“Now I Can Live in Any Part of the World”: SUSU International Students Took Part in Ice-water Bathing

Students of South Ural State University from different countries once again joined the Russian national tradition – ice-water bathing on the Baptism of Jesus holiday. This year four students, representing Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Bangladesh, went ice dipping.

For international students from the far abroad, who come to Russia, winter becomes the most exciting season. They not only successfully adapt to the temperature regime unusual for them, but also learn about Russian traditions and winter outdoor activities. According to the SUSU volunteers and staff members, who help these students adapt, this allows them to become closer to the Russian everyday routines and culture.

“Baptism of Jesus is one of the holidays, which attracts most attention from our foreign guests due to a very interesting rite: ice-water dipping. Many of them witnessing it feel really surprised and even horrified of the fact that people go swimming in such cold weather. But on the other hand, SUSU students are very brave, and some of them go and try even such slightly extreme activities. For them it is yet another chance to become closer to Russian traditions, and we must admit that not even every Russian would muster courage for ice-water dipping! The students thoroughly prepared for the dipping, they learned the safety precautions, and none of them caught cold,” noted specialist of the International Student Support Valeria Chachina.

One of the “bravehearts” was a student from Sri Lanka Sanjana Prabod, who is studying Russian at the Faculty of Pre-University Education. Sanjana wishes to become a Russian-speaking tour guide in his home country after he graduates. He confesses that likes Russian traditions very much, especially the one called Maslenitsa; and this time he decided to personally try ice-water dipping. Together with his friends they dipped in cold water in a specially equipped plunge pool on Shershni water basin.

“Here I’m getting my first and diverse experience of Russian traditions. It’s really fascinating as we don’t have winter. I didn’t feel anything for the first 5 minutes. After that it felt even colder. But 30 minutes later everything was fine, and I started to feel stronger. This means that winter has become a fact in my life. And now I can live in any part of the world. I urge all international students to study Russian traditions. If you’re studying in Russia, you must definitely learn more about Russian culture. I love Russia,” shared his impressions the SUSU student.

International students plan to go ice-water bathing on the Baptism of Jesus holiday next year as well.

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