NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From Ethiopian injera, a pancake-like flatbread, to Indian samosa, a fried pastry with a vegetable filling, the savory smell of exotic spices filled Elliot Hall on the Tennessee State University campus.
More than 150 students and staff members visited booths during the International Food Festival and Cultural Exchange event hosted by TSU’s Office of International Affairs (OIA).
The annual student activity included representation from seven regions and dozens of countries from around the world like Brazil, Turkey, and Nepal.
The OIA Executive Director, Dr. Jewell Winn said it was a great time for students to showcase their heritage through their international dishes.
“To see so many people come out, it warmed my heart,” Winn said. “They were very proud to be able to share their culture.”
This festival was also an opportunity for local businesses and artisans to showcase their products.
TSU alumna Martha Lupai of Ethiopia, has a business in Nashville’s local Farmers Market. During the event Lupai had made Ethiopia coffee from scratch to share.
“Food brings people together,” Lupai said. “It’s my duty as a student of TSU to share my culture. I love sharing my culture with food, clothes, and products. That is my passion in life to connect people to their roots.”
Aziz Alqari, a TSU master’s student from Saudi Arabia shared the same sentiment.
“We have a lot of international students from all over the world at TSU,” Alqari said. “So, I think it is a chance to see the variety in our school.”
Alqari, who is receiving his MBA in supply chain logistics, said he enjoyed everyone tasting the middle eastern cuisines.
“Everyone had a good time. I made a lot of friends and tasted a lot of different food.”