Inner peace from Korzeniowski

A while ago (March 16, 2014), I posted an article about two Finnish songs which joyfully cleared my mind from my time consuming thesis work. Well, I can gladly announce that nothing is needed anymore to distract me from that huge pile of work, as I managed to successfully defend my Master thesis Thursday. It was quite exciting, but hindsight it wasn’t really necessary to be all sweaty and nervous. I received a 10 (out of 10) for my work! In about three weeks I’ll receive my diploma, so then I may officially call myself Master Bos. If only my last name had an extra ‘s’!
To come back to the music: my mp3 player is also filled with some Polish delights. The idea to share these pieces with you comes from the fact that within a couple of days I’ll visit Krakow, the home town of Abel Korzeniowski, the conductor of those pleasant works. He composes film music, but to be honest I’ve never seen the films that are accompanied by his music. Oh well, guess I should, one day. I’ll at least share some of my favorite pieces of Korzeniowski’s work in this blog post now. Interestingly, both Blogger and WordPress don’t seem to be the biggest fan of embedding video’s (they are wizards eagerly wanting to make already embedded links disappear), so therefore I’ll provide just some links to the video’s on Youtube.
Abdication is certainly my top favorite. If I’m not mistaken this track was used within a car commercial around 1,5 years ago. It’s so smooth and innocently intense. When I listen to it I feel like all my senses perceive the world around me two times stronger than normal.
 Regarding his face I would have guessed he’d be Scandinavian actually! (Image from abelkorzenowski.com)
What attracts me the most in Korzeniowski’s music is that it is a bit melancholic, but not in such a way that it makes you feel intensely sad (at least, not me). There is somehow some hope, desire and endurance woven into especially the pieces mentioned above. Hmm, would this mean that this music would be highly suitable for the stereotype Finn? It reminds me of the Finnish term ‘sisu’ (a kind of strong inner persistance, or determination), about which I’ve been reading lately in Stine Jensen’s beautiful book ‘Licht op het Noorden’, about the search of the soul of Scandinavia. Enough about Finland now; time to focus on Poland!
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A view from the outside – magazine of the 25th anniversary of VMU’s re-establishment

 The original article, with the full text below.
Hello! My name is Nienke Bos and I’m a 24-year old student being passionate about hot air balloons and exploring the Baltics. Studying in Lithuania was a logical follow-up of my previous study adventures. I fulfilled an internship in Estonia and my Erasmus exchange and yet another internship in Latvia. Of course I couldn’t let dear Lithuania behind. In 2012 I started my full time Master degree in Journalism and Media Analysis at Vytautas Magnus University. Many youngsters from my home country the Netherlands would rather decide to head to France and Spain in order to ‘study’ there. Well, we all know what that means, don’t we? The stereotype foreign student being more active in studying beer brands than actual academic journals, furthermore accompanied by the sun, see and beach. 
I’m surely a victim of modern times, driven by the need to be different and stand out from the crowd. The fact that many Dutchmen regularly ask me how my studies in Russia, Iceland or even Lapland are progressing determines I succeeded in my wish to be rather different. People have no idea where I’m located and are shocked when I tell them Lithuania is an EU-member state since 2004 already. Such a pity, because even though it might sound cliché, Lithuania definitely conquered a place in my heart. It’s a pleasant country to live in. The quality of education is wonderful, the dormitory is besides small and simplistic actually very cozy and walking around through Kaunas feels safe. The only thing that I as a Dutchman could wish for is to buy Gouda or Olandu suris which is actually made in the Netherlands instead of Poland and to see more tolerance towards cyclists by pedestrians and car drivers. 
I discovered that under a layer of general pessimism and on first hand non smiling faces, there is a majority of warm hearted people sharing honest laughter. The Lithuanians I met are incredibly curious, generous and welcoming. I’m always amused by their self-spot when it comes to their excessive potato consumption. Some however, and then especially the ones not being able to speak English, can be confronting clear about their mood though. It happened more than once people annoyingly sighed when I entered pubic instances,  showing I’m a foreigner in need of help by sending out a friendly hello and a smile.  Apparently not only Dutch people are that straight forward. Maybe my ‘labas’, ‘aciu’ and ‘gerai’ knowledge is just not sufficient enough to please those ones, so I’ll take the blame for that. 
Moving to the Baltic countries was furthermore a true historical eye opener. During my childhood in the Netherlands the history books were filled with German sided stories. The painful Russian impact on the Baltics only became crystal clear during my stay here. The traces of the still fresh past give Lithuania an attractive raw edge though, noticeable within architecture, but to be honest also in bureaucracy. Yet, Lithuania’s drive to be itself, independent and unique shines over all this Vytautas-minded land. Yes, it seems I have something in common with my dear friend, Lithuania.

Nienke about studying at VMU in Kaunas

Being a foreign student ambassador of Vytautas Magnus University, I often get e-mails from prospective students asking me “Can you tell me something about studying in Kaunas?”. Well, this is a very broad question, yet, in the video below I tried my best to provide a general overview.

The contact information can be found when opening this video on Youtube, within the discription.