International dinner helps others learn about different cultures

Tarik Urvina, Staff Writer

The Multicultural club and members of the Wayne community hosted the annual international dinner at Wayne State College in the Frey Conference Suite on April 7. International students representing several countries on WSC campus prepared local dishes for the students and local community members. The purpose of this event is to celebrate and learn about other cultures through food and different performances.

For the amount of $15 for adults and $6 for students and children under 12, the visitors could taste and enjoy music from different cultures. For more than two decades, Wayne State College has welcomed and given students from abroad the opportunity to come and study in the United States. The idea to organize an international dinner came from the former international student advisor, Lin Brummels, who started he event which became a tradition at our campus.

The leaders of the International Club organized the dinner and encouraged the foreign students to make something from their home country to expose the visitors to new foods.

“Pretty much all the officers were included for the organizations,” said Larissa Cantu, the Brazilian vice president of the international students.

“People from the staff, like Dr. Lindsey Doctorman and a lot of people from the community too. They helped with preparing and we could borrow their kitchens to cook.”

There are over 40 international students from more than 20 countries on campus and the majority helped with bringing food and ingredients. The variety of food was very diverse and all seven continents were represented during the event.

“I am a Nigerian student and I think that there are like seven of us here and we felt obligated to represent our country,” said John Wesley, an international student from Nigeria.

“This is something that we are proud of. I cooked fried rice and made some pufpuf, which you can compare to a donut. Our parents came recently from Nigeria and they brought us some ingredients. It wasn’t difficult to find the ingredients because we bought some basic things in the local Pac-And-Save.”

For Paulo Souza from Sao Paulo, Brazil, it was the second time participating in the international dinner.

“The International dinner of this year was much and much better than last year,” Souza said.  “We had more time to organize and to sell tickets. I think in general it was much better, this year was close to perfect because we made no mistakes at all and there were many more presentations.”

All the international student countries were represented, but not everyone had the chance to cook or give a performance. International students who didn’t participate are hoping to organize more occasions where they could promote diversity in a small town in Nebraska.

“I had the possibility to enjoy a few dishes from my island which was something I was very happy to be able to do,” Ronan Urvina, an international student from Curacao, said.

“I was able to try cuisine from different countries which was very tasty and interesting. This was my first year attending the event,  and I would love to participate myself in the future. It was not only entertaining and fun but also very informative.”

The international students weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the dinner, the event was also well received by Wayne residents and American students.

“I think the closer I got with my international friends I feel like it definitely enriched my life and my friends’ life,” Sophomore Ali Gardner said. “I feel like dances, food events and everything like celebrating culture is important in a small town like this.”