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.
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?
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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.
Thuy Tien Huynh, a 21-year-old from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has long been interested in Russian language and culture, classic Russian literary works, movies, and music from the Soviet era. While searching for opportunities to study abroad in Russia as a student in the faculty of Russian Linguistics and Literature at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Vietnam, she came across information on the HSE International Olympiad and decided to give it a shot.
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Three HSE students of the educational programme in Asian and African Studies became winners of the 10th Interuniversity Olympiad in Arabic language.