European Market Hall

Rahellah Haidari

7th March 2017, 11-2pm. Coventry University, Square One.

Freelance Journalist, Culturae Mundi,

European Market Hall

On Tuesday 7th March 2017, Culturae Mundi organised the first European Market Hall where more than 16 different European workshop leaders showcased their country, culture, traditional food and dance in Coventry University, Square One.  Each country with its own stall in the same location was a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to gain multicultural experience at once. The countries included Bulgaria, Lithuania, Greece, Romania and many more!

The friendly workshop leaders along with a group of enthusiastic students and staff created a fun and busy atmosphere, with many people learning more about countries and trying a variety of foods for the first time.  The stalls were decorated with flags, posters of landscapes, traditional fresh food and activities that were popular in the country. For example, the pleasant Lithuanian workshop leaders had organised a basketball activity where the participant would win a Lithuanian wrist band if they got the ball in the basket three times. This fun activity attracted many students and staff and they were able to ‘take a piece of Lithuania’ with them, as Ruta, one of the workshop leaders explained. She further expressed that it is an amazing opportunity to explore the European world in one place, gaining a multicultural experience and the chance to meet new people.

The vibrant environment was enlivened with so many delicious food for people to try. The Romanian cake, Amaretti which were the handmade almond biscuits and Italian Pesto freshly made from Basil leaves by Marco Barbi were very much liked by students.  Angelika Samek, a Polish student at Coventry University, enjoyed the Pesto the most and stated that she would like to attend more events. Alessandro Rea, a final year student along with two Romanian students agreed with Angelika that the event raised their cultural awareness of other European countries even if they themselves were from Europe. Food from other stalls included the Greek ‘Zasiki’ (yoghurt, cucumber and garlic bread), the Bulgarian ‘Banita’ cake and ‘Tarator (yoghurt and cucumber drink). These were loved by Samiyah Naseri, a midwifery student, who was trying them for the first time.

Food is central to any culture, but so is clothing, music and dance. The Romanian workshop leaders looked astonishing in their traditional Romanian ‘IE’ and the small traditional instruments displayed at the Russian stall represented the importance of music and clothing to culture.  One of the best parts of the European Market Hall was the traditional dance, some of which were Estonian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Bulgarian and the traditional Ligo (Latvia) dance. The workshop leaders were eagerly joined by many students and staff in their dance. Leva Andriuskeviciute, a staff member, enjoyed the traditional dance the most because she thought it was ‘amazing’ to see many different people come together in one fun activity.

It was an enjoyable event and a successful turnout that is evident in the positive feedback from the people who attended. Hafsa and Zainab Choudhary, the twin English majors expressed that usually people think of the European countries as the ‘same’ but events like The European Market Hall gave them the opportunity to learn something specific and insightful about each country. After attending the event, both students felt that they were ‘more culturally aware’ and hope to get more involved in such event in the future. As one of the Romanian proverb goes ‘Unde-s multi, puterea creste!’ meaning ‘where there are many people, the power grows’; the European Market Hall created the opportunity where many people from diverse backgrounds, even outside of Europe, came together to not only share their similarities and learn about their differences, but to teach one other that the unity of people is indeed powerful.

More photos here