AEGEE-Maribor organised its 9th NYE (New Year’s Event), one of the most amazing AEGEE events which were held between the last week of 2015 and the first one of 2016, thanks to a very experienced team managed by Petra Zula and to fifty participants who wanted to have a lot of fun. The journalist Matteo Lai took part in the event and he reveals his own emotions regarding it. We also spoke with Maja Bunderla, 24 years old, one of the most beloved female organisers, who tells us something about the NYE programme, the participants’ mood, love stories, and satisfaction concerning the event, as well as some information about the next NYE.
This magnificent Slovenian adventure began on 27th of December with the reception and registration of the participants during the evening. After that, some Italian guests from AEGEE-Catania and I were invited to have a shower, dress quickly and have dinner with the other participants, in a restaurant very close to the gym where we would have slept for one week. It was not so cold, as there were 10 degrees in Maribor. I felt so happy
to take part in one of the most appreciated AEGEE events by the AEGEE-Cagliari members: historically, many love stories were born between Sardinians and Slovenians, in addition to a lot of new special friendships. Maybe it is not just a coincidence the fact that the symbol of AEGEE-Maribor is a red heart. After I had eaten a plate of chicken steaks in natural sauce with rice, and I had chatted a bit with some new friends at my table, there was the organisers’ presentation of the group – thirty guys from several countries all over Europe, as it follows: Petra Zula, Gregor Susanj, Maja Bunderla, Jan Viher (who was also a participant of AEGEE-Cagliari SU 2015: “Cagliarifornia”), Ajda Prusek, Dijana Samperl, Miha Cerovsek, Katja Yermak, Nina Pibercnik, Irena Loncar Zorman, Goran Hrovat, Tadeja Babic, Mateja Belej, Mateja Piciga, Sara Kaiser, Mojca Jeromel, Sanela Zahovic, Simona Bibic, Jani Dugonik, Aljaz Hericko, Matej Suman, Robert Sket, Nusa Pecnik, Ziga Cimerlajt, Bine Gegic, Lovro Rojko. It was clear that just eleven organisers were boys, while almost all of them were girls.
We spent the first party in a Latino club called “Fuego” where we danced until early in the morning. In particular, for that party (Traffic Light Party) we put on clothes in different colours and each colour had a specific meaning. For example, if you had put on green, it would have meant that you were single, or if you had preferred violet, it would have meant that you were up for a threesome. Monday 28th of December was the first day allocated to the winter sport we had chosen before we went to Maribor. Some people had chosen snowboarding, while some others had opted for skiing.
Moreover, the event was also available for those who would have followed an alternative programme which did not include skiing or snowboarding. Anyway, we enjoyed three mornings in the snow in Rogla and Pohorje Resorts. The participants who still preferred skiing, beginners and hopeless cases like me, were supervised by three different teachers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: Ajda, Katja, and Miha. The first day in Pohorje was a real disaster but on the second day, I admit I had learned the basics in skiing, after about twenty fallings. I had taken much time to “make a plow” as the skiing teacher Katja Yermak requested. Those days in the snow were the perfect occasion to taste Slovenian warm white wine and to make many nice pictures with the organisers and the participants. It was not so cold and, in fact, there was artificial snow in the resorts. On the third day, I tried skiing while it was snowing.
During AEGEE-Maribor NYE, the European Night turned out to be the party which had completely broken the ice between participants. In particular, Gregor showed the tables of every country present at the event. The table which aroused more curiosity was the one of Slovenia. You could taste Lasko, a Slovenian traditional beer, o Cockta, a soft sparkling drink very similar to Coke, but without caffeine. About food, there was green “pumpkin oil”, a typical Slovenian oil you could try with a piece of bread. Dijana Samperl made the participants try a traditional drink called “Spricer”, which is prepared with white wine and sparkling water. The night continued involving participants in dancing some Latin songs such as “Macarena”, “El Taxi”, and so on. At the same time, the organisers came up with the very good idea of a “UV Party”, where you got painted and shiny under UV lights in a club (for that party, the participants should have brought some clothes that they would not mind to get dirty or ruined).
On the last day of 2015, the participants spent the night in a hall very close to the accommodation, where they were provided with a DJ-set, a professional photographer and a delicious dinner. Then, we should not forget the “Fairytale Party”: for a night, you could have become a princess, a prince or whatever fairytale character you wanted. Maja Bunderla, one of the youngest Slovenian organisers, gave her opinion about this NYE. She has been in AEGEE for almost three years, considering it one of the best decisions that she has ever made. Although she was not the main organiser or a Board member, Maja was one of the most sought-after female organisers. Regarding her teaching skills in snowboarding, she got positive results which made her extremely happy. The first day was really terrible and hard for her because people were not able to even stand on the snowboard. “We were just two teachers for a group of 13 people without any experience. But on the last day (out of three), I was really astonished to see the participants actually doing the turns and everything. They got rid of the fear and that day everyone went to the most difficult slope in Rogla Ski Resort. It was a very nice and positive experience for me and I would be happy to do it again”, says Maja. Before the event, Maja had been responsible for the parties and decorations (with the help of many people), while during the event she was a snowboarding teacher. She was also helping with the ice breaking games and leading the night with “The Best of” prizes. As Maja confirms, Maribor is a place where you can easily make a lot of new friends, but also meet some people from previous Summer Universities.
For AEGEE-Cagliari, AEGEE-Maribor is the antenna where the most beautiful love stories among AEGEE members are born up until now, such as the one between Yu Tang and Anastasia Kosmacheva. Regarding the participants’ mood, “I think participants were extremely happy with the event. Lots of them told us the last day that it had been the best event for them so far, so I think this is the best thing you can get from an event like this. Nice words and satisfied people”, adds Maja. The organiser tells us she appreciated the amazing people who took part in the event because they were friendly, funny, patient, relaxed, and thankful folks. She admired the motivation and persistence of the people who were skiing and snowboarding for the first time, as they did not quit even if they were all covered in bruises the next day. Maribor NYE ended with a visit at Bled Lake where you could have thrown a coin and made a wish. I reveal my wish: to live another Slovenian adventure! In Maribor, personally, I met very interesting people, not only funny guys whose English accent I did not always understand like Rob, and hearty eaters like Guillermo, but also nice and smiling girls like Katja, Tamara, Julia, Katty, Dijana, Coral, Maribel, and “party animals” like Yolene.
AEGEE-Maribor does not lose time and is already preparing the next Summer University. Without any doubt, it will be at least as amazing as this NYE . About the overall satisfaction of the organisers with this NYE, “There is always something to improve. Sometimes things do not go as smoothly as in theory. But we were trying to do our best and I am sure every next event will be even better”, admits Maja.
Written by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari