Last week the Netherlands Alumni Network in Russia celebrated its birthday with friends from all over Russia, colleagues from EP-Nuffic and guests from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Russia.
We started the evening off with welcome drinks and traditional Dutch snacks – herring, cheese and bitterballen. Guests were then randomly divided into small groups to take part in a networking quest. The tasks were not simple. We checked alumni’s knowledge of art and their sport skills. They were challenged to pronounce “Zeven zwarte Zomergemse zangers zwommen zomaar zeven zomerse zondagen zonder zwembroek”, play Sjoelen and perform Koekhappen.
The official part of the evening was opened by Renée Jones-Bos, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Russian Federation. The Ambassador shared her own memories of student life with alumni and highlighted the importance of the connections between our countries, which are maintained through alumni networks. Suzanne Kormeling, the programme manager of the Holland Alumni Network at EP-Nuffic, introduced the audience to the global alumni network and the career opportunities it offers.
Our guests had a chance to reminisce about all the different kinds of events and activities NANR has engaged in over the last five years. It was great to hear from alumni about their own experiences as members of the network. Nastya Abolina (Moscow Alumni Board) described the importance of NANR as a source of new friends and like-minded people. Roman Buzko and Anastasia Nugaeva (St. Petersburg) presented a project that they are working on, which is supported by NANR. In May 2017 they will organise a city quest in St. Petersburg for those that are interested in Russian-Dutch relations and eager to learn something new.
The official part of the evening was followed by a delicious buffet. Later in the evening we held a lottery and congratulated all of the lucky winners who were awarded Dutch tulip bulbs (we await the pics next spring!), Dutch drinks, snacks and tickets to the Artist and Douwe Eisenga performances. One lucky guest even won a ticket to Amsterdam. We danced well into the night with great music performed by the Max & Pit band while sipping Dutch-style cocktails.
It has been a wonderful five years and we were delighted to celebrate this anniversary with all of you. We are looking forward to new events and activities and, of course, the chance to spend the next five years together with you. Many thanks to everyone who invested their time and energy to make this event happen. See you all soon!
We especially would like to thank Giom’s Food by Premium Service for the food and drinks.
We would also like to thank KLM and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Russia for contributing prizes to our celebration.