Celebrating cultures, food, and people at the World of Dishes event

Students pick their food from the buffet line-up. Photo via Joshua Olumakin

The Freyja Chapter of the Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority (MSU) hosted the World of Dishes event on Sept. 21st. The event featured a buffet-style lineup with food from 12 different countries, spanning from Germany to the Dominican Republic. 

“Being that we are the first multicultural sorority [in the nation], I feel like in events like this, we try to bring everyone together, that’s our goal,” said MSU’s President Princilla Santana.

MSU’s Vice President Jessica Michel further elaborated on how as a sorority, they are promoting inclusion.

“We all look different. Anyone can be [at] MSU. It’s not like she has the MSU look,” Michel said. “That’s what’s important to us. We all look different, but we are all a part of the same sisterhood.”

The event included various other fraternities and sororities along with student-run organizations such as The United Latino Association (ULA), The Men of Color Association, The Black Student Union, and The South Asian Student Association (SASA). 

ULA’s President Juliana Wells brought arepas de queso, a Colombian dish that she likened to a “savory pancake”. Wells was excited to be a part of the event.

“I really enjoyed being able to share my own culture with so many others while also learning about other people’s cultures,” said Wells. “This event really showed how diverse Rowan can be.”

SASA brought samosas, a puff pastry that can be an appetizer or main course and dipped in different sauces known as chutneys, SASA’s President Mohini Gulati explained.

“It is culturally significant as it represents all of the spices and seasonings India has to offer,” said Gulati.

Throughout the night, students walked around with colorful plates jam-packed with as much food as they could hold. Senior Amanda Bermo’s plate was no different.

“My goal was to grab a little bit of anything I’d thought I’d like so I could take advantage of the diverse meals offered at the event,” Bermo said. “I really wanted to try new foods, and see what I would enjoy.”

In addition to the new foods, Bermo’s plate included a little taste of home.

“I think the ribs and maduro (fried plantains) were my favorites,” Bermo said. “I’m Latina and I eat a lot of maduro at home so I already knew I was going to like it.”

Food is a powerful thing. It not only represents a culture or a population, it starts conversations. By the end of the night, all the food was gone, but over a hundred students had filled three rooms in James Hall to connect, learn, and feel included— all because of food. 

Santana was taken aback by the turnout, especially as a new member of the sorority.

“I was definitely surprised by the amount of people that came in,” said Santana. “Our goal is to shine a light and bring together cultures. I think the outcome definitely says the event was a success and that there are people at Rowan who want the same goal.”

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