First Annual Winter Party hosted by Russian and Global Studies at UNL

Photo Credit: Global Studies, Russian Dept. 1st Annual Winter Party
Global Studies, Russian Dept. 1st Annual Winter Party
Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:15

by Blair Mills

On Thursday night, November 30, the Global Studies Program and Russian Department at UNL joined forces to host the first Winter Wonderland Party. This event was attended by students from both departments and provided a much-needed break from exam cram sessions.

The event was also attended by Martha Hollier, a former soloist for the renowned Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, who taught everyone the classic Russian carol “The Forest Raised a Christmas Tree” (В лесу родилась ёлочка). This carol is traditionally sung by small children in Russia as they circle around a New Year’s tree. For this event, the tallest student in the room was designated the “New Year’s Tree” and a circle was formed around them as everyone sung along to this classic song.

At this event, a new tradition was started between the Russian and Global Studies departments of decorating a tree every holiday season. Every ornament on the tree was handmade by students and is now proudly displayed in the Modern Languages department on the 11th floor of Oldfather Hall.

This event allowed all students to learn about how the holiday is celebrated in Russia, the most notable difference being that the traditions associated with Christmas Eve in America are celebrated on New Year’s Eve in Russia. The “Santa” figure in Russian culture is named Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) who delivers presents to children on Christmas Eve accompanied by his daughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden). It is tradition to set up Ded Moroz and Snegurochka figures next to the tree on Christmas Eve. Students were able to create Ded Moroz and Snegurochka figures to be placed next to the first annual Winter Party tree.

Another event between the Russian and Global Studies departments is currently being planned for the spring semester in which students will get to paint Easter eggs and decorate a tree on campus with them.

The event was organized by Dr. Olha Tytarenko of the Russian Department and Dr. Emira Ibrahimpasic of the Global Studies Program. 

Winter Party