By Shadaye Hunnicutt
Singing, dancing and the smells of food from around the world filled TSAC as students, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the many cultures represented on campus
The International Student Association presented its 4th annual Taste the Nations event on Friday, April 23.
For the past four years ISAT has hosted the Taste the Nations event as a celebration of international students and their cultures. The event featured songs performed by international students, food from around the world and even dances like the Cameroon Dance.
Junior Kelly Tilson, and her sister Erin Tilson, a sophomore, sang a song they learned while they lived in Iraq as missionary kids.
“So many people never get to travel outside their home state, let alone country, and the Taste the Nations program is an attempt to let people who may never physically leave the United States experience a little of what other cultures have to offer,” said Kelly Tilson.
Tilson is the student president of ISAT and part of the purpose of the club is to bring the international experience to Trevecca’s campus.
Another goal of ISAT, according to Tilson, is to provide international students with a community of people who understand what it’s like to have your cultural identity questioned, changed, or disassembled, to help international students adjust to life in America, and to find their common identity in Christ.
“As human beings, we are all on a search for identity and belonging. Leaving your home culture and entering a new one—whether you’re from New Zealand or New York can knock you off your feet,” said Tilson.
There were at least 11 different countries represented through food, including Boorak, made by Amira Mohamad from Kurdistan, and Feijoada, a Brazilian bean and sausage soup made by Rejane Migliore.
In the past ISAT has accepted donations, but this year they charged two dollars which will be put into a fund to help international students with any emergencies.
“There have students who suddenly learned about some disaster that has struck their country whether it be a political upheaval or a natural disaster the donated money was used to provide them with calling cards so that they could keep in touch with their families,” said Dr. Jooly Philip, faculty sponsor of ISAT.
The last presentation of the night was the reading of Romans 8:1-2, by 14 students from different countries, in their native languages.
“The bible verse was my favorite part of the night, that and the food,” said Elijah Brice, an international student from Haiti.