Africa Day in Lublin with sunshine, a blaze of colours and Vincent Pol University

It was a beautiful journey through the culture and traditions of African countries. Such was the Africa Day at Litewski Square on Saturday, co-organised by Vincent Pol University.

There was a flag parade, a presentation and learning of African dances, drum lessons, a fashion show, as well as delicacies and drinks from Africa. The African community celebrated Africa Day in Lublin on Saturday. It was hot, but very fun and colourful.

We need such events because during them we can showcase our culture, our traditions, achievements, music or research. African culture is very rich, it makes people interact with each other. We are proud of it said Vincent Pol University student Messi, who is from Zimbabwe.

She and her friend Miriam from Ghana served a sobolo drink made of spices, ginger, pineapple and apple.

– It’s our traditional lemonade, it’s refreshing, although it has quite a sharp aftertaste said Miriam. And she added: For us, it is an honour to be here today and to spread the word about our culture to the Polish community. It is an opportunity to get to know us better and learn more.

A group of female residents from Lubartow and the Lublin area tried African lemonade and doghnuts, the so-called puffs:

Very good – they praised. – But it is not only the cuisine that is tasty, we like the whole culture, it is very colourful and joyful. Although today we probably enjoyed the African music the most. We need such meetings, such integrations, getting to know each other. This is a very good initiative.

Vincent Pol University, which ranks 1st as the most internationalised university in Lublin, co-organised and sponsored the event.

– Such events are much needed to integrate the African community with the people of Lublin. This community has become part of the life of this city, it is worth getting to know it better, its customs and culture. Today is an opportunity to do so, emphasises doc. Henryk Stefanek, president, founder and chancellor of Vincent Pol University. He adds that 10 per cent of the students coming from Africa to Poland declare that they will stay and work here after their studies: – The rest will return to their homelands and be our ambassadors around the world.

Abraham Diomande, who conceived the whole event and whose foundation was the main organiser, did not hide his joy on Saturday.

We have achieved the goal we set for ourselves, to integrate our communities and cultures. We are seeing a positive reception of what we are presenting, which is gratifying, said Diomande. But there is certainly still a lot to do, because there is not a lot of knowledge among the people of Lublin about Africa and its customs, and such knowledge is needed when we live side by side.

At the end of the day, a panel discussion was held on the benefits of intercultural exchange and the challenges faced by institutions. The subject of barriers faced by foreign students coming to Poland was also raised. Vincent Pol University was represented in this discussion by Przemysław Terejko, PhD, Professor at VPU, Head of the Department of English Philology.

I think today we not only had fun but also learning, and through this event the awareness of the local community about Africa has increased concluded one of the African student.

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