The College Programming Board hosted its annual Cultural Food Fest in the Trustees Pavilion last Friday bringing in culturally diverse food from different restaurants in the surrounding area to be taste tested by the Ramapo community. About 100 students came and joined in on the delicious festivities.
Featured on the menu were Mexican food (tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole and sour cream), Chinese food (white rice, fried noodles and General Tso’s chicken), Indian food (chicken and vegetarian biryani), Thai food (pad thai and pineapple fried rice), Greek food (moussaka and Greek salad) and Italian food (lasagna and cannoli).
Sasha Lee, senior and co-president of CPB, said, “It’s nice to have people try different foods.”
“It’s also nice because I feel like certain cultures are not represented at events here,” she added.
Many events at Ramapo serve the typical pizza or sandwiches for attendees. This event was meant to help students branch out and discover new tastes that might appeal to their palates.
“It was hard to find food off-campus as well, so this event could really help people taste new foods more easily,” Lee continued. “If they liked it, they can know next time to go get it themselves.”
Carlie Viemann, sophomore and member of CPB, voiced her agreement:
“I really like how there are so many culturally diverse restaurants nearby. It’s fun seeing people step out of their comfort zone and try new foods.”
Students filled their plates to the edge with all of the various options, and some even went for seconds. The crowd favorite seemed to be the Mexican and Indian food.
Jonathon Liu, junior, said, “There was an impressively large selection of different foods, and all very delicious.”
Next, the Ramapo Brazilian Percussion Ensemble set itself up in the front of the room. The student and staff group performed multiple pieces using their unique instruments. Their fun and loud pieces gave the event a well-received Brazilian flair. At one point, the group even invited volunteers from the audience to try out different drums.
Philip Nguyen, sophomore, was one of the brave students who wanted to try something unfamiliar yet exciting that night. He said, “Drumming with the Brazilian percussion band allowed me to experience something new. I found rhythm as a community and the feeling of being off beat.”
By the end of the night, students were laughing, talking and of course feeling very full and satisfied by the scrumptious and entertaining event. Whether people were nursing food comas or painting creative designs on paper lanterns that the CPB provided as a craft, everyone left with a little bit more culture than what they came in with.
Viemann was extremely pleased with the happy sentiments, and proud of the event and what it accomplished.
She said, “It doesn’t hurt to try something new. People get so scared, but if they just try a little bit of something new every once and a while, they can actually discover a new food or activity they like.”