International New Year's Celebration

Energetic, courageous, and thoroughly enjoyable – The International New Year’s Party 2017

About 400 students, professors, and workers of the University of Kassel as well as guests (which included about 60 different nationalities in total) came to the Welcome Center’s annual New Year’s Celebration, which took place for the third time in the beautiful Weinkirche.

The beginning of the New Year’s Celebration followed after speeches made by the President of the University of Kassel, Professor Dr. Reiner Finkeldey, and the city councilor, Dr. Marlis Wilde-Stockmeier. Following this was the awarding of the DAAD-Prizes to Paula Godínes, who is a student of the Kunsthochschule (College of Fine Arts) Kassel, by Professor Dr. Finkeldy. Paula Gondínes, an incredibly talented, politically motivated, and socially energetic artist was acknowledged for her astounding academic achievements and noticeably social and intercultural engagement at the University of Kassel from her academic advisor, Dr. Bjørn Melhus. Dr. Joel Baumann, the head of the Kunsthochschule Kassel, concluded the DAAD-Prize ceremony by giving a final speech.

The focus of the art presented was on multicultural programmes. The party was then ready to begin with a short-film presentations from students of the Kunsthochschule Kassel: Sevda Güler with “Küçük Ayşe,” Theresa Grysczok with “Tracing Coyotes, A Dog Crosses My Way,” Thea Drechler with “Ayi,” Clara Winter with “Explorerin 2009,” and Chang Wen Hsuan with “Sway.” The final piece for presentation was then paintings by Amantia Simixhiu on the focus of her observations into her Albanian home.

Whoever was interested in learning how to become German in 6 easy steps, can look to this humorful example presented by the Welcome Center’s tutors. Johanna Große, Markus Kube, Selma Mergner, Jesús Pineda, Claude Shami, Amantia Simixhiu (Germany, Venezuela, Syria, and Albania) presented in a short theatre stereotypes about Germany. Hamid Aaqil Shah (Afghanistan) then lead the crowd through the poetic world of “Hope,” which was beautifully presented in both English and his native language of Pashtun. Arundhati Choudhury (India) preformed a wonderful Indian Saree of a Bollywood dance, where the audience began to take part in due to their sheer excitement. For a magical evening, Majd Al Khayat (Syria) also made sure that the decadent cards vanished, but mysteriously turned back up once again. With his Punjabi Rap, Asad Salman Khan (Pakistan) brought the audience back into the dancing mode. The atmosphere was also heated up by the group Angola Dobrada Kassel, which began a Brazilian Capoeira-Dance with their own music. Anastasia Kharlenko and Alina Pohasii (Ukraine) excited the audience with a new band together with Jeison Castro (Columbia), Gonzalo Pérez (Argentina), Muhammed Ersoy (Turkey), which really got the party-mood going. As a final act, there was a battle of the guests between Iranian and Eritrean perspectives of dance culture. Which lead into the closing of the program from Gozadera Hispana - Daniel Solano (Uruguay), Jeison Castro (Colombia), Israel Casasola (Spain), Gonzalo Pérez (Argentina) und Jesús Pineda (Venezuela) – through the emotionally and well-known songs, “Ai Se Eu Te Pego,” “En el muelle de San Blás,” “Stand by me,” “Duele el corazón,” “La Bamba,” which allowed everyone to sing and dance.

The Welcome Centre would like to thank all of the participants and guests for an unforgettable night and wishes everyone an exciting and successful new year 2017!

The highlights of the evening were recorded from Felipe Negrini and are available on this website and on the Facebook Page of the Welcome Centre.

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© Welcome Centre of the University of Kassel

Previous International New Year's Celebrations