RCAH students host international dinner as part of 'Hunger Dialogues'
As families and communities celebrated Thanksgiving last week, some Residential College in the Arts and Humanities students held a celebration of their own to address a global food shortage with their first event in the “Hunger Dialogues” series.
More than 100 attendees were served various holiday meals from Mali, Mexico and India made by the chefs from Snyder-Phillips Gallery. Guests were encouraged to discuss issues of hunger worldwide, as well as learn about the various food cultures of these countries.
The three regions were selected because they each have feast holidays that are similar to Thanksgiving, said David Clauson, a senior double majoring in the RCAH and Department of Theatre who helped organize the event.
“We are examining the ‘Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe’ in Mexico, the “Chiwara Festival’ in Mali and a festival called ‘Pongal’ that is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, which is a state in southern India,” Clauson said.
The main focus of the event was to get strangers together to ask questions about world hunger.
“We wanted to get people asking, what are the kinds of things that these celebrations of abundance mask about hunger and food systems and what do they reveal about them?” Clauson said.
The event was free to attend, but guests were asked to submit a request for tickets beforehand. A week before the event took place, reservations were filled. Students without tickets who wanted a chance to attend lined up to form a wait list in hopes that others wouldn’t show.
“I think the reason this program has found such success is because it touches on something that is common to all of us,” Clauson said. “I think the bottom line really is, it’s food and it affects us all.”
Clauson also had advice for anyone who wasn’t able to attend this event, but wants to get involved in the discussion about inequality worldwide.
“People should stay posted if this is the kind of thing they are interested in,” he said. “There will be two more events, both in the spring semester, that will have just as much significance.”