Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 21, 2013

International Dinner promotes cultural exchange, offers culinary delights

VALDOSTA — The 37th Annual International Dinner was hosted by Valdosta State University Saturday night, offering attendees a chance to sample international dishes and experience international culture.

When it started 37 years ago, the International Dinner was a small affair, hosted by local churches with a handful of guests. Now in its fourth year being hosted on VSU campus, the dinner welcomed 300 guests, treating them to Jamaican meat pies, Korean braised chicken and German Spaetzle, along with bread pudding, Brazilian Brigadeiro, and a feast's worth of other dishes. Along with providing the entertainment, international students served the dishes from their home countries.

"This event is student-driven in every way,” said Lauren Braun, VSU International Student Services coordinator. “Students plan the menu, prepare the food - with the guidance of VSU Dining and Chartwells catering staff — plan the program, decorate, publicize the event and recruit talent for the program.”

And the program provided plenty of talent. Opening with a number by Tochi Madueke, Somuayiro Nwokike and Chioma Madueke, the night showcased the dances and music of several countries. Marie Reyes, Heesoo Jeong and Andrew Ritfeld performed a Latin American dance, while Ritfeld and Elena Tulianova danced the traditional Russian Kalinka dance.

On the music side of things, Terrell Andrews gave his rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” and Tochukwu Nwokike sang the African song “Ndihamba Nawe,” or, roughly translated into English, “I Choose You.”

The VSU Mass Choir was also in attendance, performing “I Shall Not Be Forgotten,” as well as the VSU Pan-American Ensemble, which performed a number of songs, including the George Gershwin number, “Summertime.” Oblivion, an international string-and-piano ensemble, also played.

There were two martial arts performances, with Ritfeld partnering with Ritzuki Mitzaki for a Capoeira demonstration and Russian student Irina Kandatseva performing Japanese martial arts.

The dinner featured a silent auction, with items from various students' countries available for biddng.

“The funds we collect are used to prepare for next year's event and to help provide resources for incoming students,” said Braun.

Students like Waleed Alharbi. The native of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Alharbi arrived at VSU a couple of years ago.

“At the beginning, the most difficult thing was the culture, the cultural differences,” said Alharbi, who participated as one of the models for the International Fashion Show. “It was difficult, but I love South Georgia. People in the South, they enjoy helping you.”

As one of more than 300 international students attending VSU, Alharbi exemplifies what the program aims to do: foster international cultural exchange between the United States and other countries, while giving international students the chance to learn and obtain an American education.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • N0041120.jpg Passover: A nation reborn

    “And you shall tell your children that on that day the Lord has took you out from the house of bondage.” — The Passover Hagadah

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-DFCS001.jpg Luncheon recognizes DFACS employees

    Dozens of Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services employees gathered Monday at Olympic Park for a barbecue lunch in recognition of their hard work.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-Sewage002.jpg Fla. calls for Valdosta boycott

    Florida residents are calling for a boycott of Valdosta regarding the sewage spills, with areas affected downstream increasingly distressed over the millions of gallons that have polluted the waters of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River Basin during the last several years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg ‘Dangerous’ fugitive caught

    A fugitive from Ohio wanted for attempted murder and a number of assault and robbery charges was captured by Valdosta police Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results