Around the world in less than a day

While many can’t say they have traveled to another country, students at the College can say that countries from all over the world came to them.

Residential Education and Housing presented “Trip Around the World” on Thursday, Nov. 14 in the Brower Student Center. Co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, the International House and the Center for Global Engagement, the cultural show gave students at the College a taste of all of the different cultures on campus.

The TCNJ Hellenic Society showcased its Baklava — a rich pastry filled with chopped nuts and a syrupy sauce. Members of the student organization performed a dance for everyone, wrapping their arms around each other’s shoulders and kicking their legs in sync. It was quite the spectacle.

My second stop was Australia, and after failing to figure out the names of the states, I decided to try their bread with vegemite, a yeast spread. It was very salty, but nonetheless, it was great. After getting my passport stamped, I traveled to Italy. The TCNJ Italian Club presented rainbow cake, assorted cookies and wafers with powdered sugar.

“When you think of Italy, you think of really good food,” said Morgan Giaimo, sophomore nursing major and secretary of the Italian Club. “You think of lots of pasta, desserts, pizza … It’s just a really family-oriented setting.”

Next, I traveled to Brazil, which featured different types of chocolates and tea. The visit was short, but sweet. The South American area was my next stop, and Union Latina showcased its Tres Leches cake, made of three different types of milk. It was very moist, but refreshing.

Junior accounting major and treasurer of Union Latina Rhina Brito said that the student organization wanted to let everyone know how diverse the Spanish culture is.

“We all have different cultures, different types of dances and different types of foods,” she said.

“Our motto is ‘United We Are Stronger,’” said Katrina Calderon, sophomore health and exercise science major and secretary of Union Latina. “We truly believe that it’s important to not just unite the Hispanic and Latino organizations, but everyone else as well, to give people knowledge of our culture.”

I got my passport stamped, and then I traveled to my next destination — the Philippines. TCNJ Barkada performed a dance that featured large bamboo sticks and impressive eye-foot coordination.

“It’s the Tinikling dance,” said Angelica Teneglics, sophomore psychology major and public relations manager of Barkada. “It’s basically the dance of the tikling bird and the bird dances between bamboo traps that are set by rice farmers in the Philippines.”

Delta Theta Sigma Sorority Inc. gave me a taste of the African-American culture with its pumpkin pie and apple cobbler, which was my last sampling of the night. My final stop was Asia, where the Chinese Student Association performed a dance that featured impressive costumes and masks.

“They were all handmade and brought from Taiwan,” Mandarin Chinese professor Celia Liu said. “The masks are lions, and in ancient times, we thought that (the lion) was a lucky animal that could scare away the devil and bring in good luck.”

Director of the International House Curtis Chan said that in years past the event was a program only done in the residence hall. But he decided to shake things up a bit.

“We thought that it might be good to reach out to all student organizations,” Chan said. “This is a good opportunity to show them that we also do programs and care about (multicultural students) outside the residence halls.”

Michael Evans, junior marketing major and vice president of the Black Student Union, said that BSU hosted a type of event like this in years past, called “Thanksgiving Remix.” But this year, the organization worked together with Residential Education and Housing to advertise the program on a larger scale.

“I really appreciate TCNJ for organizing an event like this,” said Amy Chen, junior English major and member of Taiko, which also performed for the event. “I think it’s really good for us to have more events and opportunities like this where you can be exposed to different cultures, especially the ones that you often forget about.”

“It’s really cool,” junior biology major Lesley Wu said. “It brings a lot of people together and you get all these different flavors of each culture.”