1,800 students from every continent meet at Fatih University culture fest

ISTANBUL: Fatih University’s annual “7 Continents 7 Colors of Culture Festival,” which has become the symbol of intercontinental fraternity on campus, gathering different cultures, lifestyles, tastes and dances under one roof, has once again brought more than 1,800 students from 120 countries together at the university’s Istanbul campus, creating a unique atmosphere for learning about and coming to appreciate human diversity.

The three-day festival that turns the university campus into a mini United Nations kicked off with colorful scenes early on Tuesday, with all the students excited to introduce their cultures to others. During the ceremony, an African music group performance received great attention from the audience. Traditional foods were also at the center of the focus of interest. From sushi to Uzbek pilaf, from Russian salad to Chinese food, the national stands set up at the fair each offer foods more diverse and delicious than the next.

Students said that through their participation, they hoped to send messages of friendship and fraternity and call for an end to the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011 and forced millions of Syrians to flee from the war-torn country to neighboring countries, including Turkey. The festival will be open to visitors until Thursday night.

Speaking to Cihan News Agency during the festival, Erika Lahka, a Slovak student from the department of international relations of Fatih University, said that thanks to the festival she had a great opportunity to introduce her country to her friends while getting to know other countries. “I came here in the early hours of the day and got to work to open a stand for my country.

I can clearly see the excitement in the eyes of the people because this is a unique opportunity for all of us. Think how many times you can get a chance to introduce your county to, let’s say, an Afghan. How many times you can get an opportunity to learn about Mozambique. It is like I can pay a visit to almost every single country on earth in only one day. This is just great,” Lahka said.

Many students attended the festival in their national costumes and gave presentations about their cultures and lifestyles. Different foods that are the highpoints of national cuisines will also be offered to students and visitors and traditional folk dance performances are conducted throughout the day. The student organizers say that through the festival they hope to emphasize that today’s youth will be the architects of international peace and fraternity in a world where the wars and conflicts of adults have taken center stage.

Sara Pisu, an Italian student from the department of political science at Fatih University, said she did not know how to thank the university for the opportunities it had provided during the semester she was studying there. “I came to Turkey at the beginning of last semester and I will leave next month because my time in Istanbul as an Erasmus student is almost over. I can tell you only one thing: The experiences I have had in Turkey are mind-blowing. I truly do not know how to praise Turkey.

I thank God every day for letting me come here as an Erasmus student rather than to a regular European country. The 7 Continents 7 Colors of Culture Festival is just one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life. I will try to meet as many students as possible from different countries and get to know them better,” Pisu stated.