International Club presented a lively International Festival last Saturday that offered delicacies and traditions from countries across the globe in a food bazaar and talent show.
Crowds of students, families and faculty filled the mailroom in George Washington Hall for the food festival, named “I-Feast,” the moment it opened at 5 p.m.
The Andover Korean Society’s BBQ was a huge hit, and their main dish was a spicy dish called “bulgogi,” consisting of marinated barbecued beef.
The Chinese Taiwanese Student Association’s booth offered a tasty chicken and tofu dish and hot bubble tea.
The Southeast Asian booth provided specialties like pancit, a popular noodle dish, fried plantain rolls, meat pies and cassava cake, which was served uniquely with papaya leaves underneath.
Gina Sawaya ’13 and Adza Tarka ’13 prepared the meat pies and fried plantains.
Sawaya said, “My friend Adza and I both like to cook together. We made meat pies, which is my grandma’s recipe. She wrote it down for me, and it has lamb, beef and onions wrapped up in a roll and baked. Adza worked really hard on the plantains, also a family recipe, and they are delicious.”
I-Feast also provided students with many desserts and sweet snacks. Viviane Garth ’15 made two desserts native to New Zealand including pavlovas, meringues covered with kiwi and strawberry, and chocolate Afghans.
“I liked the Afghans, personally, and the Pavlovas… it’s all really good. Pavlovas are the national dessert of New Zealand, and they’re the biggest hit. Everyone’s buying them,” said Garth.
Non-Sibi Society prepared chocolate and key lime pies and an array of Arabic desserts, while Italian Culture Club offered cannolis and Jewish Student Union offered kugel, a sweet casserole.
Another popular dessert was a Thai dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream with sweet rice and coconut jelly.
In addition to international cosines, I-Feast also consisted of local American dishes, such as pizza donated by Domino’s Pizza and chocolate covered peanut butter bananas prepared by Na Young Park ’12, Co-Head of International Club.
Vidush Mahansaria ’12, another co-head of International Club said, “It’s really good to see so many people on campus embracing their culture.”
As the last of the food disappeared, people headed over to Kemper Auditorium to see the International Talent and Fashion Show.
Alex Schneider ’12, the thrid Co-Head of International Club, said, “We had about 12 different countries presenting each of their traditional dress, a talent show, and at the end of the night we have our I-Rave, which is hosted by one of our international students.”
The show kicked off with traditional costumes from France, India, Nepal, China, Tunisia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Japan. Some notable outfits included a Korean Tae Kwon Do uniform, ornate Chinese qipao dresses and a men’s Saudi Arabian robe.
Molly Magnell ’14, the model for Japan, said, “It’s always fun to see the different people with the garments from their own countries, so it’s a nice cultural experience.”
Following the vibrant fashion show, Unaccompanied Minors provided the first act of the talent show. Strings, winds and percussion, all playing the cheerful “Pachelbel’s Canon,” accompanied singers performing an animated medley of well-known songs including “Let It Be” and “Poker Face.”
In another vocal act, Esther Cohen ’14 sang the heartfelt “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele, with a voice filled with mourning soulful emotion.
The talent show then took a dramatic twist as Jorge Piccole ’14 danced to Michael Jackson songs dressed in black with a fedora and sunglasses.
Drew D’Alelio ’12 and Pietro Bondi ’12 performed “Iris,” by the Goo Goo Dolls, in a duet featuring guitar and vocals, respectively.
Bondi was also the DJ for the I-Rave, the International Club Dance that took place in the Den after the Fashion and Talent Show.
Kemper then went dark for an unusual yet stunning act by Alex Esakof ’12 and George Avecillas ’13. The duo created a captivating series of images by animatedly moving and waving neon glow sticks in different patterns, arousing loud cheers and applause from the audience.
David He ’14 said, “My favorite part was the lightshow because it was amazing to watch and was a highlight of the night.”
In contrast to Esakof and Avecillas’s upbeat light-show, Nick Tonckens ’12 recited his own descriptive poetry that left the audience deep in though.
But the talent show once again returned to its vivacious spirit as SLAM performed a dramatic and intense routine, while Indo Pak performed an Indian dance wearing traditional clothing. Hypnotiq ended the show with a dance routine to Katy Perry’s “E.T.”
Despite its name, International Festival did not just showcase the food and talents of international countries. Rather, it embraced the world’s culture as a whole, as I-Feast and the talent show wove together both American and international cultures.
Jenny Zeng ’13, a member of Hypnotic and a model for China, said, “I’m very happy that I [had] the honor of spreading the Chinese culture, and it’s important to let the Andover students know about China. Also, I [was able to present] my dancing.”