University of Sheffield celebrates friendship with Luxembourg

Students and staff from the University of Sheffield are celebrating their friendship with Luxembourg this month as part of an exhibition on the strong ties between the UK and the nation at the heart of Western Europe.

The exhibition, which was launched by John Marshall, the UK’s Ambassador to Luxembourg, highlights the historical, economic, cultural and community links between the two countries. It also showcases the momentous events and extraordinary individuals who have brought the two nations together over the centuries.

The exhibition tells how the UK is Luxembourg’s most important financial services partner in Europe and how The Beatles’ debut record, Love Me Do, was first heard on Radio Luxembourg – a jazz and light music radio station which became a firm favourite amongst British listeners from the early 1930s.

Displays at the exhibition also include:

  • The story of how Christopher Stone, the UK’s first disc jockey left the BBC for Radio Luxembourg in 1934
  • How Luxembourger Camillo Felgen (1920-2005), writing under the pseudonym Jean Nicolas, wrote the German lyrics for the only two songs that The Beatles ever recorded in German for release – Sie liebt dich (She Loves You) and Komm gib mir deine Hand (I Want To Hold Your Hand)
  • The history of Rugby Club Luxembourg – the first rugby club in the country, founded by British expatriates in 1973
  • British Ladies Club – the story of how a small group of British women living in Luxembourg established and developed a social networking club for English speaking women living in and around Luxembourg, regardless of their nationality
  • Harry Potter – Luxembourg’s brilliance at Quidditch is showcased in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • UK authors – a number of UK authors including Ruth Dugdell, Daniel Pembrey, Robert Schofield and James Leader made Luxembourg their home

Launched after a series of tweets by Ambassador John Marshall about the links between the two countries using the hashtag #LuxUKLinks, the exhibition has been touring schools, museums and communities across Luxembourg before travelling to the University of Sheffield.

The University of Sheffield is the only university in the world outside of Luxembourg to offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees focused on Luxembourg studies. It’s also the only university in the world where people can learn the Luxembourgish language from scratch and continue to higher levels.

Second and final year undergraduate students at the University are showcasing some of their research on the history, life, culture and languages in Luxembourg as part of the exhibition. Postgraduate students are presenting some of their research on language in education and language in the media in Luxembourg.

Sheffield students are studying migration, French, German and Luxembourgish that are spoken in the country, and the history of Luxembourg throughout the First and Second World Wars.

Students at the University also had the opportunity to present their research to Ambassador John Marshall, Ambassador Jean Olinger – Luxembourg Ambassador to the UK – and visitors from the University of Luxembourg including Dr Anne-Marie Millim. Students also met Sheffield graduates who are using skills developed through studying Luxembourg Studies at the University in their careers all over the world.

Dr Kristine Horner, Director of the Centre for Luxembourg Studies at the University of Sheffield’s School of Languages and Cultures, said: “Our two nations share a deep, long-lasting friendship that many people may not be aware of. Over 6,000 British nationals currently live in Luxembourg and around 700 Luxembourgers live in the UK. Our two countries have worked together across film, music, finance, television, literature and even the steel industry in many collaborations that are still ongoing today.

“Luxembourg sits at the heart of Western Europe; Luxembourg City is one of three capitals of the European Union and the vast majority of people are multilingual, with many speaking French, German and Luxembourgish, so to understand Luxembourg is to understand a little about Europe itself.

“Luxembourg’s position in Europe is why Luxembourg Studies is an integral part of many courses at the University’s School of Languages and Cultures. It’s a multilingual country, so the multilingual nature of Luxembourg Studies can help our students who wish to live and work throughout Europe and the rest of the world.”

The exhibition can be followed using the hashtag #LuxUKLinks on social media.

Find out more about the University of Sheffield’s international friendships and support for staff and students from all over the world using the hashtag #WeAreInternational on social media.