Students and community members joined one another tonight to share and appreciate different cuisines and cultures from across the world during the International Student Organization's (ISO) annual International Peace Dinner.
“Our main mission is to bring every student together, especially with international students and domestic students,” said Mingyu Zhao, ISO president and junior in chemistry. “I’m an international student from China, and I know how it feels like when you first come to a different country with different culture.”
Zhao said the International Peace Dinner is a time where international and domestic students can come together.
“Only $1 for all you can eat, and it’s 12 countries' cuisines,” Zhao said, “It’s kind of like free food.”
Proceeds from the dinner went to the Beat Bama Food Drive.
“[T]he numbers should be really big this time,” said Vishal Rangani, ISO secretary and sophomore in finance. “We have made the marketing really big, and we want this money to go to Beat Bama Food Drive.”
The line for food wrapped and around the third floor of the student center, and participants, after receiving their food, ate at long tables in the ballroom. Live music from a variety of instruments was played during the dinner.
“I think it’s super cool that we have this dinner kind of promoting intercultural communications, and its just a lot fun with a bunch of people from different places,” said Natalie Palmquist, president of Engineers Without Borders and senior in civil engineering. “I really love international things, that’s why I’m part of Engineers Without Borders, and I love international students."
Groups of students from a dozen different countries cooked their homeland’s cuisine and served it at their section of the buffet.
“I just like trying all the different foods and seeing all the grad students and undergrad students that are from those countries," said Beth Prior, junior in civil engineering.
Dozens of food options were available at the dinner — everything from a sour German potato salad flavored with cucumbers to a sugary syrup-soaked doughnut holes from India.
“It’s a lot of fun — the food's great,” said Jeff Graves, a retired employee of the University.