Open mics have been a tradition at Quest for a long time. However, this time we decided to do it differently. The Minister of Internationalization, Aida Ndiaye, and a few other students came up with the idea to do an open mic in which none of the presentations were in English. The organizing committee emailed tutors and staff as well as advertized the event to students around campus to sign-up to perform on the event. Several faculty members and students prepared amazing performances, they ranged from reciting poems to group dances. It was a beautiful spectacle of culture and language.
Besides the different languages students were also encouraged to cook a traditional dish from a different country and serve it prior to the event. The food ingredients were sponsored by our student government, the Student Representative Council (SRC). Students who were interested in cooking submitted a proposal to the SRC with the ingredients and budget they would need. Five students were involved in making their home country dishes for a quick tasting before the performances.
Poema a second year student from Kosovo prepared spanakopita, a pastry with filo dough stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Farrah a first year student from Egypt made tulumba, a fried batter soaked in syrup popular dessert found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire. Nico a first year student from Kenya cooked a delicious groundnut soup, a Ghanaian chicken peanut soup with onions and scotch bonnet peppers. Maria Jose also a first year student served a traditional dish of El Salvador made out of rice flour or corn tortilla called purpusas. Finally, I made Brigadeiro a popular dessert from Brazil, made of condensed milk, cocoa, and a final touch of chocolate sprinkles.
After an incredible tasting the performances began. The open mic included presentations from the Americas, Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. To start us off we had the tutor Bianca Brigidi reciting a poem in Portuguese. We also had Herieth singing a song in Swahili followed by Arlette sharing a traditional Rwandan dance. The French Block students and tutor got together to perform a couple of french songs as part of a class project. The night ended with a cheerful Bollywood dance performed by Cello and Lhachoe.