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Friday Afternoon Club: International Potluck

An assortment of food dishes at a church potluck.
An assortment of food dishes at a church potluck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s on your plate? It’s most likely the usual: a hamburger with french fries, enchiladas, or maybe some mac and cheese. And let’s not forget the power of delicious, warm deep-dish pizza.

These are just a few of the old-fashioned comfort foods that Americans thoroughly enjoy, and have embraced for decades. After all, we are creatures of comfort.

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However, there is something to be said for trying new things.

This weekend is the perfect time for a change of scenery. Since today is the last Friday of the month, the International House will be hosting a potluck featuring foreign foods from all over the world.

These international potluck nights offers both an escape from routine and opportunity to interact with students and the community.

Maimona Fadlelmula is a senior at CSU, and has hosted two potluck events through Coisa International Student Affairs. Coisa, among other student organizations, takes turns hosting potluck nights.

“For me, it was good to meet community members and to introduce international members to the community,” Fadlelmula said. “People go to it for years and years. They aren’t even asked to do it.”

On average, there are about 100 people that attend this event. This includes not only CSU students, but a large population of international students as well.

Kayla Rivers, a peer adviser at the Education Abroad office, has attended several international potlucks.

“There was this woman that brought around chocolate truffles,” said Rivers about her experience. “She was about 100 years old and was so kind and adorable. The truffles were Turkish.”

Each event has its own theme, making it unique. Aimee Nord also works at Education Abroad, and helps coordinate the potlucks.

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“Each one is really different,” Nord said. “One night you can learn all about Romania, and another night will be Indian night.”

In addition to the food, international students often present on their culture or create activities for attendees to participate in.

“It isn’t a place you need to bring friends,” Nord said. “The point is to be exposed and to get comfortable.”

While the International House hosts the international potluck nights at the end of each month, The Friday Afternoon Club coordinates dessert or dinner events every Friday. All events are held at the International House and go from 6 – 7:30 p.m. There is no fee to attend, although donations are welcomed.

“The location is close for both domestic and international student,” Fadlelmula said. “It’s closer to campus, which makes it easier to go to. (You can) bike there or get a ride there.”

According to Rivers, potluck nights make it easy to strike up conversations with other students while providing a laid back atmosphere.

“Sharing food is always a good way to bring people together,” Rivers said.

The potlucks and dinners are a long-standing tradition, starting on campus almost 40 years ago. There will be plenty to learn with the international potluck, and you don’t even have to travel outside the neighborhood for the new experience.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Anna Groeling can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com. 

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