Culture, cuisine and creativity

Annual International Dinner brings cultural customs to campus

College Relations
Ron Vick, international club advisor, (left) and WSC student Peter Mutayoba (right) wear traditional clothing at the International Dinner, which was held in Frey Conference Suite this Sunday, Mar. 22.

Debbie Hernandez, Staff Writer

Lined up with exotic cuisine, a Bollywood dancer, plus students, faculty and families, our magnificent world was packed into one comparably small room for a single day of the year.

Frey conference suite never looked so good, and the International Dinner continues to thrive.

“This isn’t something that should happen just once every year. This should happen every day in our lives; embrace our culture and learn from each other,” said International club president, Jose Plascencia. “This event allows us to explore the beauty of diversity among us. This is a little taste of a borderless world.”

The dinner included a wide assortment of culinary creations such as tator tot casserole, chicken curry, sushi, and—if cinnamon toast crunch were a drink—Spanish horchata , which filled the cups and plates of many participants.

“I hope the audience leaves with pride and appreciation for their own culture,” Plascencia said. “Sometimes we are so amazed by someone else’s culture, but we forget that our culture has brightness of its own.”

Performances included dances from the Far East, folk songs from Nepal, Spanish and American poetry, music inspired by a rainy taco Tuesday and a hypnotist that had audience participants locked as statues and dodging imaginary bullets.

“Magic and hypnosis is performed throughout the world in every culture and has a lot of deep ties with it,” magician Justin Damme said. “I wanted to share my appreciation for the diversity by doing something that is a big part of history, not typically shown.”

As the dinner came to a close, professor of linguistics, Dr. Catherine Rudin, guided her International Folk Dance class to walk around the room, grabbing participants to join in Zemer Atik, a group Israeli dance.

“I loved that so many people jumped up to dance with us! I don’t really know why, but there’s something about moving to music that just seems to make people happy,” Rudin said. “There’s a sense of community and just a joy in dancing together.”

If that’s not enough to spark your curiosity, perhaps Spanish guitarist and international dinner performer, Henrickson Ventura, can change your mind.

“I feel excitement and delight after performing in front of others,” Ventura said. “If you haven’t gone, go because it’s a great time. Plus, I’m usually there and I’m awesome.”