NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

International Festival

Students taste food from different countries at NECC International Festival.

To celebrate NECC’s diverse community, Student Engagement holds an International Festival where students can learn about different countries and try the foods from those countries and cultures.

The International Festival is held as a learning experience, and in keeping with NECC’s core values. According to Ari Chicklis, assistant coordinator of student activities and engagement, “One of NECC’s core values is ‘Culture of Inclusion’ and in the Student Engagement we do our best to foster this value by facilitating events that celebrate diversity.”

Chicklis also said, “NECC is made up of a vast number of cultures and each one of them deserves to be put in the spotlight so that others can absorb and understand them.”

“One of the most fun ways to experience a culture is through food and during International Festival we had tons of food,” said Chicklis.

Some of the countries that were on display were: Italy, the Italian food was ziti and meatballs; Japan, represented by sushi; India, with its chicken tiki; and a falafel bar to celebrate the food of the Middle East.

Connor Emo, an exercise science student, said, “I love the free food and trying new things. I have no problem trying new things but I hated the chop sticks.”
Stephanie Deleon, a general studies student, said, It amazes me how many different foods there really are around the world.

Deleon was also a fan of trying new things and she found the falafel bar was her favorite. “I really liked the falafel — it was like a little fried cloud from heaven. I was not sure about the falafel pickle though. The color was just too bright it seemed unnatural.”

Chicklis really enjoyed the event, seeing the students learn about other cultures while teaching others about their own. Chicklis said, “It was a joy to watch the students enjoying the cultures of themselves and their peers.”

Dina Brown, the coordinator of Student Actiivties and Engagement, was pouring Moroccan Mint Tea, which is usually made up of green tea and spearmint leaves. Brown then showed students how to pour it properly.

When the tea was ready to be poured she put the cup on the table and raised the teapot about three feet above the cup and started to pour. Brown explains that the tea is poured from up high so the leaves swirl in the bottom of the glass and let out more flavor.

Students really enjoyed the tea and watching Brown pour it. Deleon said, “This was pretty cool, I always seen them pouring the tea from up high on movies and TV shows but I never understood why — and now I do.”

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