Cultural festival shares various foods, dances

Oscar Abello

This past Friday, students gathered at the Belle Air Terrace for the spring semester Food Fest. Hosted each semester by the Multicultural Students League, the Food Fest features culturally unique dishes each provided by one of the University’s many student cultural groups.

The fest also provides instruction in a particular cultural dance; this year it was salsa, provided by dance professional Flaco and his team of dancers.

Served buffet style, the dishes were eclectic. The Asian Students Association brought the popular chicken lo-mein and vegetable lo-mein while the Hispanic Society brought antojitos, an appetizer.

The Italian club brought penne pasta with pesto sauce. The Arabic Society provided shish kabobs.

The Latin-American Students Organization supplied chicken taquitos, and the South-Asian Multicultural Organized Students Association provided pappad, a spicy appetizer. The Black Cultural Society provided fried chicken, and the Multicultural Student League offered pad thai for the evening. The Native American Students Association brought a casserole of cultural significance.

And finally, dessert was provided by the Muslim Students Association, featuring the popular baklava and the lesser known barazeh.

“Food Fest is a great opportunity for all the multicultural groups and all our students to come together and celebrate the one thing every culture has – good food,” junior Celina Perlas said.

After about 90 minutes of eating, Flaco and his team began the salsa lesson for the night.

He started with basic steps, advancing in difficulty, and eventually he took the males aside for a special lesson about salsa dancing.

“Guys, it is really important to learn how to do this because it is the one place tonight where the guys are still in control!” said Flaco.

“Food Fest was a great opportunity for different kinds of students to get together,” said sophomore Mei-Mei Le, “And by different I also mean good dancers and not-so-good dancers.”

This Friday, the Hispanic Society will host Rumba Latina, a dance party in the Belle Air Terrace beginning at 10 p.m. On Saturday, the Latin-American Students Association is hosting its first annual Carnaval, featuring even more Latin food and dance, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Villanova Room.