The Lawrence International Ethnic Dinner took place at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 in the Esch- Hurvis room with the unofficial theme, “Languages of the World.” The event consisted of a dinner and two dance performances.
The meal was provided by Bon Appétit catering. It consisted of a variety of dishes that were selected by Lawrence International. The menu included Paneer Butter Masala from India and Pakistan, Dhaka Chicken Karahi from Bangladesh, Ropa Vieja from Spain, Risotto from Italy, Spaetzle from Germany, Meringue cookies from France and a green salad from Wisconsin. Feedback regarding the meal was very positive.
Planning regarding the menu began about a month before the event. The students on the Lawrence International board chose a diverse array of offerings and worked with Bon Appétit Catering to fine-tune the details of the dishes. The intention was to include dishes from a variety of cultures with a variety of flavors so that the guests could experience as many different kinds of food as possible.
“It is good to have all of these different flavors on one plate,” remarked sophomore KangKang Wang.
At each one of the many dinner tables, activities were provided. These included tongue twisters, lists of phrases in different languages and various other ice-breakers.
The dinner portion of the evening was accompanied by two dance performances. The first was a dance from northern Ghana that was performed by Kinkaviwo and the second was performed by Melee dance group to the Florence + the Machine song, “Heavy in Your Arms.” Many people commented that they enjoyed the performances.
Kinkaviwo is the Lawrence African drumming ensemble. It is a subgroup of the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble (LUPE). The performance consisted of a mix of dancing and drumming.
Melee is part of the Lawrence dance program. The group teaches a different type of dance at every weekly meeting.
Director of International Student Services Leah McSorley said, “The Ethnic Dinner is a great way for international and U.S.-American guests to connect in an informal environment and to learn about other cultures while having fun and eating delicious food!”
The guests of the event consisted of international students, non-international students, “friendship families”, alumni and other campus and community members.
The “friendship family” program pairs Lawrence international students with local Fox Valley families. This pairing is based on an application that each party fills out about their interests. These pairings give international students a chance to get off campus and experience the culture of the Fox Valley with their friendship families.
There are times when former students have invited their friendship family to weddings and graduations. The friendship family is also able to provide assistance to their student when the student has a problem on campus.
To allow the friendship families a chance at experiencing different cultures, the Office of International Student Services (ISS) invites them to large campus events, such as the Lunar New Year Celebration, which takes place on Feb. 1, and the annual Cabaret, which takes place during Spring Term.