By Rejane Migliore
Food from more than seven different countries will be on display this month at a popular annual event on campus.
The International Students Association of Trevecca (ISAT) will present its fifth annual Taste the Nations event in TSAC at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 30.
The club—and the event—allow international students to showcase their culture while giving the Trevecca community a glimpse of the diversity on campus.
“We realized that international students have unique needs and that they need to have a club which allows them to express and meet those needs, and that is how we started the club,” said Jooly Philip, chair of the English department and sponsor of ISAT.
In 2008, a year after the club had started, Roy Philip, who is an associate professor of marketing, and his wife, Jooly, decided that it was time to showcase to the university the various cultures present on the Trevecca campus.
Taste the Nations will feature songs performed by international students, food from around the world, dances, skits, poems and scripture reading by the students from different countries in their native language.
“Several students have told us that it is a special night because it reminds them of home and makes them feel accepted knowing that they can share their culture without any reservations and know that the campus appreciates them and wants to learn from them,” Jooly Philip said.
There are about 20 nationalities on the Trevecca campus. There are students from Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Madagascar, United Kingdom, Egypt, Turkey, Albania, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Scotland, Sudan, Rwanda, the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya, Serbia, Dominican Republic and Brazil.
Many of these students sit quietly in their classes, almost un- noticed, Jooly Philip said. This was another reason the Phillips wanted the Trevecca community to hold the Taste the Nations event.
“[Prior to ISAT] The university has lost an incredible opportunity to experience another world through the lives of these students, who have so many different perspectives and approaches to life, and they have so much to share about the cultures from which they come,” Jooly Phillip said.
Taste the Nations has been growing since it started in 2008.
The first year only about 50 people attended; the second year it was about 100 people. Since then the event has regularly drawn around 200 people.
“It is a great place to enjoy culture without going to another country, and that is why it is aptly named Taste the Nations. You can come and taste [cultures and foods] of the different nations, and it is right here,” he said.
The event costs $2, and all money raised is put in a fund for calling cards, food and other needs of international students on campus.