Probably, if you are a college student, you’ve done some last-minute studying over a pizza. Maybe you’ve gone a week eating little more than Raman noodles because money was tight. Both of these are pretty common in ‘college culture’. Students have gotten together and learned and commiserated over these ‘college cuisine’ foods for generations.
Food is a cornerstone of any culture – secular, regional, religious, or national. Not just the taste of the food – but also the social aspects of eating and enjoying time with each other. In experiencing other cultural traditions in sharing meals, we can learn and appreciate that culture in a way that mere words do not convey. The Den and the Diversity Committee are working together to create just such an opportunity at IU East, with several Cultural Food Days each semester. On December 2nd, from 11:00 – 2:00, the Den will be serving traditional Jewish cuisine, including falafel, kugel, latkes, and more, under the tutelage of Rabbi Yossi Greenberg, from the Chabad Jewish Student Center at Miami University. Participants can also learn about Hanukkah customs and play the driedel game. And next semester, African and Latin American foods will be explored.
Of course, even if words can’t fully express the meaning in cultural food and eating, we have plenty of books that try. Sink your teeth into titles like Everyone Eats: Understanding Food and Culture by Eugene Anderson, Reimagining Marginalized Foods: Global Processes, Local Places by Elizabeth Finnis, and How Food Made History by B.W. Higman. Or for a more hands-on experience, try out a cookbook, such as The Multicultural Cookbook for Students by Carole Lisa Albyn, Betty Crocker’s New International Cookbook, or The Kids’ Multicultural Cookbook: Food & Fun around the World by Deanna F. Cook. There’s something for every taste!
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