Ethnic Food Bazaar Sizzles As Students Share Culture

It was not just the gumbo that was hot in the Underwood Room last Sunday, as a hundred students got together for an Ethnic Bazaar celebrating food from their native countries. Dean of Community and Multicultural Development Bobby Edwards, whose kitchen served as the cooking headquarters on the morning of the event said “It was great! I had kids in my kitchen calling their parents asking exactly how to make things.” “Food is a great way for these kids to show their culture,” he added. Students were equally excited about the opportunity to share their native foods, with offerings from Jamaica to the Ivory Coast and the United States to Nigeria. Dishes included jerk chicken, fried pork, sweet plantains, shish kabobs, chin-chin, and much more. “The reason we decided to have a Food Bazaar was because we thought it would be really cool to let the community get a taste of different types of Caribbean, Soul, and African cuisine. I think we accomplished our goal. People were to taste a bit of everything from jelof rice from Nigeria to some good ole mac and cheese from the South,” said Colette Harris ’05, one of the event’s organizers. Ashley Calhoun ’06, one of the day’s chefs, said, “I think this is a great opportunity to cook good food that Commons tries to make but often fails.” She continued, “It’s nice to make something that I know other students will enjoy. Madeline Vera ’06 agreed as Calhoun dished fried pork from Haiti onto her plate, “Why would I miss an opportunity to eat good, cheap food?” There was nothing but positive feedback about the food and the atmosphere; students seemed very excited to be surrounded by the tastes and smells that reminded them of home. In addition to the fabulous food served at the bazaar, students provided eclectic music. With Robert Kim ’05 on the saxophone, Ben Heller ’05 on the trumpet, Jason Duffet ’05 on the drums, Peter Mistretta ’05 guitar, and Nate Greenberg ’05 on the bass, jazz flowed throughout the event. They skillfully played fantastic jazz tunes that people could dance to or just listen to as they enjoyed the food, providing a nice backdrop for the whole event. Graeme Griffith played the African drums adeptly alongside Todd Kwavovo ’06. Mr. Griffith was very helpful in sharing his talent with eager students. Whether it was the food or music, everything about the Bazaar was enjoyable. While the food was not free, it was very inexpensive (twenty-five to fifty cents for generous portions). Open to anyone and everyone, event was definitely more about having fun than about making money for its organizing organization, Af-Lat-Am. The Ethnic Bazaar succeeded in bringing many different people together and was able to offer something for everyone. “Events like this one are a great opportunity for the community to come together and learn about experiences other than our own or be affirmed by the inclusion of such events. It gives everyone a chance to build cross-cultural bridges and have fun at the same time,