On the 2nd of September 2023, the CZU Welcome Centre organised the International Garden Party for the international employees of the university including their family members in the community garden of Suchdol. The garden was decorated with colourful balloons, flowers and international flags to emphasise the multiculturality of the event. Skewers, or as they are called in Czech, špízy both vegetarian, non-vegetarian and even fruit skewers were prepared for guests with beverages and more refreshments.
Participants also prepared meals from their own cultures adding to our list of options. There was loubia (kidney beans) from Morocco, cinnamon buns from Ukraine, mercimek köftesi (lentil balls) and börek from Turkey, fried plantain and fried fish from West Africa, arepa from Colombia, guacamole from Mexico, caramel cheesecake and švestkový koláč (plum cake) from Czechia, crostata from Italy and tandoori chicken, mini bonda and mini dosa with coconut chutney, and egg and vegetable noodles from India. There was so much variety that everybody was thrilled to experience the taste of each dish from different countries.
Food was not the only thing that showed the different cultures present. Some participants prepared to teach others folk and traditional dances of their culture. Nurhayat Aka and Dilara Arslan showed the energetic Turkish folk dances damat halayi and Ankara havasi. Ranjodh Singh Arora showed the Gujarati folk dance form dandiya which is traditionally performed with sticks but can also be done by clapping hands. Mirka Perst and Martina Šlesingerová demonstrated the Czech traditional dance Polka. Many participants took interest and joined the dances. They thoroughly enjoyed without caring about embarrassing themselves and bravely learnt these magnificent art forms.
They also played games to entertain themselves. Some played Uno, some played ludo, while some others played pétanque, croquet or ping pong. There was even a pétanque competition awarded with prices. Our youngest researchers could enjoy hula-hoops and kids’ playground at the garden. At the end of the party, everybody received small return gifts wrapped with inspirational quotes in English and translated to Czech on the other side. Everybody also marked their colourful fingerprint including the country and the flag to a big poster that will be hanging in the Welcome Centre office! It was a long relaxing afternoon and everyone went home full up to the brim. We thank all the people for their kind participation, delicious food and great spirit!