The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

ALANA Passes the Plate at Annual Night Market

Josie Burton

A line of eager and hungry students spilled out the door and wrapped around the ALANA Cultural Center on the evening of Oct. 14. The Africana, Latin, Asian and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center hosted its annual Night Market, which featured a diverse array of cuisine for all to enjoy. This event was spearheaded by two student groups — the Korean Culture Association (KCA) and Colgate Vietnamese Society (CVS) — who united various cultural clubs in this spectacular display of multicultural cuisine. Other participating clubs included the South Asian Cultural Club (SACC), Colgate Japanese Culture Community (CJCC), African Students’ Union (ASU), Tea Club, Organization of Asian Sisters in Solidarity (OASIS+), Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Arabic Culture Club and the Black Student Union (BSU). 

The groups filled three rooms in ALANA, each set up in different sections with tables of two or more cultural clubs. Attendees took in the mouth-watering scents as they waited in line for their three tickets and subsequently made their (very difficult) food choices. After filling their plates, guests explored the outdoor tent, which quickly filled up. Many resorted to creative seating arrangements, including several students found sitting on the concrete weights in each corner of the tent. 

As sophomore attendee Pablo Vivas enjoyed a variety of foods from around the world, he thoughtfully reflected on the significance of food in culture and identity. 

“As a transfer student, ALANA’s events make me feel at home,” Vivas said. “My favorite dishes from home, [Puerto Rico], are mofongo and carne frita.”

KCA President and junior Ha-Eu Choi shed light on the extensive planning that went into the event. 

“It was a little bit hectic because there are so many clubs involved, but it was mostly just reaching out to club leaders, making sure everything was ordered properly and putting that into one big [Budget Allocation Committee (BAC)] proposal,” Choi said. 

Choi and her fellow organizers have been planning and organizing the event since late summer with much excitement. According to Choi, the long line of students was affirming evidence that their planning was successful. 

When asked how the BSU selected their dishes, BSU treasurer and sophomore Caiden Williams noted their adventure to Syracuse for options that they all discussed and agreed on. 

“I think we all like Jamaican food,” Williams said. “[We] bought a lot, drove to Syracuse and brought it back.” 

The BSU ultimately chose to feature beef patties, rice and peas, jerk chicken, cabbage and plantain roti prepared by a Jamaican restaurant in Syracuse called Jamaica Cuse. 

Naheeda Akhtar, a junior in OASIS+, explained the unique challenge of selecting dishes to represent the diverse Asian community. 

“I think it’s tricky with ours compared to specific cultural clubs like Japanese and Vietnamese — we’re just like Asian broadly,” Akhtar said. “We tried to pick something that was going to include all of us.” 

After thoughtful deliberation, OASIS+ ended up serving mango with sticky rice, roll cake, egg tarts, pandan waffles and mochi.

The ALANA Cultural Center hosts a multitude of events celebrating a wide range of culinary traditions, such as ALANAPaloooza and their “Cooking Around the World” series. These events not only serve as a way to explore and enjoy foods from different cultures but to also establish a sense of unity and belonging for students from diverse backgrounds.

More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *