2018 Graduate International Dinner
At Babson, you come prepared to indulge in diversity in the form of cultures and traditions from an array of countries. Knowing how eager students are to present their culture, our Graduate Student Council organizes an International Dinner each year. But this is no ordinary dinner. Groups of students from each country form teams and put up stalls serving authentic food from their countries. Teams of students go spoon to spoon for bragging rights of the international kitchen. Teams are judged on theme authenticity, taste, creativity, and presentation.
Food is an important part of many cultures; for us Indians, it’s THE most important. The International Dinner was now on top of the priority list. Apart from showcasing our culinary skills, students were also encouraged to sing and put up dance performances. This was right up our alley. Food and dance? We had to win. But in the excitement and competitive spirit, no one foresaw the big dilemma – what dish do we want to prepare? As a country with many (strong) flavors and spices, it was difficult to come up with the right dish and the right amount of spice. Luckily, we were allowed to have two stalls, each serving a unique dish from North India. As one group of students readied the recipe and items required to make the food, another set of students started preparing the dance performances. Classrooms in Olin were now playing Bollywood music as students met after class to choreograph the dances.
It was the day of the dinner and we were set with our stalls, ready to serve Chilli Chicken and Chole Tikki (a fried vegetarian cutlet filled with mashed potatoes and peas served with a dark gravy made with chickpeas). But on the day of the event, we forgot about the competition and were more excited to eat the dishes from other countries and see their performances.
The team of students from Mexico started the performances with traditional spanish song from Mexico. It looked like a scene straight out of Coco. All the students in Knight Auditorium swayed with the beats as the other students from Latin America went up on stage to join in the singing. Plates were filled with authentic German pretzels and cheesecake, Japanese pancakes and Peruvian delicacies. And what enriched the experience even further was seeing everyone dressed in traditional attire from their country.
As we went around tasting food from different countries, we had to vote for the food we liked the most. It was so difficult to pick out one single dish, but that German cheesecake had my vote from the first bite.
Each team showed so much passion in not just creating their dish but even explaining its origin and the story behind it – it was just fascinating. It has become so much more difficult now to pick which country I would want to travel to next.