Staff writer~ Allison Hudgins

Photo of students dancing taken by Allison Hudgins.

This past Friday, the University of Lynchburg hosted an International Food Festival featuring the cultural foods and dances that many students call their own. 

Food was represented from 17 different countries including Bangladesh and Japan. 

Participants also had the chance to play the drum for Kuumba Dance Ensemble Inc., where they taught people about West African dance and drumming. 

Mir Shams, freshman, made Payesh, also known as Shemai, a sweet dish whose main ingredients are powdered milk and rice.. 

“This is one of my personal favorite dishes since when I was a child, my mom used to make it a lot… It was the only thing that I could eat,” said Shams. 

Japanese student Lynette Reina who is a part of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program made Teriyaki chicken, which can often take days to make depending on the desired flavor strength.

“I marinate the chicken for two to three days… to add flavor. It probably takes a couple of hours to cook the chicken. It was about 30 plus pounds of chicken,” said Reina. 

Jennifer Reishard, executive assistant for the Office of Equity and Inclusion made Italian meatball cookies. 

“They’re not meat. They’re actually a nice spice cookie with chocolate chips, raisins, nutmeg and more. The cookie is really easy to make,” said Reishard. 
The first dance performance was presented from India, Bhangra and Bollywood dances performed by freshman Anandiya John.

Photo of Anandiya John taken by Allison Hudgins. 

John wore a traditional Punjabi dress, which when used for dance, is not worn with shoes. 

“Dancing bare feet is a way you respect the dance culture. You necessarily don’t have to dance bare feet, but I do because it makes me more comfortable,” said John. 
Look for updates from Danielle Sarchet for upcoming International Student events.

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