|by Susan V. Cantrell • November 12, 2004|
The corners of the globe drew closer together Nov. 6 when the 29 members of the Wabash College International Students Association hosted a dinner for their sponsors from the College faculty, staff and Crawfordsville community. Nearly 150 guests engaged in lively conversations about the students’ native countries and cultures.
The Wabash students come to campus from as far away as India, Pakistan, Romania, Nepal, Ghana, Kenya, Burma, Mexico, Lebanon, and China, and comprise about four percent of the student body. One young man is the third brother in his family to attend Wabash; he is studying biochemistry. There are twin brothers from India; and a Mexican student who learned about Wabash from our trustee David Orr, who spends part of the year in his country. The young man from Beruit, Lebanon, speaks three languages fluently and has visited both Boston and Los Angeles, but he had never set foot in Indiana until he arrived at Wabash this fall. Each of the international students who came here to learn has a great deal to teach Americans.
The students were in charge of all aspects of the evening and their first task was teaching their guests about different kinds of food. On the menu was unleavened bread, chicken tikka masala (chicken breasts in yogurt, spices, tomato and butter), aloo gobhi (cauliflower and potatoes cooked together with hot spices), and for dessert gulab jamun (a very sweet cake of milk and rice). They arranged to have the food catered by an Indian restaurant in Indianapolis.
Professor of religion David Blix entwined some hilarious stories of his own travels amid a serious message about the importance of being alert to the joy and knowledge differences can bring.
The students had even more in store for their guests. After dinner the crowd dispersed to the campus mall to watch a presentation of fire spinning by two students who lit up the night sky with a skill that would dazzle people from any country in the world.