Students from all over campus and all over the world gathered in the Smith Student Center ballroom Saturday evening for the 43rd annual International Dinner to close out Internations Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the many cultures and international experiences SRU has.
“A lot of domestic students don’t really know about other countries, other cultures, or what’s really going on in other countries,” said sophomore chemistry major and president of Internations Club Parto Bahreini, from Iran. “The purpose of this week is to show them how we are, how we do things.”
The evening was filled with musical performances, dishes from all over the globe, and students learning about all the cultures on campus. The dinner, as well as the other events last week, were presented by the Internations Club; Bahreini, along with Abbas Gamsoré, a student from Belgium, hosted the evening. Interim President Philip Way, from the United Kingdom, opened with welcoming remarks, and he was followed by Verses of Thanksgiving presented by four students from France, Germany and Korea, as well as the United States. Dinner was then served, featuring food and drink from all over the world.
“I like spicy food, so I enjoyed the spicier foods that were on offer tonight,” Way said of his favorite dishes.
Dinner was followed by the awarding of six scholarships, which were given to nine students, including junior public health major from Vietnam An Quan and sophomore communication major from Latvia Aleksejs Baranovs, who won the International Student and the Shiron Cooper Awards, respectively.
After the awards were presented, the evening continued with musical performances by students of songs like “Always” by Yoon Mi Rae and “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan. Way felt the evening, along with being an opportunity for the around 380 students in attendance to enjoy themselves, was also a good learning opportunity.
“It’s a learning experience in that [students] can really learn about differences between their countries and other countries, and ask the questions, ‘Why are we different? What are the roots of that?’ Way said. “And so while it is primarily a fun event, they can also learn.”
Bahreini said the night was a successful one, and she was glad so many students came out to enjoy the food and experience the culture that SRU students have to offer. As the years have gone by, the Internations Club has held the International Dinner for 43 years, and Bahreini remarked that the longevity of the event proves how great and active the club is.
Way agreed, calling Internations Week a “fabulous celebration of multiple nationalities.”
“You can’t beat an event like this for getting an insight into different cultures,” Way said. “It’s what makes the world go round, to understand other cultures.”
Being international himself, Way was excited that students from other countries get this week to show off where they come from. He said it’s great that students can put themselves mentally in the place that they came from and celebrate with others, especially those who miss their homes.
To keep up with the Internations Club and other events they’ll be presenting in the future, students can follow them on Twitter @sruinternations and on Instagram @sru_internationsclub.