July 25, 2024

Strings of twinkling lights and tables representing different regions of the world circled California Baptist University’s Stamps Courtyard on the evening of Sept. 18 as students lined up to experience a “Taste of the Nations.”

Students got a chance to enjoy drinks and desserts made by international students from the various regions represented at the event as they visited each table.

International students were also at the tables to talk about their countries and cultures and give traditional students a broadened perspective.

“We have an opportunity to learn from (international students) and they learn a lot from us being in our environment,” said Bryan Davis, director of international students.

As they snacked on desserts from each region, students were encouraged to ask questions and learn more about the various countries.

“There’s a lot of different countries’ food here and we want Americans to experience the other countries’ food and share other cultures,” said Hyunwoo Jung, sophomore business administration major.

After attending the event last year, Cassandra J. Kitchen, junior foundational math major, said she liked tasting different foods and learning about life in other countries.

Bernard Dafney, graduate assistant of the Office of Mobilization, said students also received general cultural information and spiritual information about each country.

The spiritual information consisted of a country’s spiritual climate, prominent religion, percentage of Christians in that particular country and their prayer needs.

“It’s just a way for (students) to find out information about the countries, how they can be praying for them, how they can get involved with the Office of Mobilization to actually go to the country and serve the people there,” Dafney said.

The Village living area, Office of Mobilization and International Center partnered together to put this event together after seeing the success the event had with The Village residence last year.

Rory Todd, resident director of The Village, said they saw the benefit of the event last year as students were signing up for International Service Projects and starting to ask questions about the different nations.

“We really want people to experience the culture and walk away with a greater understanding that it’s not just about what is here in Riverside,” Todd said.

The International Center will be having more culture specific events going on this year, including a British tea party, Canadian winter fest and more, Davis said.

The night ended with a video encouraging students to apply for International Service Projects before the Oct. 10 deadline.

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