Annual International Week Dinner showcases food and fashions

Kesha Williams
November 26, 2012

annual-international-week Nearly a capacity crowd gathered at the K. E. White Graduate and Continuing Education Center for the annual International Dinner on November 16. Fourteen area restaurants contributed to the International dinner that also included dishes from local cooks. Whether you favored American southern cuisine, tasty curry chicken, rice pilaf, noodles, turkey wraps or delightful desserts, the tables overflowed with food. The aroma of this international dinner permeated the building and lured the audience to a menu unmatched by any other event in the city. Dr. Hirendranath Banerjee, an ECSU Biology professor, brought navratan-korma-a dish composed of nine different vegetables. He and his wife regularly attend the annual International dinner and look forward to sharing with other attendees. "India is big country, with lots of different cultures. Every state has some food that is quite different from food in other states. In northern India, we have a different food habit than those in the south. In south India, it is mostly vegetarian; eastern Indian residents include more fried and spicy foods, while we tend to be non-vegetarian," Banerjee said. "The navratan-korma is one that I can make for an occasion such as this where people have gathered to try to learn and appreciate something different from meals prepared every day." That is one of the goals for the event-giving local citizens a sample of foods favored by cooks around the world. Next, was a simple fashion featuring faculty, staff students and their family members cloaked by fashions common among several countries in Africa, in Bangladesh, China, and India. Dr. Olusoji Akomalafe, a professor of International Relations at Norfolk State University, was a guest speaker. He encouraged students in the audience to take advantage of opportunities to study abroad. Doing so could not only expose students to a different culture, he said, but help students differentiate themselves from other students who will soon compete with them for jobs. Members of the local Hope Group also made an informative presentation to the audience. A group of local Mexican youths mesmerized the crowd with their dance routine. Elizabeth City Mayor Joe Peel attended the event for the first time. Peel said he was a language major in college and traveled abroad many times so he would encourage students to do so. He and his wife enjoyed the event. "This is a wonderful way to share culture and our heritage with others. It's always good to see we have more in common as humans than our differences," Peel said. "Our community is diverse so it is a good event to meet the many people who live here." ECSU Chancellor Willie Gilchrist said he was very proud of the large audience attending the event. He noted that more youth attended the dinner with parents and family members at this year's dinner than last year's dinner. "It's good to come together and share with each other, food, fashions, dances," Gilchrist said. "We can strengthen our community by working together and respecting each other's different customs. I applaud the diverse committee that created this event and the others held during this year's American and International Education Week." The committee for American and International Education Week extends heartfelt appreciation to everyone who contributed to the week and the International Dinner. Special thanks to the area merchants and restaurants:
  • Pepsi Bottling Venture
  • Shun Xing
  • Andy's Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers
  • Barbecue Barn
  • Van's Place II
  • Dragon Buffet
  • Montero's Restaurant
  • El Parian Mexican Restaurant
  • 3 Amigos
  • Vicki Villa
  • Golden Corral Family Steak House
  • Tony's Italian Restaurant and Pizza
  • Mamacita's Restaurant
  • Shannon Catering