UW Passport Assignment – Diversity

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On Wednesday, November 4th I attended an event hosted by the multicultural student center titled ‘A Place at the Table Community Meal.’ The event was located at the MSC Lounge in the Red Gym. I fulfilled my diversity and social justice category through this event. The point of this event was to hang out, educate ourselves on different cultures, and get fed by the food they provided, free of charge and open to all. The type of food they offered this week was Indian food. Specifically, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried white rice with orange curry, a spicy garbanzo bean and vegan curry dish, and fried doughnut for a special treat.

I felt outside of my comfort zone at this event primarily because I was a minority. There were approximately forty people in attendance and out of those forty people there were around five white people, including myself. In order to include myself rather than stand out, I conversed with a boy who is from India and the man in charge of the event. The boy from India informed me that orange curry is a famous and popular food in India and a few other interesting facts about his Indian culture. He also said that the the fried doughnut is a very sweet dessert and recommended that I try it. The man in charge of the event and I discussed the success of this event in the past and how the atmosphere creates a positive vibe and a small community. The food smelled delicious and I enjoyed the taste of the white rice and orange curry, but not the spicy garbanzo bean and vegan curry dish or the fried doughnut. I didn’t like the garbanzo bean dish because it was too spicy for my liking and the fried doughnut did not taste good to me because it was too sweet and it had been sitting in grease. However, I’m glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried the food.

Overall, this event significantly impacted my Wisconsin experience for the better. I felt privileged to be able to attend this event, try new food, and become educated on a culture that I would have most likely not made time for if not for this assignment. From this experience, I have learned how most of the time I am a majority rather than a minority, but feeling like an outcast is very uncomfortable and how I am very interested in learning about other cultures in order to become more familiar with the diverse community represented in Madison.

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