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8.4.2016 10:00

Around the world on a plate - You never "finnish" to meet new friends

Life as an exchange student is full of surprises, discoveries and new opportunities. The following story is about International Dinner Party written by Terézia Mináková and Chris Dernoncourt.

Who would have imagined that, in the middle of the cold Lappish winter, there would be so warm an atmosphere? And who would have imagined that in a country sadly reputed for its poor food culture, we could have enjoyed such great dinners and delicious meals?

Life as an exchange student is full of surprises, discoveries and new opportunities. And so, this was the way how we took the chance to make it real.

I and Chris, we wanted to create something that would bring all of us, as international students coming from various countries and horizons, together. The idea then came to share our cultural differences through our national food. Indeed, what best proudly represents a country, if not its national gastronomy? And what best gathers students, if not a good dinner?

For those reasons, we created a first event entitled “International Dinner Party”. Everyone was invited to prepare and bring a typical dish from his/her home country, with the only purpose to share it with others.

It turned out to be a wonderful opportunity, in the beginning of the semester, to create long friendships, to learn something new and to naturally become member of such a great international family. Students prepared many delicious meals. From Italian pizza, Finnish cakes and Belgian cookies, to German salads, Russian blinis, French Mousse au chocolat or even Slovak Lokše, the choice was huge, the taste was great, and the atmosphere indescribable.

If you unluckily missed it, you can have a little look on the following video, to feel a bit of atmosphere. :)


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 It was a really fun night full of inspiration and great food and everyone enjoyed it.  
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 "There is no love sincerer than the love of food." (George Bernard Shaw)  

As this first international event was a great success and students were eager to enjoy similar parties, we agreed to organize another international event. Chris came up with an idea to create a team event. He proposed to organize an international quiz party, in which each team of 6-8 participants had to answer selected multitude of questions from different fields of global knowledge (travels, flags, anthems, international famous people…). In the same time, students were also invited to prepare and bring pub food, in order to share it all together. There came the second event, entitled “International Pub Night with Pub Quiz & Pub Food”.

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At the end of the quiz, and after correcting the right answers, the winning team was honoured. And a quiz competition cannot be a proper one without a certificate for the winners? Of course, we didn’t forget it and we rewarded our champions with 2 litters of typical Finnish Christmas drink – the so-called GLOGI - as well as a personal certificate for each of them.

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As a reminder of our first get-together in January, we organized a third event, still in connected to food culture and national cuisines. Same place, same time, BUT something differs.

And what? The purpose of it. We indeed invited students to prepare food of his/her friends’ home country. The event was created under the name “International (Switch) Dinner Party”. Beyond the success of this wonderful evening together, we also all learnt how to cook dishes from different countries and continents…and who knows, maybe in the future, some of us would find a vocation in preparing international food…. :)

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“…oups, our starving stomach already ate nearly all the food…”

Text by:

Terézia Mináková and Chris Dernoncourt

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