Multicultural dinner to elevate awareness

There is no better way to learn about a culture than to indulge in its cuisine. As universal as food can be, eating and being exposed to new dishes or cultures is something many find enjoyable.

The Multicultural Organization Club and Alliance, otherwise known as MOCA, has collaborated with Campus Life Programing, The HUB and the Center for Student Leadership Involvement and Service to host an annual multicultural dinner. The event is designed to showcase many different cultures by serving dishes from each one. 

Food for Thought: A Multicultural Dinner, will be located in The Kitchens of the Student Center on Feb. 22 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. where anyone is welcome to enjoy the different cultures presented. 

Those with a meal plan can get into this event for free, but for anyone without will have to pay $11.75 for the buffet style dinner.

The event allows clubs to not only publicize their organization, but also partake in bringing students together. 

Not only do students get a taste of food they may be unfamiliar with, but it also gives them a chance to learn and support the different types of organizations represented on campus.

“I went [last year] even though I was not on a meal plan. I find that this dinner is not only a great way to be exposed to different cultures, but also to be introduced to the clubs on campus,” said Rosemarie Keene, a third year who plans on attending the dinner again this year.

The dinner involves a lot of planning from various organizations on campus.

“It is a great opportunity for students whose cultures are represented to feel a direct connection and belonging to campus. It’s an opportunity to learn about something new, while eating something delicious with a community of peers,” Buzo said.

The dinner emphasizes the different cultures Sonoma State students may see on an everyday basis. 

The menu will consist of dishes from the Black Student Union, the Filipino American Association, and even the LGBTQ+ community.

“For those who are familiar with the food already, I hope it gives them a little taste of home away from home. For those who aren’t familiar, I hope they find a new dish that they really enjoy,” said Jessica Amen, president of the Filipino American Association at Sonoma State. “I hope that this will be a gateway to exploring other aspects of our culture.” 

Amen hopes to get students to be open-minded when it comes to trying food in which they might not be accustomed.

For students who are already familiar with the dinner such as Keene and Amen, they will be making a return to The Kitchens to enjoy any of the new dishes.

“Learning about cultures allows us to be more engaged citizens,” Buzo states. “This is a chance for people to see themselves represented in the menu, a chance for people to learn about others through food.”