Foods and refreshments made with students’ recipes from all over the world will be hosted at the International Festival of Cultures by Ferris international students.
Ferris State University’s culinary staff associated with the Quad Café in the University Center will be preparing the foods to represent students from 40 different countries with 32 different recipes. This is the 28th year of the International Festival of Cultures at Ferris State.
The main idea behind the event is to learn about the different cultures in our Ferris community. For example, India has 29 different states and 22 different official languages, and the Indian civilization is one of the oldest continuing human cultures. Contrast this to many other countries around the globe who have shared languages and vastly different cultures, and many are very recent countries in human history like those resulting from the European empires in the Americas.
“Since this is a cultural event, the focus is to exchange culture and learn interesting facts about the countries involved,” said Ferris information security and intelligence graduate student Tarun Jonnala. “We’re teaching about globalization, from the student’s point of view. Think of American food for a minute. In general it’s plain and it doesn’t go to extreme spiciness or extreme sweet. Indian food is the opposite, and especially when taken as a whole. It ranges from extremely spicy to the sweetest sweet.”
Jonnala hopes as many people will get involved this year as the previous years, if not more. Roughly 1,500 Ferris students and visitors from the surrounding Big Rapids area, and also Mecosta, Lake and Osceola counties participated last year.
“Some embassies are also getting involved this year. Getting them involved was my idea because last year the Saudi embassy and the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission gave free stuff for advertising, and I thought why not get other countries involved, also,” said Jonnala. “I went to the Indian embassy, the Thai embassy, Japan and Germany. They sent promotional materials, so some interesting facts about their countries.”
The Ferris State President’s Office is sponsoring the festival and invites everyone to come sample the foods presented from around the world. Students will be given three tickets at the entrance, and additional tickets can be purchased at the entrances for 50 cents each to support the event hosted by the Office of International Education (OIE).
In addition to the food served, there will be games, activities, music and dancers organized by some of the international students and the Ferris OIE.
The International Festival of Cultures will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 10 in the University Center.