The Assembly of International Students held its first International Night Market and sold global dishes from various cultural groups on campus.
AIS organizers aimed to showcase an array of foods that represent different cultural organizations through the event, which was held Friday night. The groups sold food and drinks for $1 to $3 each, including egg tarts, pandan cakes, and mango lassis.
“Our main objective is to make sure that all international students themselves are mingling and getting to know each other’s cultures,” said Wharton junior Shruti Keoliya, the AIS vice president of internal affairs. “We decided that the best way to showcase culture would be to have a food exchange, and we thought it would be nice to have it in the form of a night market.”
College senior Lara Balikçi said she heard about the night market through an email sent to the Turkish Student Association listserv and added that she enjoyed the event because it allowed her to try new dishes.
The Penn India Association, Hong Kong Student Association, Penn Italian Club, French Society, Penncasila, Penn Pakistan Society, and the Turkish Student Association were all involved and sold food at the night market.
“It’s a good way to showcase all the cuisine from these different countries. Especially since not a lot of people at Penn are familiar with Indonesian cuisines,” said Wharton sophomore Michelle Bahar, the vice president of finance for Penncasila, the cultural association for Indonesian students.
AIS is currently working on new initiatives for international students staying on campus over Thanksgiving break, including encouraging faculty members to invite students over for dinner and hosting an open house for students to socialize over Thanksgiving break.
“Our goal is to have students staying on campus over break to feel like they have a community to spend time with and also make new friends at a time when campus usually tends to be quite empty,” said College and Wharton junior Eva Zhang, the executive vice president of AIS.