Nash Trumbly reporter
Pittsburg State University hosted the annual International Food and Culture Fair at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The center hosted almost 20 stands to choose from, ranging from student associations, members of the community, and even to the popular local restaurant Pueblo Mio. Students and residents alike got the chance to experience the various cultures and cuisines of our international students for just a $2 admission fee, and $1 for each food ticket purchased.
The event was put on by the Office of International Programs and Services, in partnership with the International Student Association. Raj Thakor, the president of the ISA, says that the event served the students participating just as much as those attending.
“We try to put on this event so that our students get a chance to make their own food and relive memories from home while also giving them on opportunity to spend time in the kitchen and serve others,” said Thakor.
With a variety of cuisines spanning the worlds continents, it was obvious how much effort and passion went into the event. One vendor and Pittsburg resident, Brandon Tann, ran a stand selling traditional Japanese food. With options such as hibachi chicken, spring rolls, gyoza, crab rangoon, and Thai iced tea, he was passionate about giving the community a traditional recreation of his culture’s cuisine.
“We want to share to everybody here how amazing Japanese food is and give people a chance to give it a try”, said Tann.
The effort was rewarded, as the Bicknell was filled with students and members of the community alike, eager to try the food and chat with the amazing volunteers. For students like Christian Staecker, the event was simply “packed as usual”. Staecker, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, has attended the food and culture fair for the past several years, and says it has a positive impact on the community.
“It’s really important to experience other cultures, get yourself out there and see what all the world has to offer, whether it be traditional dances, or just really good food”, said Staecker.
To the students running the event, they hope the resounding success means that students leave with more knowledge of their community, and a new perspective on the world.
“We hope that anyone attending this event will find a lot of different cuisines, enjoy spicy foods, sweet foods, and these other wonderful things and when they go home, they can say I visited India or Mexico or Peru without even leaving Pittsburg”, said Thakor.