Penn’s United Minorities Council, which unites 32 minority organizations at Penn, took to College Green this Wednesday to discuss the universality of food and the way humans transmit culture through cuisine.
As part of their annual “Celebration of Cultures” event, the UMC partnered with TableTalk Penn to set up couches in front of College Hall, where anyone passing by could sit to talk about culture and food in their lives on and off campus.
The event ran for nearly five hours and included audio from a UMC video showcasing cuisine from four of the council’s constituents. The video, which was created by student-run production company Nexo Productions, included students from the Vietnamese Student Association, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Penn Philippines Association, and Penn's Dominican student group Grupo Quisqueyano. The students discussed how they personally connected to their cultures through food and their experience at Penn.
College junior and UMC Chair Evanie Anglade said that the group was happy with the turnout on Wednesday.
“We were really happy with how many people came up to us and inquired what was going on,” Anglade said. “It’s important to highlight the minority experience at Penn because there’s not always a space to do that, and that’s why we chose College Green to showcase all of these beautiful cultures and this delicious food.”
The group, which has placed a lot of emphasis on politics in recent months as the American political climate has shifted, said they wanted to put on a more lighthearted event.
“[The current political climate] definitely has affected the way UMC views its position on campus and our experience,” Anglade said. “I think we focused a lot in this semester on our political agenda and our own initiatives that we want to put forth. With that being said, of course it’s a balancing act.”
Now that the event is complete, the Anglade said the UMC is looking toward new initiatives and action plans for the fall.
“I think what we really want to focus on next semester in addition to those political goals is building community within our constituency and promoting more interculturalism,” Anglade said. “It was really nice to have this event that was less politically focused and more about actually celebrating the people that we represent.”