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On March 24, in the pleasant atmosphere of its Pennington lounge, the Lycoming College community celebrated the annual International Dinner, an all-out fiesta of cultures, languages and traditions. The event was organized by the Multicultural Awareness Group (MAG) and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), two prominent student organizations on campus.
A spring tradition, the International Dinner was established and preserved by MAG and the supportive community in which it resides. The event celebrates the various cultures represented on campus, and features international cuisines, languages and arts.
The event explored the globe from the perspective of sports, and particularly from that of soccer, also commonly referred to as football. The theme was derived from the idea that soccer is something in common among the 200 countries around the world and the many ethnicities housed by each of them, and that sportsmanship transcends all geographical and cultural boundaries.
This year, the Lycoming College community was introduced to the delicacies of various countries and continents around the world, ranging from South America to Africa, Europe and all the way to Asia. The dinner “kicked off” with vegan Spring Rolls from Vietnam, followed by Sambusa (a dumpling dish commonly found in India and some countries in North Africa), Schäufele (German-style pig shoulder), Mexican Chicken Taquitos, and more. Attendees also got a taste of Japan’s renowned Miso soup and drinks from Egypt, Mauritius and Mexico. Many of these are rising first-timers, but veteran players such as the Spring Rolls still appealed to guests’ palates.
Yet another unique aspect of the International Dinner is the opportunity to experience first-hand performances that represent various ethnicities. Coordinated by members of LASO, the line-up included a drum performance, poetry, songs and dances, brought to the community by 20 talented students and faculty members.
“The Lycoming community is enriched by the many cultures, races and enthnicities that are represented in the student body. The international dinner is both a showcase and a celebration of the diversity of Lycoming,” said Daniel Miller, Ed.D, vice president for student life and dean of students. “Like many programs at Lycoming both international and domestic students are to be acknowledged and given the credit for the energy, creativity and thought they put into the dinner each year.”
“The International Dinner and MAG have both grown consistently throughout the years,” remarked Nam Do, a current senior at Lycoming College and four-year member of MAG. “Every year, the club members look forward to this event, as we consider it an occasion to express our gratitude for the Lycoming College community, including our professors, staff and peers. Tremendous effort is put into its preparation by our members and supporters, among which are LASO, the foreign language teaching assistants, Parkhurst Dining, Buildings and Grounds, and the Office of Student Life, all striving to create a meaningful and enjoyable cultural experience for the community.”