On December 27 most of the ECLA community put their culinary skills to test: the day had come to celebrate the much awaited International Dinner Party.
The three kitchens of the students houses and the major cooking area of the cafeteria were occupied with eager students, faculty and administration members wanting to prepare a representative dish from their own home country. Students were given a budget of €10 to spend on groceries and a green light to use the kitchens and equipment as they thought best.
More often than not communities of students put their money and effort together and were able to cook quite a large amount of food. Almost every student took part in the cooking for this event, something highly appreciated given that the total number of guests added up to forty.
The party took place in the common room of house 24, the largest of the three student residences. A long table occupied half of the common area, and dishes were arranged on top of it, with little flags indicating the origin and a note indicating the name. The students and guests had a chance to try Pakistani food, Ukrainian soup, Argentinean empanadas, Romanian stuffed peppers, Hungarian specialties, English pasties, American corn bread, and a variety of other delights.
The food included more than just main dishes. Some people also cooked sweet treats and desserts, including Argentinean alfajores, Croatian pears, German cookies and Serbian cake, among others. The party was a nice opportunity to offer others something home-made, as well as to have and give a taste of the food we each miss.
By the end of the party, students gathered around the piano and sang popular songs. Given the heart-felt enthusiasm, this music session went on for a couple of hours, most of the time improvising jazz rhythms, accompanied by guitar and piano.
Although the music spirit was eventually over, the party was not yet so. The ones left headed outside for an acrobatic demonstration from a couple of students where Sarah and Lucas, using staff and poi, performed fire spinning in the residential garden. The mesmerizing images of the fire dancing around in mid air were a great way to close this night, with a strong taste of international coexistence in the heart.
by María Cruz (AY ’10, Argentina)