In celebration of the 14th International Semmelweis Carnival, university students once again had the opportunity to party at the Theoretical Block (NET). Delicious food and cultural exchange were ensured by the Multicultral Food Festival, and the good mood was provided by The Biebers, György Korda and Klári Balázs, and DJs from the HÖK and IÖCS.

We all feel that the winter is coming to an end; the weather is getting better and the promise of spring fills us with energy, so we are more willing to go out and plan activities with friends. There is no surpris this year’s International Semmelweis Carnival took place on 10 March. We were looking forward to spring, looking forward to enjoy each other’s company, and the event was also a great opportunity to open up to other cultures in the spirit of a new beginning.

This year, for the 14th time, the carnival attracted Semmelweis University’s students to the Theoretical Block (NET) at Nagyvárad Square after classes. The event was organized by the Students’ Union in cooperation with several student groups, including the Instructor Volunteer Group (IÖCS), which provided constant support in executing the event, the International Semmelweis Student Association (ISSA), and the Deutschsprachige Studentenvertretung Semmelweis (DSVS) – two of the most important communities for foreign students.

Organizing such an event is never an easy task. It requires teamwork and coordination over a long period of time, which can lead to many sleepless nights and fatigue. To showcase all this, we have launched a podcast, where we hosted both the organizers of the Students’ Union and IÖCS, to give a behind-the-scenes look at how such an event is put together. You can listen to the broadcast on the Semmelweis Students’ Union YouTube channel, Spotify and Apple Podcast. On this note, follow our channels for more exciting news about students, student life and Erasmus!

Of course, participants did not have to worry about the organization part of the event, they could just enjoy the evening. The carnival began with a ceremonial opening, where speeches were given by Rector Dr. Béla Merkely, and the Vice-Rector for International Studies, Dr. Alán Alpár. The presidents of the Students’ Union and IÖCS, Bálint Tripolszky and Nóra Viola, as well as the head of DSVS, Michael Hubatka, also gave speeches. They all expressed their gratitude to the organizers and noted that the community at Semmelweis University is special because of the diversity of the students who come here, with more than 2,000 English language students from all over the world, bringing a piece of their own culture with them. In addition to that, there are a further 1,000 students studying in German. During the opening ceremony, there were several dance and music performances by Hungarian and foreign students alike. As usual, senior representatives of the university were also present in the audience.

The opening ceremony was followed by one of the most special events of the evening, offering foreign students an insight into their own culture, called the Multicultural Food Festival (MFF). More than twenty nations were represented, from Japan to Canada and Germany, and stalls offered a taste of the most distinctive dishes from each country.

It was a distinctive pleasure for the students to create a Romani gastronomic stand, showcasing this culture. People behind the stall were happy to tell the visitors about the extremely varied range of dishes on offer, so recipes were exchanged as well.

After everyone was settled in and had experienced the colourful culture of the university, the party went on until dawn. In the NET lobby, a large stage was waiting for the performers to get the students dancing. Firstly, the Biebers featuring Puskás Peti set the atmosphere, with the audience screaming along to popular hits. The lucky ones even got on stage at one point, to sing “Ski Camp” along with the band, who also came down into the audience more than once. The Biebers were followed by György Korda and Klári Balázs, who took off with „Airport”, of course (referring to one of their greatest hit). After the fantastic concerts, the party was taken over by DJs of the Students’ Union and IÖCS, who did their best to keep the party going. The event ended at 4.30 am, when the night had come to an end and the organizers still had to tidy up.

The Students’ Union is constantly planning more and more special events, and this year is no different. Behind the scenes, preparations are in full swing for the 50th Medical Cup, which runs from 31 March to 2 April. Tickets are on sale now, so follow the event on Facebook or join the supporters’ group to stay up-to-date!

This article was written as part of our Students’ Perspective column.

Alexandra Pop (Students’ Union)
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo: Attila Kovács, Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University