International Club hosts dinner to celebrate cultural diversity


More than 150 people attended the annual International Dinner last week. As one of the International Club’s biggest events of the year, the International Dinner brought food and performances from different culture of the world to celebrate diversity on campus.

Hannah Cho, Contributing reporter

On March 25, International Club (I-Club) hosted the International Dinner at the Thwing Center Ballroom. With the aroma of various of dishes wafting from the entrance and chatter from well-dressed students and staff filling the room, the event attracted more than 150 attendants this year to celebrate cultural diversity at Case Western Reserve University.

The night started off with club members serving dishes from across globe to the attendants. People waited in line to fill their plates with food from countries like Italy, India and Lebanon and ended their course with Baklava, a taste of Mediterranean. While people were enjoying their food, various groups gave performances, ranging from South Indian classical dance by CWRU Nritya to “The African Queen,” a poem reading by first-year student Jesulayomi Kupoluyi.

Throughout the dinner, laughter and applause for the performances could be heard in the ballroom. A lot of attendees went to get another round of food after hearing that leftovers were available.

I-Club wanted to present food and performances that represent culture around the world. Therefore, they started planning for this event in January to ensure enough time for communication with restaurants and performers.

With a limited budget, I-Club recruited many voluntary performers from some cultural clubs on campus. Student musicians from the Cleveland Institute of Music were also invited to present Romanian folk music.

“A lot of student organizations have a close relationship with us, so this is a good time to try to invite them every year,” said the Vice President of the I-Club, Haosheng Li.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services financially supported I-Club to host the dinner. Some staff members from the two offices were also present in the dinner; some even brought their children.

“Because [the offices] are related to our theme and there is higher chance of approval [for funding],” said Li.

Second-year student Nicole Wilkinson was one of many who thoroughly enjoyed the shows.

“I thought it was a diverse array of performances,” she said. “I really liked the K-pop and Indian Classical Dance. I actually did not know a lot of these existed.”

This was Wilkinson’s second time coming to the annual International Dinner, and she would love to attend again next year.

According to Li, I-Club did not expect such a successful turnout this year for their Thanksgiving Dinner and International Dinner, which are their two major events of the year. Tickets for the International Dinner were sold out prior to the beginning of the event, and I-Club members were worried about not having enough seats in the ballroom to accommodate all the attendants.

“We want to recognize our international students of their background, their culture,” said Li “And we want to have this reunion to celebrate their difference and diversity on campus. I wish we never change.”
I-Club is also considering donating part of the revenue raised by ticket sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.