From Brazilian pão de queijo to Lebanese za'atar to Albanian kulaç to cheese-stuffed, European Kifli to pan dulce from Mexico, the Multicultural Celebration of Bread held on November 11 was a mouth-watering event to savor. Dozens of students, faculty, and staff stopped by Café West to take an impressive gastronomical tour of the globe from the comfort of NVCC’s campus. In addition to breads, tea and coffee were available for all to enjoy. As the lead for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at NVCC, Karlene Ball said she plans to host the growingly popular celebration again next year. The event is typically held close to Thanksgiving as it offers a great time to reflect on the central place of food within many of the world’s different cultures. This year, countries like Albania, Brazil, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Jamaica, Lebanon and Uganda were represented.
Julia Petitfrere, English Professor and advisor for NVCC’s Black Student Union, shared sweet bread baked by her mother at one of the event’s table and recounted one of her favorite moments of the event, “ I appreciate the spirit in the room; it’s very palpable the pride people take in sharing bits of who they are through offering the breads they eat. This year especially what is unforgettable to me is the one young woman who, when she came to the table on which we had bun and cheese (from Jamaica), she feel to her knees, saying she couldn’t believe we had included something from her parents’ homeland.”
“We have to find opportunities in which to educate each other and celebrate our common humanity with each other. What better way to do this than through the breaking and sharing of bread that is so vital to our daily lives? A campus that can celebrate the richness of its cultures is vibrant and nourishing,” said Ball.
This event was sponsored by the ESL program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs with support from the Black Student Union and the Hispanic Student Union.