Nyheder //Få seneste nyt

Far from home but close to “hygge”// 16. december 2015

By Sophie Lisbeth Schmalenberger 

For most of us, late December is the time when we are “Driving home for Christmas”, probably whistling this classic Chris Rea’s evergreen, looking forward to spending a few days with our families and closest friends, smelling the same old Christmas smells and singing the carols we know by heart since early childhood. But for some of us, Christmas this year will be a whole new experience: Namely because Studenterhus Aarhus and the Aarhus Student Chaplains are organizing a Christmas Eve for all the International and Danish Students who have decided to spend that evening away from home and amongst international friends. 

Studenterhus Aarhus is therefore more than happy to host the Christmas Eve for International and Danish Students:
"We are so happy to be able to help all the students that are far from home or for different reasons are not able to celebrate Christmas with family or friends. Christmas is all about being with other people and feeling friendships and hygge, so if we can be part of making Christmas more like that for those away from home that is just fantastic. And we had no doubt about joining when the Student Chaplains from Aarhus University asked.”

From 3 pm onwards, æbleskiver, gløgg, the possibility to join a Danish Christmas service at Møllevangskirken, Danish Christmas dinner as well as the obligatory singing and dancing around the Christmas tree will provide for a Christmas away from home that might be different, but in no way less joyful and heart-warming. 

For Susan and Konstantin from Germany and Charles from France, this evening is going to be a Christmas amongst friends: The three of them are roommates and decided to stay here to celebrate Christmas together, thereby making the most of their Erasmus Semester. Especially because it is Susan’s and Charles’ birthday on the 25th of December, they are looking forward to spend the evening before together and in company of other international friends they have made during the last months. Of course they will miss home and traditional food such as the classic German Christmas Eve potato salad with sausages – but they are also excited to try a classic Julefrokost and happy to be part of the Danish Christmas culture for one night. 

Dale, a Chemical Engineering Student from South Africa, who attended quite a few of  Studenterhus’ International events during his first weeks here in Aarhus last January, is crossing his fingers for a “hvid jul”:
“I am excited about my first Christmas in Europe: Back home, it is around 30 degrees now. We always try to invoke wintery Christmas feelings, but it is quite common that families celebrate on the beach or have a barbecue in the garden, go swimming and have cold drinks. So I hope for a “typical” cold Christmas and a cosy evening to relax after a very busy semester.”

Of course he is going to miss his family that is spread all over the world – but looks forward to their annual big Christmas Skype session where Dale can tell his relatives about his Danish Christmas season experiences with gløgg, preparing Christmas decorations and visiting Christmas markets.  

However, Christmas Eve at Studenterhus is not for internationals only: This is why Siff from Denmark has decided to spend this year´s Christmas in an international environment: 
“Every second year my brothers spend Christmas with their wives, which means it's just me and my parents. Rather than sit "alone" with my parents, I want to experience something different this year. My parents are totally cool with it and I think it will be a great experience.” 
For her, the evening will be an excellent opportunity to talk to other students from all over the world and hear about their experiences in Denmark as well as to jointly dance around the Christmas Tree and sing -  preferably her favourite (though originally Norwegian) Christmas song “Mit Hjerte Altid Vanker”. Also for Tine, a member of the Aarhus Student Chaplains team this is the first time to organize and join the event herself. She is looking forward to the atmosphere of people having fun and sharing at good time together. Personally on Christmas she likes lighting a candle to send thought and compassion to other people who are currently having a hard time – a Christmas tradition from her family, which she might also be able to export to this year’s International Christmas Eve.

As already the wise Alice Cooper knew: “The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas and the end of school.”
In the Danish academic calendar the Christmas time for most students marks at least a temporal end of school and a short break before exam period in January. This year’s Christmas Eve at Studenterhus Aarhus is thus likely to be doubly joyous and will hopefully still make participants smile when all the presents are unwrapped and the last bit of Ris ala mande is eaten.

Studenterhus Aarhus · Nordre Ringgade 3 · 8000 Aarhus C · TLF: 86 18 30 21