On Thursday of this week, we at Arcadia University got together to do what this school does best: celebrate this diverse world in which we live. The “Celebrating Cultures” event was hosted by Arcadia’s International Club, which I just joined this semester!
There was loads of great food from all over the world, in addition to students modeling traditional dress from every part of the globe, and LOTS of dancing. Lots. There were belly dancing groups, salsa groups, gospel groups…Too many groups to name!
Of course, one of my favorite parts of the event was the food. I sampled innumerable different types of cuisine, but the ones that stood out were:
1.) AWESOME South African lamb curry
I grew to love curry because it was everywhere in London, so this was one of my favorites because it tasted awesome and the memories it brought back were awesome as well.
2.) Homemade pasta and sauce at the Italian stand
I only learned how to cook (as in boil) pasta during my time in London… I think I should be embarrassed about that, but my lack of culinary skill allows me to appreciate the difficulty of the process of making pasta from scratch, even if I haven’t done it (although I’d love to try).
3.) French chocolate truffles
Because they made me feel posh!
4.) Norwegian goat cheese and raspberry roll
I don’t know the official name of this one, but I love goat cheese and raspberries. I never would have thought of pairing them, but they are absolutely perfect together.
5.) Yummy egg roll from the Philippines stand
Egg rolls. Enough said.
6.) Fried plantains with a spicy sauce and cashews (dish from Ghana)
I have eaten fried plantains in Mexican and Venezuelan dishes before, but in this Ghanaian dish, they were especially good. The sweetness of the plantains was great with the spicy sauce and salty cashews.
And of course I had to stop at the American stand to grab a cupcake with blue icing. Yes, my mouth was blue for the rest of the night.
After I was sufficiently stuffed with a gastronomical tour of the world, I sat in amazement as I watched Arcadia’s Latin dance group, Puro Ritmo, perform various dances. The belly dancing and salsa were both amazing. Really, they blew my mind. I don’t know if I could ever move my body to those rhythms in that manner, but I think I’ll stick to watching others do it.
There were also African dancers and drummers, guitar players, and performances by Arcadia’s sign language club.
Then came one of my favorite parts of the entire night… THE FASHION SHOW!
Students modeled brilliant garments from India, Bangladesh, Portugal, China, Korea, Nepal, Ghana, Japan, and the list goes on. I sat there in my pea coat and jeans WISHING I could wear the gorgeous Bangladeshi or Indian garments. Maybe some day…
Anyway, despite a few minor technical difficulties, it really was a great night and I’m looking forward to more cultural events here at Arcadia (there’s a ceilidh on February 1st)!