International Fair savors, celebrates Manchester’s
cultural diversity

Katrin Muser will share a taste and glimpse of her hometown in Germany with visitors to the Manchester University International Fair on Sunday, April 13. The senior will don a dirndl and divulge stories of life in her hometown of Dettenhausen at the popular event that biennially attracts 800 to 1,000 visitors to the North Manchester campus.

Manchester celebrates its international diversity with its neighbors with an extravaganza of dance, food, music, children’s activities, exhibits and conversation. Admission is free for the noon to 4 p.m. event in the Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC).

A popular treat of the afternoon: samplings of international students’ favorite dishes from around the world, for a nominal fee. The students prepare the food in the University’s kitchen with assistance from Chef Chris and Chartwell's food service personnel.

“I will be making linsen und spätzle, a dish very typical to the Swabian region (southwest) of Germany,” said Muser, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in sport management and business this May. “The lentils are almost cooked like a stew with some vegetables, bacon and sausages. The dish is very hearty and my mom cooks it a lot when it is cold and unpleasant outside.” Muser also is making Schwarzwälder-Kirsch Trifle, a Black forest trifle.

Among dozens of dishes on the International Fair menu are a Vietnamese tofu dessert (Tau Hu Nuoc Duong), an Ethiopian spicy meat dish (kitfo) and a Bangladeshi mashed eggplant (Baingan bharta). Visitors also will discover food from Bangladesh, Ecuador, France, Greece, Holland, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine, South Korea, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, and the USA.

Twenty countries from six continents will be represented at the International Fair, says Michael Dixon, MU director of intercultural services. The event intentionally ignites dialogues that break racial, ethnic, language and national origin boundaries, he notes. “How can you get more international than a fair that encompasses various expressions of culture through dance and various art forms, music, food and cross-cultural communication?”

Muser will wear a dirndl (pronounced durn-dl), a female version of lederhosen. The dirndl is more typical for the Bavarian area “but many girls like to wear theirs to go to Stuttgarter Wasen, the Swabian spring version of Oktoberfest,” said Muser, a Dean’s List and Research Symposium scholar who learned about Manchester as an exchange student at Tippecanoe Valley High School.

Students from 24 countries attend Manchester University’s undergraduate campus in North Manchester. In addition, about 25 percent of the students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy are international, representing 14 countries. The four-year professional program on MU’s Fort Wayne campus leads to a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.).

For more about the University, visit www.manchester.edu.

March 2014

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