On Thursday, Nov. 14, a line formed throughout the hallway on the third floor of the Miron Student Center (MSC) room 315, for the Global Harvest. An event hosted by the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, many student groups and cultural departments came out to be part of the event. Students who attended the event came to support and enjoy food from the Asian studies department, the Africana studies department, Filipino Uniting Nations at Kean (FUNK), and Kean University Hillel.
Until 4:30 p.m., students in line coiled throughout the room, picking up foods from different cultures and learning cultural information about the program or the food. Once everyone grabbed something new or familiar to them to munch on, students and faculty ate together in and outside of the room. From this event, students, faculty and friends were able to celebrate a universal Thanksgiving with food from around the world.
Korean professors and visitors who represented the South Korea table brought in and wore a traditional hanbok, which is South Korea's traditional clothes.
Occasionally, these professors and visitors would play on a buk (북), or a traditional Korean barrel drum. Usually, hanboks are worn during important occasions, such as a wedding or a funeral. Buks were mostly played back then during the time of harvest. These drums would be played to celebrate or lighten the mood during this.
They were not the only ones who wore a traditional outfit. Sue Gronewold, a professor in the history department, wore a cheongsam or qipao top. Cheongsam and qipao are essentially the same style, and both are served as traditional tops or dresses for China.
Sunaina Kanchan, junior biology major, attended the Global Harvest with her sister. "The food is good. I'm so happy," she said. "I got some Jewish, African, and Indian food. I found out this event from Dr. Xurong Kong, the director of the Asian studies department, and I really think they should introduce more events that expose holidays around the world."
At every table that represented a country, there were mini games or facts to teach the students more about that culture and country.
From the Hillel club, there was a tri-fold cardboard where students could guess which actors or actresses were Jewish or not. The club members even explained the food that they served.
- Latkes are potato pancakes and are usually served during Hanukkah. It is common to eat latkes with sour cream or applesauce, but some people can have it without anything, or with both.
- Challah is a special Jewish bread that is typically eaten during Sabbath and Rosh Hashanah. This is usually served with honey.
Global Harvest expanded the diversity at Kean University with so many cultures and information from which students could learn. Foods that were present at the event ranged from lo mein to empanadas.
The Africana studies department brought in ginger tea, which is a common drink in Africa, especially Uganda. They also had melktert, or milk tarts, which is a small sweet pastry made from milk, flour, sugar, eggs and a dash of cinnamon. At their table, there were also African art pieces such as an animal wooden carving, which originated from Ghana.
Of course, FUNK had brought in a lot of Filipino favorites such as pancit, which are noodles, beef caldereta, or Filipino beef stew, and chicken adobo, which is chicken marinated in seasoned sauce.
Thanksgiving is essentially a time to sit down with friends and family, while enjoying a feast. In this case, Kean University had their own diverse Thanksgiving by uniting the students and faculty to eat together while learning something new about the cultures around the world.