The Taste of Eastern Europe

(ICD House, May 6th, 2011)

The event was organized by ICD interns coming from Ukraine (Ian Shulman), Slovenia (Simon Rajbar, Natasa Sbrizaj), Poland (Justyna Tymek, Robert Mrozowski, Cesary Szczepaniuk), Bulgaria (Adryana Ivanova), and Romania (Ana Maria Carabelea, Patricia Somelea).

The Hungarian night in the ICD has explicitly showed the core ‘pluses’ of a folk-style night event: introducing a national culture with all its tasty variables, highlighting the name of the country in guests’ minds and, last but not least, simply having a holiday with friends. And whereas Italy, presented at one of such events, was more or less familiar to an average ICD intern (if there is an ‘average ICD intern’ at all), Hungary was a mystery box covered with vague definitions of ‘gulyas’ and ‘palinka’. Hungary simply needed an event like that.

My home country, Ukraine, needed it as well. Just because any Eastern European country, with some 20 years of independent history and a bunch of creepy legends needs to show its bright side. And even though from historical point of view I don’t support the idea of uniting the lands of Europe’s East, we were all happy to organize an ICD event together. Interns from Ukraine, Slovenia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria decided to present their Fatherlands at an event which got a name ‘Taste of Eastern Europe’.

The secret of success was easy. Each country has prepared a table, covered with traditional food, drinks as well as photos and brochures. We have not forgotten about a cultural program too: the event has started with the screening of five short movies and cartoons from each of the countries, and the later part of the evening was accompanied by an Eastern European music mix. The ICD has kindly provided us with the spacious ICD House with all its equipment and a sponsorship.

I remember as during the preparation of the event some interns were approaching me saying that they’re looking forward to ‘your Balkan night’. I honestly did not realize that they meant our event, as only Bulgaria and a part of Slovenia belong to the Balkans. If the ‘Taste of Eastern Europe’ has succeed to raise the interest to this part of the world among my friends and colleagues, I can claim that the event has reached its biggest goal.