Every year, Colorado College students congregate for Taste of the World, an event where international students cook and present dishes from their respective countries. CC’s Multicultural Organization of Students: An International Community organizes the event, and this year, the line for last-minute tickets went out the door. Those who had gotten their tickets in advance waited anxiously to sample every dish.
“Judging by how quickly 200 tickets were gone, and how many people were queued up in the Bemis Lounge, I concluded that the event planning was successful,” said Viktor Kelemen, a first-year from Hungary who’s the incoming co-chair of MOSAIC along with first-year Anusha Khanal. “As the line of people slowly transitioned to the Great Hall with full plates and joyful conversation, I got the feeling that all the work we put into the event transformed a lazy Sunday afternoon into an experience to be remembered.” According to Kelemen, it gives CC students during Block 8 an opportunity to “unwind, recharge, and appreciate each other and our time together.”
Kelemen first became involved with MOSAIC during the Fall semester, when he attended one of the organization’s “Meet My Country” events. Sophomore Pietro Giacomin, the outgoing chair of MOSAIC from Costa Rica, described these sessions. “An international student gives a presentation and caters food from their country,” he said. “As a Butler-Center-affiliated group, we also collaborate with other student groups, such as we have with Conversations on Whiteness recently.”
“Next year, we are planning on continuing the Meet My Country sessions, but also focusing on other events, such as a welcome mixer for incoming international students (and anyone who cares to join us), and a series of events focusing on international awareness, politics, and news from every corner of the world,” Kelemen said.
Kelemen co-organized the Taste of the World event, “responsible for much of the logistics, planning and final touches. I also participated as a chef, preparing my favorite Christmas dessert from home,” he added.
“The event means a lot to me and the international community, given that most of us are thousands of miles away from a home-cooked plate of food,” Giacomin said. “To be able to experience different dishes which might equate home to others is a great privilege.” To Kelemen, it’s “important to remember and celebrate our cultural differences, and invest time and resources into achieving such a goal.”
“This year’s Taste of the World meant a great opportunity to get involved with organizing a school-wide event, to work together with incredible co-organizers and chefs, and to transition into my future position as MOSAIC co-chair,” Kelemen continued.
The Bemis Lounge was filled with students serving dishes from various countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and other places around the world. “My favorite part was definitely seeing the room slowly fill up with different students bringing their dishes,” Kelemen said. “The actual planning sounds very surreal, and seeing a spreadsheet of countries and regions materialize in front of you in a room is something hard to describe with words.”
“Seeing people’s faces as they try dishes they have never even heard of before, and seeing the joy with which the chefs present the food they have prepared and have a special connection to, is probably my favorite part of the event,” said Kelemen. Giacomin added, as a closing thought, “MOSAIC is not limited to international students, nor is the participation in any of our events. We are always looking forward to meeting new faces and exploring things about wherever it is that you call home, and making a piece of such home accessible to you throughout your campus experience.”