Kent State Cultural Café: Finland and India

Aditi Tidke presenting India at Cultural Café.

Alissa Reyes

Students and staff gathered for a chance to discover more about the cultures of Finland and India Wednesday.

International students Janica Jaervinen and Aditi Tidke were given the opportunity by the Office of Global Education to express the pride they had for their countries and to share it with others during the second Cultural Café event this semester in the Student Center Ballroom.

“Being able to share my culture is a great feeling, because I am from a foreign land and representing my country makes me proud,” said Tidke, a sophomore fashion design major. “It’s always nice to talk about what you’re proud of, where you come from and what your roots are.”

During the event, Angelia Zielke, a graduate student of International Student and Scholar Services at the Office of Global Education, expressed this was the first time to have someone represent Finland since they started the Cultural Cafés.

“I feel kind of honored, because it’s really cool that so many people are interested in my home country and I am proud of my home country. It’s cool to be able to bring it here to this side of the world as well,” said Jarvinen, an exchange student working toward a business degree.

Jarvinen shared interesting facts about Finnish politics, school systems, cuisine and seasons.

There, university students pay only 160 euros ($197) per year. Finland has a population of 5.5 million and is considered one of the safest countries. It also has the world’s best drinking water.

During their winter and summer seasons, they have midnight sun, or 24 hours of daylight, during the months of June and July. Finland also has Kaamos, in which the sun does not rise for a month or more during the winter.

The India presentation shared by Tidke was on religion, culture, brief history and facts about her homeland. Tidke explained that religion in India is a journey of self-exploration and that all the major religions are practiced freely.

She also shared that the culture in India is known for unity in diversity, such as in race, religion and language, and how the British ruled India for over a century before they gained independence.

An interesting fact Tidke shared was India is the home to Ziona Chana, a man with the biggest family in the world. He has 39 wives, 94 children and 76 grandchildren.

In between presentations, students were able to taste dishes from each country that were made by the Kent State kitchen staff.  

The Office of Global Education will be having another Cultural Café event for Rwanda and Vietnam on April 18. 

Alissa Reyes is the international students reporter. Contact her at [email protected]