On Sunday, November 13th Regent students participated in their annual Culture in the Commons event. The two Commons dorms—Foundation and Constitution—hosted a total of fourteen countries: France, China, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Italy, Canada, the U.S., Norway, New Zealand, Israel, India, Iceland, and Mexico.
For a few hours on Sunday afternoon, people could visit any and all of the countries via flights of stairs instead of a plane flight, collecting stamps for their “passports” and sampling international food on the way. Rooms were decorated with their own cultural flair of flags, food, drinks, clothes, phrases, and music from their chosen country. France was in a café setting, with cheeses, breads, and twinkling lights. In Iceland, visitors discovered a winter wonderland of purples and blues, snowflakes and hot chocolate. Only a few yards away from Iceland, visitors were transported to India, where they could dance to the beat of Indian music surrounded by tapestries and scarves in rich reds, oranges and greens.
The U.S. and Canada were right across the border (aka hall) from each other as were Palestine and Israel, letting visitors experience each region’s distinct cultural differences. Those who visited China and Japan walked through a hall of gorgeous lanterns, and in South Korea, visitors could attempt to read Hangul and learn how to say ‘Hello’ and ‘I’ll eat well” before trying traditional dishes. Foods from the halls ranged from fresh guacamole and eggplant curry to crepes and latkes.
While nothing beats going to the actual countries, Culture in the Commons’ fun atmosphere and delicious cuisine provided a perfect end-of-the-semester boost…not to mention a glimpse (and taste!) of the world outside the U.S.
Katie Patchell is a Staff Writer for the Daily Runner.