By Julian Abraham Chua, Diploma in Business Management Graduate
Ho Ho Ho! It’s Christmas time in Singapore. We may celebrate it by partying or spending time with family. But ever wondered how our exchange students spend their holidays and Christmas in Singapore? Let’s find out! This week, we interview Verena Stierschneider from Austria, who is an exchange student from the School of Business Management.Name: Verena Stierschneider
Country/state/hometown: Austria, Salzuburg but studying in Austria, Krems
University: IMC FH Krems
Course major: Export-oriented Management
How do you find Singapore and the people?
Singapore is very different from Austria but I enjoy it very much! The people, food and culture here are so diverse. I really like my classmates too, they make me feel very welcomed. I think the city is very clean and there is so much to do and to see!
List your top 3 most memorable experiences in Singapore so far.
1) Visiting the Wet Market in Chinatown on our “City Tour” arranged by NYP (they sell lots of interesting things there, frogs, eels, turtles etc. :-) I really want to try some frog meat soon!)
|Wet market. Photo credit: Jonas Lamis|
|The view from 1-Altitude. Photo credit: Soeperbaby|
3) Indian firewalking festival, which we witnessed while visiting an Indian temple!
What do you like and find interesting about Singapore?
The vast range of different food, and the mix of cultures! NYP itself is pretty impressive too! The library is so big, there are so many places to get different food. And I love the pool!
How do you celebrate Xmas back in your country?
We start preparing for Christmas in mid-November when all the Christmas markets open. We drink Punsch and Glühwein (alcoholic hot drinks) at the Christmas markets (because it would have been pretty cold at home by then). We look forward to snow because we always hope for a white Christmas every year.
|Warm Glühwein. Photo credit: Crafty Fox|
My entire family - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - also come together to make different types of Christmas cookies. There are hundreds of recipes but my mum usually makes gingerbread.
|Gingerbread cookies. Photo credit: danesparza|
From 1st to 24th December is what we call "Advent", it is the preparation period leading to Christmas. Many people try to get a little calmer and quieter during this period. We also do some Christmas shopping of course! As soon as there is snow, we go skiing over the weekend! And we celebrate Christmas itself on the 24th December at night. We get together with our whole family and eat. The traditional food would be soup with sausages in it, but in my family we usually eat either fondue or Raclette cheese. Then we sing Christmas songs and give presents to each other.
How do you plan to celebrate Christmas in Singapore?
I think some of us exchange students will get together in one of our apartments and have a meal. Most of us will travel around Asia afterwards.
What are the 5 most important things to do before Christmas in your opinion?
1) Meet family and friends
2) Visit a Christmas market
3) Eat Christmas cookies
4) Engage in some snow activity e.g. skiing
5) Getting Christmas presents
What is your ideal Christmas experience?
I love Christmas the way we celebrate it every year my family, so I would like to be back at home!