where my fellow students were representing their home countries. I was totally overwhelmed by the many colorful flags, scents, music and pictures. The cultural program was a vibrant mix of young girls performing rhythmic gymnastics, the performance of traditional Nepal dance and the African Choir, Mzuka, blowing away the audience with their beautiful harmonic voices. Guests from the neighborhood, host families and local sport clubs in and around Bremen where mingling with the students and faculty of Jacobs University. Everyone was invited to try out different activities like archery, American football, soccer, cheerleading, gymnastics and even the riffles of the German shooting federation!
Countries represented at the cultural fair where Nepal, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Honduras, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Besides being able to learn many facts about each country and getting a firsthand account of their respective cultures by watching various dance performances, one was also able to get henna tattoos, taste exotic fruits from Sri Lanka, and get ones name written in a cool Nepali script. What impressed me the most was a dog that was playing soccer. It was as fanatical as its human team members and scored several goals leaving everyone in disbelief.
I a nutshell, I experienced a wonderful day with a cheerful crowd that was enjoying the diversity our Jacobs community has to offer.