Italian and Spanish Style Christmas: Without Borders and Against the Odds
25.12.2020An acquaintance of Pyatigorsk State University students with traditions and customs of different countries is an important part of the linguocommunicative and country study competence formation. That’s why Christmas and New Year celebrations at the university became a good tradition along with a great opportunity for students, who learn European languages at the Institute of Foreign Languages and International Tourism, headed by Professor A.M. Akopyants, to get close to the conventions of these holidays celebration.
Annual linguocultural and country study project “Christmas and New Year in European Style”, realized on the eve of the Christmas holidays by the Chair of Linguocommunicativistics and Applied Foreign Languages, headed by Associate Professor V.V. Elkin has gained a new form due to the current epidemiological situation.
On Christmas Eve, videoconference at Zoom allowed Pyatigorsk State University to build bridges and connect the cities of all the regions of the North Caucasus Federal District, where students finish their semester, with Cadiz (Spain), Naples, and Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Italy).
Under the guidance of the lecturers of the Chair of Linguocommunicativistics and Applied Foreign Languages V.K. Narymov, and E.V. Chmyreva, 2-year students of IFLIT, who learn Italian, told about the Christmas and New Year traditions in Milano, Florence, Gubbio, and Venetia, while Spanish language students told about the traditional Christmas treats and Three King’s Day in Spain.
B.B. Takushinova, lecturer of the Chair, coordinator of the Pushkin Institute – Center of Russian Language and Culture, and postgraduate student at the University of Luigi Vanvitelli Campania, as well as students from the partner university Maria Teresa Franco, Erminia Bifulco, and Elisabet Marta Di Gaetano, who study at IFLIT master’s double diploma program (45.04.02 Linguistics (Intercultural Communication and Foreign Language Competencies in the Innovational Management and Business)), joined the conference from Italy. It was very interesting to hear vivid stories of Italians about the Christmas holidays in Italy and how they are organized during this year pandemic.
Apart from that, Honored Professor of PSU Massimo Capaccioli from the University of Federico II addressed all the participants in his touching video.
Juan Manuel Segundo Torres, a lecturer from the Univesity of Cadiz, who has been working at the Chair for two years as an invited lecturer of Spanish, backed by the coordinator and senior lecturer N.V. Khomovich, and Associate Professor I.N. Mikhaylovskaya, joined the conference from Spain. Juan Manuel told about the special features of the Christmas and New Year celebrations in Andalusia. All the spectators were interested to see the Christmas tree, traditional sweets, and belen (el belen is a Christmas crèche, which depicts a biblical story of a baby Jesus birth) in a Spanish house.
This linguistic and cultural event was very atmospheric and entertaining. Its vivid and educational program evoked a big interest of all the participators. During the communication, students got to know a lot of new and interesting information, practiced their favorite foreign languages, and got motivated to continue learning.
Professor Irina Mikhaylovna Akopyants, Director of ILFIT, noted that on the eve of the holidays, the events like that created a cheerful, friendly, warm, and family atmosphere.
The conference participators agreed that the idea to connect despite the distance, borders, and all the circumstances which divide us, helped us to understand that people who pursue knowledge, light, and kindness will face no obstacles to connection and achievement of their goals together.