International Food Fair Celebrates Diversity

Lauren Grady, Assistant Tempo Editor

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, the International Student Services office, co-sponsored by ISA, held the International Food Fair in the University Dining Room. Food from the continents of Africa, North America, South America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia were all represented in one place, with all different types of food were offered to diversify students’ dinner plates.

Sodexo provided all the food for the event with the help of international students. They began planning two to three months in advance as they sent out emails to all the international students on campus, asking which native dishes they would recommend to be served at the event. Sodexo kept an open-mind and considered each suggestion.  They found recipes and together cooked diverse meals.

Yiwei Zhou, a four-year member of ISA and now a graduate assistant for the International Services Office, loves the International Food Fair and feels it is a very positive event held annually on campus.

“The food fair is my favorite event put on by ISA because it’s not just about the food; it’s a great way to highlight our international population on campus, and it’s a great opportunity for Lewis students to learn more (and explore) while getting a taste of different cultures around the world. I feel that food is one of the most effective bridges to learn about another culture, and this helps students explore that avenue,” said Zhou.

One of the most popular attractions of the event was set up by the students representing Saudi Arabia, who brought their own lamb and wore traditional garb. Students also appreciated Sodexo’s efforts with the dessert table, especially in the way they were set up to represent the United Kingdom.

Gert Lisha, a sophomore business administration major, was one of the attendees of the event.

“I think it’s an awesome event to put on. Many students don’t really get a chance to travel the world and experience different cultures. This gives them a chance to experience a little sprinkle of them,” said Lisha.

The International Food Fair has been going on for years and has been growing in both numbers and vigor since the beginning. Students used to bring their own dishes to the event, but now the university prepares the food.  Above each dish, there are plaques that list the country as well as details that are unique to the dish.

The event also featured The Jabali African performers in the café, who beat on drums and provided a great cultural experience for attendees.

There are so many positive aspects to the event, but one improvement that could be made is a simple increase in advertising for it.

“I believe that if there was more publicity for the event, more people would come,” said Lisha.

The goal of ISA is to celebrate the multicultural diversity on campus and broaden the horizons of Lewis students. They would like to give a special thanks to the volunteers—ISA members and the men’s volleyball team, foreign language club, JJC and ELS for their participation and support.

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