This month is a very special and important one at Quest. For the first time, international students got together and organized a month dedicated to cultural diversity in order to foster a sense of community and empower international students. Poema, one of our lovely ambassadors, has blogged in more detail about what this month is all about, check it out if you want to know more. My blog will cover one of the many events happening this month: The Somali Language Table.
Language tables happen several times a week at Quest so we decided to keep that tradition going during this month. This is an opportunity for people to talk their native (or not) language and teach others who are interested. The event happened in one of the biggest tables at our cafeteria during lunch time.
While planning the even we thought it would be interesting to enjoy a typical dish from the country we were speaking the language. Thus, we approached the cafeteria and asked them if they would be willing to make a Somali lunch special for the day. They were enthusiastic about the idea and made a lovely Sambusa. Sambusa is a Somali style Samosa and it was hand made by our cafeteria chef Hawkhammer, we had a chicken or vegetarian option and it was served with a side of vegetarian Biryani and brown sugar braised apple. It was an amazing meal!
While we enjoyed lunch, the leaders for the language table arrived: two lively friends form Somaliland, Mohamed and Ahmed. They brought a short handout to illustrate where Somaliland is, talked about Somali culture and history, and then began teaching us the alphabet. They would pronounce a letter and we would all pronounce it back. After we got a pretty good (not really) hang of it we attempted to have some conversations based on the handout they gave us. It was amazing to be able to learn so much about a language in only one hour.
During this month there will be a Language Table every Monday. The next one will be French and finally Portuguese, the one I will be leading!