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European Club Solidarity

Nov. 15—For International Education Week, the week of Nov. 13-16, the Office of Global Studies held a European Social celebrating the French, German, and Italian clubs. In the Ryan Lounge at the University of Massachusetts Boston, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., German club Chancellor, Mitchell L. Cameron; French club president, Kathryn Gillis; president of the Italian club, Dominic Demers; and Jennifir Huston, a Global Ambassador and student in the Study Abroad Office, ran the event.

German flags lined the food table while a little Eiffel Tower sporting the French flag stood in the middle of the heaps of German, French, and Italian cuisine. From deconstructed cannolis to pretzels and mustard to baguettes, all countries were represented. They explained the set-up of the evening while everyone indulged in all the different foods and drinks. Cameron told the crowd there would be a game as well as that they would be showing silent movies on the big projector while French, German, and Italian songs played in the background. For the French film they showcased ‘Le Ballon Rouge’ (1956) [translation: The Red Balloon]. Le Ballon Rouge is a short film following the story of a little boy and his sentient red balloon traveling all over Paris. The German film shown was, ‘Die Nibelungen: Siegfried’ (1924). ‘Die Nibelungen: Siegfried’ is part of a two-part series, the second being, ‘Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Rache.’ Siegfried can be likened to a German version of Hercules and the epic hero is a significant part of Germanic culture. Even though it was shot in 1924, the special effects were groundbreaking. Unfortunately time ran out and the Italian movie was not able to be played.

As people mingled and ate, the sounds of the different languages filled the room and at around 6:30 p.m., Cameron called out that they’d play ‘Balderdash.’ ‘Balderdash’ is a game where the head person would come up with out of the ordinary words or phrases that don’t have a strict translation to English. This game was mostly German words; some conveyed emotions while others specific acts. The rules are simple where after everyone receives a sticky note and a pen, the lead person reads the original word or phrase out loud and the group has to write down what they all think it means. The papers are collected and the leader reads the collected papers to the table along with the actual meaning in the pile. While it’s getting read, the players need to raise their hand if they think that’s the meaning. A player gets a point if someone guesses their note’s answer or if they guess the actual meaning correctly. It was a tight race the entire way with student and German club member, Annie, winning with a lead of eight points.

 Afterwards, Cameron stated, “The event was pretty good.  It was really exciting to see these people from all different clubs that, for the most part, don’t really have much to do with each other, all come together into the same space and do something together. . . I think we did a good job of perfectly thematically tying it all together so it didn’t feel like three totally different clubs doing something in the same space and that it was actually everyone coming together.”