10 years ago: New hall of residence for Sorbian students opened its doors

Sorben Sorbisches Wohnheim Jubiläum

Sorbian culture is an integral part of Leipzig as a study location. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of the new student hall of residence – especially for Sorbian students – in Arno-Nitzsche-Straße.

In May, the traditional maypole throwing takes place in Sorbian Lusatia – a custom that Sorbian students have continued away from home at their place of study in Leipzig. Traditionally a small festivity takes place, at which the students dance in traditional costume to Sorbian music after the maypole has been thrown. This year the festival had to be cancelle due to the pandemic, but we won't miss the opportunity to congratulate the Sorbian students in Leipzig anyway, because:

Ten years ago they celebrated the "christening" of their new hall of residence at Arno-Nitzsche-Strasse 40, where the rooms on the 7th and 8th floors are reserved especially for Sorbian students. Wjele zboža – congratulations!

Since the festive inauguration on 16 May 2011, the two floors have borne the name of the famous Sorbian folk poet Handrij Zejler. Until they moved to the student hall of residence in Arno-Nitzsche-Straße, Sorbian students had lived in a student hall of the same name in Bornaische Straße. However, the Studentenwerk, then operator of the building, had to give it up for economic reasons. Nevertheless, the Sorbian students continue living together and have been given a new temporary home outside of Lusatia – also aiming to give them the opportunity to cultivate their traditions and speak the Sorbian language.

Sorbian life and influence already exists in Leipzig and especially at the university for a very long time. Roots of the Sorbian community at the University of Leipzig go back to the 18th century. Today's Institute for Sorbian Studies was founded on 6 September 1951 and the subject including the study of the Sorbian language and literature can still be studied at the University of Leipzig which is unique in Germany.

Today, around 20 Sorbian students live on the two floors in the Arno-Nitzsche-Straße hall of residence. Most of them study to become teachers in Leipzig, many include Sorbian studies in this career, other Sorbian students study medicine and law at Leipzig University. Witajće k nam – welcome to Leipzig!