Multicultural dinner presents foods from around the world

Sonoma State University creates outlets to help students represent the various cultures that are coexisting on campus.
Recently, the Multicultural Organization Club and Alliance, or MOCA, held a multicultural dinner in the Kitchens to help spread awareness about other cultures.
“I think that our biggest challenge was choosing which activities to do at the dinner, because we had a long list of ideas,” senior Soshana Falk said.
Falk, President of Sonoma Hillel, has been a member of MOCA since it began in August 2005.
Since it’s creation, MOCA has been creating opportunities to spread culture by hosting multicultural events or supporting other cultural club’s events.
 On Thursday MOCA helped broaden student horizons by highlighting meals from various cultures.
“The beneficial aspect of the MOCA dinner is that students know that there are different cultural organizations represented at Sonoma State University.  
The dinner allowed students to learn about each organization through food, educational material, and by participating in the ‘communi-tree’ activity,” Falk said.
Falk explained that the participating multicultural organizations each sent in a menu, which were then combined to create the menu for the dinner.
 Although the food wasn’t prepared by the students of each culture, there were plenty of different dishes.
“This event is important because now more students are aware of the different cultures represented on campus and were able to learn more about each of them by trying the different foods and learning about them,” Falk said.
Although some students didn’t head to the dining hall for cultural education, that is exactly what they received.
The meal included Jewish, Latino, Filipino and African dishes among others.
“Next time we have another MOCA dinner, I think we can encourage more cultures to participate so that students are able to learn about even more cultures,” Falk said.
According to the Sonoma State website roughly 65 percent of the campus population is caucasian, while 15 percent are latino and 6 percent are multiracial.
Although the numbers don’t suggest an abundance of diversity, there is still a broad collection of cultures around campus.
“I think that students did learn about other cultures as a result of the multicultural dinner,” sophomore Taylor Ohrt said.
Although some students didn’t pay attention to the multicultural menu that night, many did take note of the different cultures being showcased.
 “I think passing out informational flyers after people walk into the Kitchens would be beneficial, because then students would know why the Kitchens has food represented from different cultures,” Falk said.
Some students didn’t know about the dinner beforehand, but were still pleasantly surprised to see the event and various cultures.
Part of the success of the dinner, is due to the student body at Sonoma State being so interested in the culture of others.
Instead of simply eating and leaving, the students were interested in the cultures to which they were being introduced.
“Overall, our first MOCA dinner was a big success.  Many students ate at the Kitchens that night and were able to try the different foods from various cultures. Also, MOCA is happy that we were able to showcase our cultures to the larger Sonoma State community,” Falk said.