Embassy dinner dishes up a `world of flavor’

The International Student Society’s 67th Annual Embassy Dinner featured sights, sounds, smells and tastes of cultures from around the world, beginning with a Muslim prayer and ending with a martial arts demonstration.

photoThe event, titled “A World of Flavor,” was held Saturday night in the Marvin Center Ballroom as the grand finale of International Week. The event featured multicultural performances and diverse foods, and attracted about 300 people, said Resha Shah, the event’s coordinator.

“What we really want is for people to learn about a culture they don’t know about,” Shah said.

Shah, who was dressed in a traditional South Asian sari, encouraged guests not to let the dinner be a one-day event but to appreciate the beauty in the world every day.

Representatives from the embassies of 22 countries attended the event, and many contributed food, Shah said. Ambassadors from Burundi, Gambia, Slovenia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were present, as well as upper-level officials from other embassies.

“Embassy response this year was phenomenal,” Shah said.

Although planning for the dinner began after last year’s event, the planners “really got things going” the week before spring break, Shah said. The dinner cost about $6,500 and was heavily subsidized by the University, she said.

Seven of the eight groups that performed at the dinner involved at least one GW student.

Senior Kavita Patel, who organized the entertainment, said she thought it was a challenge to coordinate the acts “so nobody got bored. It was all about timing.”

Freshman Ruxandra Gecui said she appreciated the way many different cultures were represented. She said she heard about the dinner from a roommate in the Elliott School of International Affairs.

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