My hosting organization arranges many interesting events in Greifswald, Germany. Today I want to tell about one of them - Running Dinner (RD) - that attracts every time more than 400 young people all around the city for the evening of communication, interaction, and tasty dinner. As for new people in the city this event considers to be a good way of integration.
What is Running Dinner?
The Running Dinner, also known as progressive dinner (US) or safari supper (UK), is an interactive three-course-menu prepared and eaten at the residences of different hosts. Each course is held in different places, and in each place you have possibility to meet new people.
Every team consisting of 2-3 people prepares either starter or main course or desert. A few days before the event participants randomly receive the information about the type of course they need to prepare. Moreover, they get addresses of the houses, where another courses will take place. However, in a safari supper, teams don’t know the destination of the next course, and they have to decipher a clue before moving on.
Usually after the last course all participants meet together at the Running Dinner after-party.
This style of eating has become very popular in many cities all around Germany, especially in student towns, but it also might be considered as good way of developing connections between different organizations or neighbors in community.
My Running Dinner experience.
Since more than ten thousand students live in Greifswald, because The University of Greifswald located in the city, most of the participants of the Running Dinner are also students. Hence, to take part in this event was a great opportunity for me to get in touch with a lot of young people of the city. Furthermore, I had never participated in the Running Dinner before I came to Germany, that’s why I was very curious to take part in it.
The first course started at 6 p.m., but our preparations began long before the official start of the Running Dinner. Firstly, our team needed to go to the groceries store, then make a meal, get the room ready, and set the table.
According to the notification we got two days before the event, we needed to prepare starter. Our team decided to cook pancakes and different toppings for them: smoked salmon, cream cheese, feta cheese, avocado, fried champignons, arugula, and guacamole.
We were not ready in time, but luckily our guests were late, so we did not ruin the first impression and prepare everything before their arrival.
To be honest, before the start I was a little worried about my exclusion from some conversations, because I didn’t speak German, but eventually there was no reason to worry about. Our guests were nice and understanding, so we were speaking English all the time. But they also tried to teach me German, and I liked this very much.
Our guests enjoyed our starter, company and talks. Besides, they appreciated the idea with different toppings, because this gave them the opportunity to choose, what they want to eat most. That was super cool:)
In such a great mood we switched to another home, where hosts cooked for the main course baked potato with cheese and pumpkin fillings, and that was really tasty. Furthermore, they prepared for us Christmas cookies and sweet almond (RD was on the 4th of December), and this created a festive mood.
Since all the participants were students, there were a lot of talks about education, university, and student life. It was interesting for me to listen to them, learn more about this topic, find differences and similarities between educational systems of Germany and my home country. For example, I found out, that in German universities students have possibility to choose courses they want to study, meanwhile in Belarus students have approved studying program.
Unfortunately, time passed quickly and we needed to go to the last course.
Non-classical tiramisu with applesauce and ice cream was unusual, but light and delicious. Besides six new people were curious to know more about my home country, life in Germany, EUsolidaritycorps and my project.
It was already 22:50 – time to go to “Back to the fridge” Running Dinner after-party. Several people, whom I first met only some hours ago, were already there. It was nice to see them again and have more interesting talks.
I was very pleased, that I took part in the Running Dinner, because for me as a new person in the city it was a great chance to get in touch with locals, learn interesting things, discover new places, and of course try new delicious dishes.
The next Running Dinner in Greifswald will be held on the 4th of June and we will do our best to make it amazing and interesting event.