Katherine Daniel, Editor in Chief~
The International Food Festival will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018, in the Ballroom from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. During the week, there will be several other events to commemorate International Education Week e at the University of Lynchburg.
International & Study Abroad Adviser Chisato Tada said, “We have sixteen tables representing seventeen different countries and regions this year. Some of these include Ancient Rome, Cameroon, China, France, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Basque Country, U.S.A., Venezuela, and Vietnam.”
Tada added, “These tables will be hosted by a variety of groups or students which include new and continuing international and domestics students with international backgrounds, Randolph College international students, school deans, study abroad leading faculty members, Latin class/club, French class, and so on. We are excited to facilitate these diverse groups to express and share their cultural heritage with the campus and community.”
The final menus were to be submitted to Tada by the end of Monday, so some of these dishes will be subject to change. Tada said, “Generally, there will be a wide variety of food – dishes with meat, seafood, vegetables, a vegetarian dish, etc. All the menus will be put up behind each table and also will be on the slides that will display on the big screens next to the stage. Each table’s leader will introduce their dish(s) at the beginning of the festival, and I would like to ask the audience to give them the best presentation environment and learn and appreciate their unique cuisines.”
Tada said, “I appreciate Lynchburg’s tradition of hosting this annual International Food Festival as it provides the university community and beyond a wonderful opportunity to come together through delicious foods! People learn about different cultures and others in such friendly and open manners, and I always enjoy seeing participants having a good time. Food is one of the easiest but significant ways to express one’s own culture, and it brings her/him home, wherever a location might be. Food is also something to be shared with others, and it creates instant affiliation, and maybe new insights about others and different cultures.”
“This will be my 4th International Food Festival to organize, and I always learn so much every time I go through the process of making this event a reality. A lot is going on behind the scene, and I am eternally grateful to those who so willingly and graciously lend their hands to the success of this event. In many ways, this event means a lot to me as I trust that this could bring positive impact on the university community as a whole: Students’ journey for nurturing global awareness, Faculty having new insights on bringing more diversity edge to their future curricula and understanding more of students with diverse backgrounds, and so on. This event is also quite empowering to the international individuals on campus whose cultures are celebrated in such positive ways,” said Tada.
Tada added, “Many people love food, and this is a great way to invite students to experience something different from their own cultures. They get to visit seventeen different places in one room, and this could be a beginning for them to discover a new adventure! Lynchburg tends to attract more local students who have yet to travel outside the U.S., East Coast, Virginia, etc. and going overseas could be quite overwhelming and too foreign to them. If they start something easy like food, that might pique their interest and also gives them first-hand experience of trying something new, something unknown by going beyond their comfort zone.”
“As students, nowadays are exposed to so much information, thanks to advancement in technology, the world seems to have become very small, but it is still a virtual experience, and it is vital for them to have authentic encounters with different cultures. Through so many various foods at the festival prepared according to different traditions, I hope they will be mindful of this valuable opportunity – see the presentation of food, smell the exquisite fragrance, and taste the excellent texture. At the festival, I strongly encourage students to not only eat different foods, but also interact with the hosts, other participants, and maybe contemplate how having a different experience makes them feel. If students get excited or “like” it, this will lead them to a next step – going in more depths in their foreign language/cultural study, reaching out to international students and learn more about them, starting conversation partners, and start thinking about traveling somewhere they do not know but are curious about,” said Tada.
For more information about this event please contact Chisato Tada at email@example.com.