January 27, 2010

‘Taste of Nations 2010’ celebrates diversity

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Taste of Nations 2010 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a chance to taste and celebrate international diversity. 

Each Thursday night in February, the focus will be on the cultures, customs, music, food, ceremonial costumes and artifacts of different cultures across the globe.   Countries represented at the Taste of Nations include China, Honduras, India, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Singapore, Taiwan, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

University Housing and Chi Alpha Campus Ministry, a registered student organization, present the events, open to anyone interested in discovering more about different cultures around the world.   Most of the events are free, including the food sampling in the public areas.  Participants may also choose to eat in the dining halls by using their dining plan or by purchasing a guest meal ticket at the dining hall entrance with cash, credit or debit cards.

“It’s a learning experience for everyone,” said Danielle Wleklinski, graduate assistant for University Housing and co-coordinator for the event.

The fun kicks off 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 4 at Trueblood Dining Hall.  Come enjoy a glimpse of Latin America, China, Japan, Africa, Korea and India through music, costumes, international artifacts and native recipes.

The focus is on China on Feb. 11 at University Hall from 5 to 7 p.m.  A Chinese musical group will perform, native costumes and artifacts will be on display and you can sample Chinese cuisine.

Stop by Eastside Express on the upper level of Grinnell Hall at Brush Towers between 8 and 11 p.m. on Feb. 18 for another “trip” around the world.  African drummers will perform as visitors view a variety of international native costumes and artifacts and taste snacks from various countries.

Wrapping up Taste of Nations 2010 will be the 5-7 p.m. experience on Feb. 25 at Lentz Dining Hall.  To the sounds of an African drum group and music by Chinese and Japanese performers, there will again be displays of native attire and artifacts from around the world.

There’s no cost to attend any of the Taste of Nations evenings and organizers encourage students to celebrate the diversity that is SIUC and explore other cultures and nations.