The Austrian & South Tyrolean Society Has Arrived
Having barely put away the Lederhosen and Dirndls after Oktoberfest in March, it was time to get them out again for the launch party of the recently founded Austrian Society. With 0.5% of the student population coming from Austria, arguably enough to warrant official representation, this society is not before its time.
With societies based on a country, it is always curious to see the ratio of natives of that country as opposed to students who are generally interested in that country’s culture.
At the launch party, however, it quickly became obvious that there was a place for everyone in the society whether they were Austrian, or their interest in Austria didn’t extend further than eating Schnitzel and Apple Strudel. Whereas some of the attendees chose to wear traditional Austrian dress (this reviewer included), others were perfectly comfortable in their everyday clothes.
A cosy atmosphere complete with Austrian flags and scarves draped decoratively around the room and punch created the perfect environment for the small and select group of committee members and initial members to really get to know one another. Well executed and put together, the native Austrians could feel at home in the replica of their culture, and welcome any curious newcomers to their way of life.
It immediately became clear to me that it was the sort of society where everyone is welcome, not just depending on their Austrian heritage or lack thereof, but no matter what your interests or political or religious views are, your shared love of the Austrian culture will make you feel part of a small yet select society which will no doubt expand and flourish in the next academic year.