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Karelia and Karelians: journey of the foreign students to the Karelian village

4On August, 20 the Summer University of Institute of International Programs of Petrozavodsk State University organized for its students an outdoor studies on topic “Karelia and Karelians”. Students from France, Germany and Indonesia with their teacher visited unique Karelian village Kinerma, where they learned about the history and modern life of this settlement. The students communicated with the locals in Russian and the conversation was very cordial. During the day the students enriched their vocabulary with words referring to description of the nature, home and rural way of life. Moreover the students were asked to find answers to some questions by making guesses. For example, why the windows in Karelian house are so high above the ground, what is unusual about the village chapel and why the banya they had seen was called “black banya”? To their credit the students managed to guess it right and gave the correct answers. The students were interested in how people lived in the village in winter. They were supposed to learn the answer speaking with the locals. And again our foreign guests dealt with the task. On the practical side they were given the tasks to swing on traditional swings and get some water from the well.
Of course, hearty meeting could not go without dinner with traditional dishes. Our foreign students tasted shchi, Karelian kalitki, fruit drink of local berries. Especially they enjoyed home-smoked fish, caught in nearby Vedlozero lake.
It should be mentioned that such demonstrative elements in introduction to local culture, nature and history are regularly included in the educational program for foreign students and kindle the liveliest interest and cordial response.
Journey to Kinerma turned out to be interesting and memorable. It also let the students see the depth of the Russian North with its natural and ethno cultural peculiarities.

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