UMD travels around the world in 250 plates

BY EMILY NESS | The Statesman Last Saturday the University of Minnesota Duluth celebrated individuals from around the world through a colorful display of food at the International Taste of UMD Potluck.

Upon entering the event, guests experienced a festive environment. Decorations covered the walls and the smell of authentic food lingered in the air. In a matter of minutes, guests’ plates were filled with food from around the world adorned in colorful detail.

“This is one of the biggest events for International Club during the fall semester,” Chanraksar Wat, media specialist, said.

The event was hosted by the International Club and sponsored by the Office of Cultural Diversity, both of which are located on campus and both of which strive to celebrate people from around the world.

“We are really excited about this year’s turnout,” Mai Che Lee, president of the International Club, said.

The potluck took place at the Hope United Methodist Church from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

“The event has always taken place at the church,” Kamila Xiong, international student peer advisor, said. “It is a nice place to bring the community together.”

Students, staff and community members prepared dishes from around the world.

“We provide money for the ingredients so those who choose to volunteer simply have to cook the dish, be present and enjoy,” Xiong said.

Each dish was authentic.

“This year, we have dishes from nearly all 7 continents,” Lee said.

From Columbian Arepas, built on flatbread and topped with meat, to Mexican tacos, topped with crisp lettuce and fresh tomatoes, to Asian stir fry, rich in broth, the event had something to offer everyone. All together, the ingredients created delicious combinations.

“We want to encourage students on campus to share their dishes so that the community can experience them,” Wat said.

According to Xiong, there were roughly 15 students of diverse backgrounds volunteering. They even had a couple of community members come in to volunteer.

“Our theme is ‘cooking to show culture,’” Lee said.

The event was popular for individuals of all ages as there was both kid and adult friendly food. The organization bought stacks of 100 plates and went through 250 by the middle of the event.

The line for the event stretched all the way out the door.

“We are here to show the community that we are diverse and that we welcome everyone,” Wat said. The event truly had character. It epitomized one of the grandest celebrations.

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