Around 90 guests from more than 20 nations celebrated the intercultural "Seasonal Celebration" last week on the invitation of the Welcome Centre of the University of Münster in the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Haus. This year's event focused on Christmas celebrations and traditions from Italy and Spain. Dr. Garcia Rey, employee of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, gave insights into Spanish Christmas traditions: for example, the lottery, the so-called "El Gordo", the Olentzero, a charcoal maker who roams the streets on Christmas Eve and distributes presents for the children, and the tradition of eating twelve grapes for the last bells before the new year. Audrey Busch, a member of the Welcome Centre, presented the various Italian customs and dishes to the guests for comparison. While singing Christmas carols together, the children's eyes were shining: St. Nicholas and his assistant moved into the hall with a bag full of presents. He had noted the names of each child in his large book and called them individually to present them with the gifts.
The "Seasonal Celebration" is part of the welcome culture for international researchers at Münster University. The aim is to make the stay at the University more attractive and to continuously increase the number of researchers from abroad in the coming years. The aim is to attract the "best talents" from all over the world and to bind them to the University of Münster through long-term research cooperation. "The combination of German and international traditions, the opportunity to get to know each other, is very important for the cooperation of the scientific community as a social force, especially in this time," emphasized Michael Quante, Prorector for International Affairs and Transfer.