Well..really it is only November but that does not mean that people around Sudbury aren’t anticipating the 25th of December already.
Last night I attended the Laurentian Christian Fellowship’s annual International Student Christmas Dinner (a mouthful, eh? you should have tried the food!) Each year Glad Tidings Tabernacle hosts the dinner for as many as 100 people.
The dinner’s purpose is to introduce international students to Canadians in the community -specifically other Laurentian students- and to share a traditional Canadian Christmas meal with them. There is even the opportunity to sign up to visit a home for another meal during December, since most international students don’t travel back to their country during December.
The number of students who attended from other countries was astounding. Excluding Canada there were 32 countries represented last night; countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe and almost every letter in between!
The night included the exact same meal my parents cook for Christmas. You know the one, turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes and stuffing. There was also music, a guitar and keyboard, an amazing choir and a couple duets. My favourite part of the merry music making was the drum circle that was composed of…us! Tables sent up one person to rock their world with a hand drum while we all sang along to We wish you a merry Christmas.
It was enjoyable to see many students that I have met around campus meeting other students and to meet new ones myself. One person, Marco, who is from Hong Kong, was answering my question about his former area of study while his mouth was full. He did this by use of arm signals. A typical arm protruding from your nose, flailing about may seem like an elephant to many but in the glorified giddiness I called out “bird!” to laughing facings and found out he used to study Zoology.
The night seemed well received by all and the food really did affect students who haven’t eaten what we always eat here in Canada. One first year student from China asked how we usually cut our buns, and if we cut each bite with the knife. We showed him etiquette that we learned and home and told him to forget about using the knife unless the piece of food was large.
I’m glad to know that there are many people are interested in teaching and learning about other cultures that exist in Sudbury. Laurentian is a hub of different lifestyles and new ideas from around the world. I hope we all get the chance to learn from someone new, from somewhere else.