| Robin Siteneski reporter |
Memorial Auditorium in downtown Pittsburg was transformed into a global village on Saturday, March 8, for the International Food and Culture Fair. More than 500 people enjoyed food, music and dance performances from 15 countries.
The event was sponsored by the International Student Association.
Yazeed Aldhwayan, international student from Saudi Arabia and president of the group, says the fair is a chance to broaden Pittsburg’s view of the world.
“In a small town like Pittsburg, this gives them a chance to visit the world without leaving home,” he said.
Entrance to the event was $1 and attendees could purchase food from 50 cents to $1.50, depending on the amount.
At the Russian booth, students sold pancakes called “pirozhki.” The empanadas at the Paraguay table were also a big hit. Alheli Aranda, senior in music and president of the Paraguayan Association, says they sold 200 pastries in about 45 minutes.
“It’s something that has a tradition,” she said. “People come here for the empanadas.”
A few tables down, two Venezuelan students offered the only made-to-order items on the diverse menu. The group fried more than 150 cheese and beef “pastelitos,” a traditional Venezuelan dish.
Other countries represented included Vietnam, Brazil and five African countries: Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Egypt.
Meaghanne Mack, freshman in general education, attended the event for the second time. This year she brought her two children along.
“The food is just amazing,” she said. “I also like the combination of the performances, people in different clothes and food.”
International students from Saudi Arabia, India, Paraguay, Taiwan and Nigeria performed dances and other performances, many of them in traditional clothing from their homeland such as saris and ghagra choli.