The USUE Museum has become a platform for interethnic and intercultural dialogue. The Russians, USUE bachelor’s and College students, met with their foreign peers studying at the preparatory faculty of Ural State University of Economics.
For some bachelor’s students, that was their first encounter with foreigners. The guests themselves also admitted that they still could not communicate well enough outside the classrooms. Therefore, the acquaintance benefited everyone. This was the goal of the organizers: young people from different countries got to know each other better.
Among the foreign guests were students from Egypt, India, Senegal, and Cameroon. The Russians, according to an old custom, greeted them with bread and salt. And those, in turn, told what traditions of greeting exist in their countries.
So, for many, it was interesting to know that besides the traditional religious greeting Salam in Egypt, there is the usual word - Mrhban, as well as its derivative, an analogue of the word “hello” - Mrhbana. The well-known Indian greeting - Namaste can change depending on who it is addressed to. The youngsters are addressed Namaskare, the elderly - Namaskaram. Both words are translated as “I bow to you”, and the difference in the ending emphasizes respect for elders.
Besides, in Indian culture, as in many others, there are ceremonial bows when people meet. This makes them related to the traditional old Russian greeting, when, as a sign of respect, people bowed to each other from the waist. However, in India, when bowing, the hands are pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest in a prayer gesture. And in Cameroon, the interlocutors tilt their heads to each other, slightly touching their foreheads.
The Russians told and showed foreign students that in Russia, a simple handshake or hug in different ways can express different degrees of closeness and affection. The guys hope this will help visitors to quickly adapt to Russia.
“It was very interesting for me to meet foreigners,” Victoria Elantseva, a first- year College student, said. “During the months that I study at USUE, so many things have already happened, so many events. It broadens our horizons and reminds us that there is a huge, interesting world around us!”