The popularity of Russian language and culture in Ireland is growing, it is quite obvious! Russian business, music, movies, newspapers, radio, shops, and much more not only unite the Russian-speaking community, but also involve the Irish in the communities. One of the most accessible ways to do so for students is to get themselves involved in a university Russian society. To date, these societies exist in three of Ireland’s largest universities; Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin (UCD), and Dublin City University (DCU). Members of each university society include not only students but also staff and faculty of the university. There are many such associations of interest, but the task of a Russian social club is to promote Russian culture and language in a university environment.
I represent the Russian society in UCD.
The Russian community is not involved exclusively with Russian-speaking compatriots. Most members of our group are Irish people who show genuine interest in Russian culture, yet there are also members from Germany, Poland, South Korea, and even distant Brazil! The majority of the members sign up at the beginning of the academic year during the second week of the semester which is so-called “Freshers’ Week” which helps freshmen adjust to third level in the Irish education system and receive help from senior students who encourage new students to participate in sports and social initiatives. The society also takes in new members at later stages through word of mouth from current members, advertising campaigns – society “propaganda” as we like to call it – or if they come to one of our events and enjoy it. We are confident that after hearing about us, more and more students will join the Russian society in UCD!
We organise events almost every week which differ from those offered by other clubs representing foreign cultures such as the French, German or Japanese societies. It is probably the patriotic spirit which is present in participants at the events, or perhaps the wide diversity and ethnic composition of participants of our events, which makes them special. We try to have as many interesting events as possible, such as screenings of Russian and Soviet films, Russian lessons, Russian evenings of traditional card games and chess and themed evenings of Russian history and culture. In addition, we are friends with the committee members from the other Russian university societies, with whom, for instance, we enjoy meals in a Russian restaurant in Dublin. Next year, we are preparing to participate in the annual festival of Russian culture in Dublin, attend performances of Russian artists when they visit our city and are preparing an exhibition for international week in UCD.
Currently over 120 members are enlisted in the society. In this academic year, the community is managed by four students, Alena Blizhnikova, Irina Antonenko, Asya Kaikova and Alexey Tarutin, each of whom, when time allows, plans new activities and consistently communicates with the society via e-mail and social networking.
Most students are pinning their hopes on support for their initiatives on the part of the Diplomatic Mission of the Russian Federation in Ireland and work with other organizations of compatriots in order to develop Russian and Irish cultural and business links!
We believe that our Russian society in UCD has blossomed over the past couple of years and our level of work over the last year has raised the bar and will not be easy to beat in years to come!
Our page on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UCDRussianSoc
* Alexey – email: email@example.com, tel.: 0851418360
* Alena – email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.: 0834368406
* Irina – email: email@example.com, tel.: 0862462125