The International Student Association is hosting its International Dinner at Park Place Church of God this Saturday.
The event, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Nov. 3, will showcase the many cultures present at AU through food, dance and community. Each year, the dinner is hosted around a theme; this year, that theme is “Myths and Legends.”
“Every country has their own myths, legends, stories and folklore,” ISA President Sam Larson said of the dinner’s theme.
The ISA has joined forces with other cultural clubs on campus to make the dinner come to life. Members from the Black Student Association, Hispanic and Latino Association, Asian Student Association, the Gospel Choir and Phi Alpha Kappa have all taken part in the planning and execution of the event.
“It is a very difficult event to pull off, so it’s nice to have help from all the other clubs,” Larson, who is president for the first time this year, said.
Mike Thigpen, director of the Cultural Resource Center, said that the International Dinner is “ISA’s chance to give back to the community by bringing international thoughts and meals to our campus.”
There are two main components of the International Dinner: first, food from around the world and secondly, the entertainment.
“This year will be more of an integrated story,” Larson said. The emcees, Kartini Ledermann and Pia Gossweiler, will be telling a legend from Java, an island in Indonesia.
“We have so many urban myths and cultural legends, and it will be very cool to bring truth to everything,” Thigpen said.
Although the Javanese legend will be the overarching story of the night, there will also be songs and stories from other countries.
The food at the dinner will consist of a wide variety of dishes prepared by AU students, who will bring a bit of home to their dishes.
Additionally, the ISA has more students taking part this year than last.
“I’m excited about the addition of some of the new students and the cultural fusion they bring to AU, like the different dishes, entertainment and culture,” said Thigpen. “I think this is a good way to expose the rest of our campus to our international population by getting exposed to their music, dance and food and to put aside our culture for one day.”
Students, like junior Emily Kelley, are excited for the International Dinner.
“It’s a great opportunity to eat food outside of the Marketplace for a change,” she said. “Plus, it’s a chance to make new friends from all over the country as well as all over the world. There isn’t another event on campus that allows you to explore other cultures the way the International Dinner does.”
The International Student Association meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the CRC, which is located on the second floor of Decker Hall.
“What we have been doing this year is a little bit different,” said Larson. “Members have been talking about where they’re from and their experiences in their country.”
Those who wish to join do not have to be international students.
“The club isn’t just students coming from other countries,” said Larson, who is from the United States and who came to Anderson after living in the Cayman Islands for two years in high school.
Tickets for the International Dinner are on sale now. General admission tickets can be purchased in the CRC for $6 or for $7 at the door. A royal guest ticket, which is $10 and can be purchased in the CRC, includes seating in a VIP section as well as additional bonuses at the event.