Saint Lucia's Day in the Anniversary Year
The Swedish language has been studied at Petrozavodsk State University since the late 1980s.
In 1996, the Academic Board of PetrSU introduced a new program titled “Russian and Swedish Languages and Literature” at the Institute of Philology. This year PetrSU celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Swedish language at the university.
During this time, the university has prepared 20 "generations" of philologists who are fluent in Swedish and proficient in intercultural communication. Many graduates apply the knowledge gained at PetrSU in their professional activities: education, business, culture and even diplomacy.
The Department of German Philology and Scandinavian Studies provides teaching of the Swedish language for two PetrSU institutes - the Institute of Philology and the Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences. One of the department's distinguished traditions is the celebration of Saint Lucia's Day. Over the past years, this day has been celebrated in different ways: in the crowded assembly hall of PetrSU with the participation of Petrozavodsk creative teams, and privately among the colleagues, and even in an online format. But every time this holiday turns out to be special, as new generations of students and new teachers bring something original to it. This year the celebration took place in the Youth Innovation Park of PetrSU and was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Swedish language studies.
Anatoly Stikhin, the former Head of the Department, addressed congratulatory words to the students and teachers of the Department of German Philology and Scandinavian Studies. Arvid Nordh and Eva Winiarski, lecturers of the Swedish Institute, who have worked at PetrSU in different years, also welcomed the participants.
PetrSU lecturers (Andrei Kunilskii, Anna Rozova, Angelina Dundukova, Gennady Zarovnyaev, Irina Matashina and Alexander Tolstikov) shared their views on students that study Swedish, noting that they differ from other philologists. The enthusiasm of the students, their wide knowledge and proactive attitude were also noted by the lecturers. The graduates of the Department shared their memories of the years spent at the university. Many talked about exciting events, unforgettable extracurricular activities, internships and joint trips to Sweden.
The main event of Saint Lucia's Day was the performance of the students' choir. It opened the meeting with a festive procession "Luciatog" that was performing the traditional "Sankta Lucia" song, and then, at the end, all guests had a chance to sing a closing carol together.
The first-year students:
“It was a very interesting experience for us as for the first-year students. Preparation, rehearsals, the performance itself - all stages were exciting in their own way. This holiday has become an immersion not only in the Swedish culture, but also in the Department's traditions. During the preparation, the team of students and teachers has done a huge amount of work.
It was nice to hear congratulations from the former teachers of the university: warm words addressed to the Department caused pleasant feelings. We are really proud of the place that we have chosen for studying; to some extent, it even helped to assert that each of us made the right choice, entering this particular place. We were also very happy to see familiar faces from our teaching board.
As to the event itself - we do consider it magical. White dresses, candlelight, songs, a sense of unity - it was truly wonderful! It is especially notable that all of us were gathered together in one room in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holidays, which are usually celebrated with the family. We really liked the Christmas fortune telling, which foreshadowed good news for each of us in the near future.
The sound of small talks filling the room where we are all gathered; an opportunity to discuss with graduates our worries, to get some advice and parting words from them... It was all great!”
The second-year students:
“This is not the first time we celebrate Lucia, so we were well acquainted with the history of the holiday, its traditions and Christmas songs. We had a great choir, and it was that Christmas miracle that waits for you at the end of a difficult academic semester. It was a wonderful day and we would like to repeat it next year!”
Margarita Stolyarova, a guest and the Department's graduate:
“On December 13, 2021, there was a cozy holiday at PetrSU - Saint Lucia's Day, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Swedish language studies at PetrSU. The Department has special traditions associated with Lucia, it is great that new students follow it. It was nice to receive video greetings and congratulations. I was happy to see the teachers and graduates, and to reminisce about the days of my studies. Thanks a lot to everyone!”
Anna Potasheva, a guest and the Department's graduate:
“Saint Lucia's Day was our favorite holiday during the studies at the university, and it remained to be our favorite after graduation! It was very nice to meet the teachers again and see the new students with bright eyes. And the video greetings from our Swedish lecturers melted my heart. Many thanks to the Department for these 25 unique years and so many wonderful beloved people.”