HSE’s ‘Oriental Crazy Day’ Marks its Sixth Year
Asian board games, calligraphy, origami, fortune telling based upon the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching), and a traditional Japanese kabuki theater performance—these were just some of the activities in which students could participate on Oriental Crazy Day. Organized by students and professors of the School of Asian Studies in the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, the annual event was held this year as part of the ‘Asian and African Studies’ programme Open House Day.
On Oriental Crazy Day, HSE students convey their love for the East to prospective students through song, dance and theater performances. As Professor Yulia Korovina, head organizer of the event and professor of Japanese language in HSE’s School of Asian Studies, noted, an important characteristic of eastern culture is its traditionalism.
We wanted to start a new tradition at HSE that would bring together everyone who is interested in the East. And it looks like we succeeded—Oriental Crazy Day is now in its sixth year
It was the School of Asian Studies Head Aleksey Maslov’s idea to call the holiday ‘Oriental Crazy Day’. ‘The name, of course, is meant to be funny,’ says Yulia Korovina. ‘However, Asian Studies involves immersing yourself in a rather profound way into a culture that is very different from Russian culture. Eastern culture requires a high level of tolerance and the ability to apprehend a world that is different from the one you know. It entails going a bit “crazy”.’
Oriental Crazy Day is a lively celebration in which instructors and students alike participate. Students of eastern languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Arabic) and their respective areas all organized activities, which took place in the school lobby. The event concluded with a big concert put on by the students—a performance that was the culmination of many months of painstaking rehearsals and preparation.
Over the past six years, the event has expanded considerably. A student team in charge of decorating the event site has been formed, and live sessions with students currently studying abroad have been added to the event programme. For some time now, HSE lyceum students of eastern languages and area studies have also participated in the event.
Aleksey Maslov, Professor at HSE University’s School of Asian Studies and one of its founders, has become a super-media persona this year. This is due to major interest in China amid the pandemic and Beijing’s strained relationship with Washington. In the column ‘HSE University Scientists’, Aleksey Maslov explains how to keep up with everything (spoiler: Shaolin Monastery!), why Russian science has become a ‘fossil’, what scientists should do for self-promotion and why it’s important to look good at the same time.
A Dossier of Deities: HSE University Scholars Create Electronic Database of Chinese Mythological Characters
The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (IOCS) at HSE University is developing an electronic database of Chinese mythological characters and motifs. Because nothing like it has ever been compiled, it meets an enormous demand. Project originators Elizaveta Volchkova, Olga Mazo, Aglaya Starostina and Alevtina Solovyova told IQ what they are attempting to accomplish and why Chinese mythology is both complicated and fascinating.
Thuy Tien Huynh from Vietnam is a second-year student in the Asian and African Studies Bachelor’s programme of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, majoring in Arabic. She enrolled at HSE University after winning an HSE Global Scholarship Competition in 2018. Thuy Tien Huynh has talked to HSE News Service about her choice of major, distance learning, and life in lockdown in Moscow.
HSE Expands Offerings in Asian Studies with Opening of Joint Department with RAS Institute of Oriental Studies
HSE has been offering courses in Asian Studies for 10 years now with numerous departments and programmes producing research in the field and offering in-depth courses. In December 2019, the HSE Academic Council approved the opening of a Joint Department with the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS RAS). How will the IOS RAS transfer its vast experience and resource to its new home at HSE? And what traditions in the study and teaching of Asian studies already exist at HSE?
Students of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs celebrated the Lunar New Year. The festivities, which were held at HSE’s Cultural Centre on Pokrovsky Boulevard, included a concert with traditional dance and Korean folklore skits.
In honour of the event, the university’s Palmyra Club held an evening of Arabic poetry. The future orientalists read works by their favourite authors, as well as their own translations of the poems. School of Asian Studies graduates, who had won grants to study at a university in Qatar, also shared their recommendations as to who should study Arabic.
Researchers and diplomats from 35 countries and eight Russian regional universities gathered at HSE University to discuss globalization in Asia and how it differs from what is taking place in Europe.
‘Bashkir Kids Know How to Use a Bow and Arrow, Imams Keep Ancient Books, and Everybody Preserves the Cultural Traditions’
For 12 days, students and teachers of the HSE School of Asian Studies travelled across the Republic of Bashkortostan. The trip was organized as part of the Rediscover Russia project. HSE News Service spoke with participants of the trip about their immersion in Russian Islamic culture.
HSE Lyceum senior Dmity Shcheglov was the first Lyceum student to participate in the international Chinese studies competition, which was held in Zhengzhou from October 17 to November 3. He placed among the top ten finalists from Europe.
On December 13, Russia’s first ever Arabic Language Competition took place in Moscow with the support of the Qatar Embassy. Three students – two from HSE and one from MGIMO – won one-year scholarships at Qatar University for next year.