After weeks of planning and preparation, the whole school united for an amazing celebration of global awareness. Coinciding with another event that unites the world, the Olympic Winter games in PyeongChang, Korea, the 2nd Annual International Food Bazaar featured twenty different student groups, each representing a unique nationality, region, or ethnicity. Every group was responsible for serving a dish, decorating their tables, giving a performance, and creating souvenirs.
The day of the events, the groups met up in classrooms designated as their team headquarters. They divvied up the tasks. Some students collected the food and cooking utensils coordinated by Grier’s Head of Food Services Chef Flanagan and headed off to designated kitchens around campus, which included cottage and dormitory kitchens, as well as, the homes of Grier’s on-campus faculty. Assisted by a teacher, the students prepared and cooked enough portions of their dish to feed 200 plus. Once the food was prepared, the students carried it over to the gymnasium.
In the gymnasium, other groups of students worked earnestly throughout the morning on table decorations, souvenirs, and performance rehearsals. Teams on table decoration had collected materials to illustrate the culture of their group. Artists created banners and posters, decorators draped table cloths and set out special platters and trays for their foods. Meanwhile, many students were handcrafting souvenirs to share with those in attendance. Team Poland hand sewed pierogi made from felt, while India constructed little lanterns, and Japan folded origami. As noon approached, students arrived from the kitchens bearing food and put the finishing touches on their décor and mementos. Some students and teachers wore clothing to reflect their country’s heritage or national colors.
Mrs. Borst greeted the Grier community gathered around the stage area of the gymnasium, and then turned the microphone over to the student who inspired and spearheaded this incarnation of Grier’s International Day, Flora W.’18. Flora thanked the students and teachers for their hard work putting the event together and, with her co-chair, Ivy Z.’19, led Grier in a countdown to the start of the festivities.
As Flora and Ivy left the stage, Drama Dept. Chair Mrs. Kim Silverman began orchestrating the line-up of student performances, starting with a group doing a dance from the Szechuan province of China. Meanwhile, others made their way from table to table, filling their plates with delicious food and collecting souvenirs. The students also received passports to have stamped at each stop and those that made it “around the world” were eligible for a reward of Grier Bucks, a currency honored in the Grier Bookstore and Coffee Barn.
The food selected and prepared was exceptional! There was a wide variety, featuring meat, seafood, pasta, breads, and desserts. Those who were worried there wouldn’t be enough need not have worried, for there was plenty to go around! Among the foods were West African puff-puffs, poutine from French Canada, pork belly from Szechuan, Korean-style sushi, Polish haluski and sausage, Irish potato cakes, Thai peanut shrimp, Mediterranean watermelon-feta kebabs, Mexican molletes and sopes, sweet noodles from Vietnam, South China noodles, and more!
The performances were an amazing showcase of student talent and creativity. Several groups seized the opportunity to perform a dance in a traditional or contemporary style of their country. Others sang songs or performed instruments. North China took a different course and performed a calligraphy demonstration, Japan showed the audience how to play a funny party game, and France held a fashion show.
After the performances concluded, Mrs. Borst took the floor again to congratulate everyone on the event. The crowd cheered and then proceeded to clean up the entire gym before dispersing for other activities, studying, relaxing, and enjoying the weekend.
The event was an enormous success, made possible by the cooperation, talent, creativity, and effort of the whole Grier community. The International Food Bazaar is the current iteration of a long-held tradition at Grier of celebrating global culture. The concept of the largely student-led International Food Bazaar was conceived last year by Flora W.’18. Building on the success of last year’s event, the 2018 International Food Bazaar featured nearly twice the cuisine and culture from around the world. Along with Administrative and Food Services support, History Department Head Mrs. Abby Curtis was the main coordinator of the event. The bazaar fulfills one component of a multipart objective to increase Global Awareness. It was a wonderful and memorable experience!
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for more news and photos!By R. Woolfrey | Photo credits: R. Woolfrey, A. Stem, and C. Fernandes