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Bonding over food

What better way to strengthen cross-country ties than through fun and fooding? The Int'l Food Fest held at JNU was an occasion for people from various countries to come together. Bahni Bandyopadhyay gives us a taste...

india Updated: Feb 06, 2009 13:44 IST
Bahni Bandyopadhyay

What better way to strengthen cross-country ties than through fun and fooding? The International Food Festival held at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Jan 27, was an occasion for the people from various countries to come together over dishes of various flavours.

Inaugurated by the Nepalese Ambassador to India Durgesh Man Singh, 'Tastopia' had 15-18 countries participating in it. Organised by the Foreign Students Association(FSA) of JNU, the students from the respective countries arranged the food and the stalls at the Jhelum Lawns inside the university campus.

Food on display and sale were from countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Palestine, Germany, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. The Uzbek pulau and Afghani biriyani spread their aroma, attracting people the most. Selling like hot cakes were Tibetan momos and Afghani masala tea.

The Indonesian stall had a peculiar preparation of hot guavas called Oi Dam. Their Tra Gung(ginger tea) and Chicken Soto(Chicken soup) also became very popular. The Nepali stall also offered momos and their authentic Cel Roti. The Palestinian stall had an array of various types of chocolates from their country on sale.

The Bangladeshi stall came as a reliever to all the Bengali fish-lovers in North India. They had platters of two most popular Bengali dishes- Mustard Hilsa and Bhetki Cutlet, served with fried brinjal, rice and chutney. Two Iranian students expressed their excitement about a vegetable soup from their country called Aash, "Its not spicy, its very delicious!"

The lawns were almost turned into a fair-ground, what with a giant Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round providing entertainment to young and old alike. The festival saw a convergence of cultures and maximum interaction among people from diverse backgrounds.