Foods from across the SEA
SMU students tasted authentic foods from five different cultures on the Southeast Area lawns at Foods From Across the SEA on April 10.
Crum Council member Keandre Clay said the goal for the free food was to get people out of their normal common areas and create a nice community environment.
“It’s a small way people can become more socially aware and accepting of other cultures, which allows you to learn more about different kinds of people,” Clay said. “In college, that is a really important tool.”
Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity partnered with the five southeast commons on campus to unify students and appreciate different foods and cultures within the SMU community.
Each of the dorms served different cuisines. Loyd served Nigerian food, Ware provided Mexican street tacos, Kathy Crow had Vietnamese cuisine, Crum indulged in Indian food, and Armstrong served Taiwanese Boba tea.
The Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity is a part of SMU’s Multicultural Greek Council. They spent two months preparing this event to bring attention to the various cultures and students on campus through food and community.
Mahesh Ramgopal, President of Crum Commons and Vice President of Finance for Sigma Lambda Beta, saw this event as an opportunity to educate the general student population.
“We’re not trying to throw a whole lot of information at people,” Ramgopal said. “We just want people to start venturing out of their comfort zones by showing new foods that they might not have tried before.”
The lines for food wrapped around the buffet tables outside of each residence. Nigerian rice was a popular dish that many students had not tried before.
SMU student Amelia Bermingham expanded her taste buds at the event by trying Nigerian food.
“I was going to get the Vietnamese fried rice since it reminded me of traditional chicken fried rice, but I overheard students saying how the Nigerian rice was to die for,” Bermingham said. “So I ran to another tent and tried it.”
Students were spread across the lawns enjoying their foods and engaging in conversations with another.
Guest speaker Tatiana Androsov also attended the event to speak to students about multi-cultural food and how food in America has diversified since the 1950s.
Androsov speaks six different languages and worked with the United Nations all over the world. Ramagopal said that Sigma Lambda Beta invited her to speak because she is accustomed to the idea of cultures interacting.
Androsov reflected on the importance of the event in her speech.
“We don’t think about this now, but we did not have this back then,” Androsov said. “We have so much variety now it’s incredible.”