A total of 50 international students enjoyed a real taste of Burns today (Monday, January 30), when they sampled haggis and stovies prepared by hospitality students at Restaurant 56 at D&A College’s Arbroath Campus.
From Uzbekistan in central Asia, to Syria in the Levant, across the Mediterranean to Italy and France through central Europe to the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania, north to Latvia, and east to Ukraine, Bulgaria and Turkey, a total of 11 countries, from across two continents, were represented at this most Scottish of traditions.
The international students are all on the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programme which encourages cultural visits and experiences and a host of ‘home-grown’ college staff and students were keen to ensure the ESOL students experienced Burns.
The guests were welcomed by piper Jim Menzies, who also piped in the haggis.
Pupils from Arbroath’s Timmergreens Primary School performed while some of the ESOL students sang Burns’ songs and recited Scottish poems – having practised since Christmas.
Don Clark, local retired engineer and member of the Arbroath Burns Club committee, addressed the haggis.
Restaurant 56 was also specially decorated for the event by lecturer Lesley Hodgens, Lynne Potts and the hospitality team.
The international students were not idle with Justyna Bucko and Marta Brzoska from Poland acting as Master of Ceremonies, Kasia Zietara, also Poland, saying the Selkirk Grace, Karina Dmitrijeva, from Latvia, giving The Immortal Memory and Iliyan Ivanov Iliev, of Turkey, and the girls from ‘Tay Class’ from all over Europe giving The Toast to the Lassies and the reply respectively.