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Food Secrets Of Different Cultures That YOU Didn’t Know About

Travel back to last year’s International Day to discover food secrets from cultures across the globe

Adjusting the camera lens, explosions of colour and unfocused groups of people could be seen. When finally in focus, a magnificent view awaited. Exotic colours of traditional clothes and stalls, the aroma of cultural food, the live musical performances, laughter and bright smiles filled the area on International Day. On 7 December 2018, Middlesex University Dubai celebrated rich diverse cultures by bringing together over 35 countries on one platform.

All smiles: Students from different nationalities coming together. Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer
All smiles: Students from different nationalities coming together. Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer

Representatives of each country wore bold and exquisite traditional attire and displayed several interesting souvenirs and mouthwatering delicacies in their stalls. The air was filled with excitement and the crowd was in high spirits as live performances took place throughout the day. The University’s Dance Club organised various spectacular performances from different countries such as the Russian performance, Palestinian Dabke Show, Classical Fusion and the Kerala dance to name a few.

Cultural dances were held throughout the day. Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer
Cultural dances were held throughout the day. Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer

Every year, food is the main part of this event. There is much more to cultural food than individuals getting to try something new; rather, there are so many traditions or interesting facts that are waiting to be known. Here are some fun facts on food in specific countries that you may not be aware of!

Valeria Gonzalez, a representative of Mexico, spoke about how often people mistook tacos for being the main hype of the country, however, they’re other types of food that are more popular. One of the most famous dishes is the Pozole soup. What makes’ it special are the colours of the soup (red and white) that match the colours of the Mexican flag.

Hola Mexico: Valeria Gonzalez with a friend welcomes all to the Mexico stand. Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer

In the Jordanian stall, Alaa Khalid explained how a simple dish brings together so many people.

“One tradition in Jordan that everyone follows is making a dish called Mansaf. We bring it in huge plates so that everyone can join in and eat.”

She further added how Mansaf is eaten with their hands instead of spoons and how it encourages people to come and eat from one plate, rather than separate plates.                        

 “By gathering around one big plate and eating together, it signifies unity.” Alaa said with a smile

Azerbaijan also encouraged unity through one of their religious traditions. It celebrates Eid ul Adha by another name: Qurban Bayram or the Feast of Sacrifice. For four days, Muslims from all over the country celebrate this holiday by sacrificing goats and sharing the meat with relatives, neighbors and those in need. It’s a tradition that invites everyone together, pushing the “sharing with the community” initiative further, according to Jamal Gasanov, Azerbaijan’s representative.

At the Angola stall, Helirio Rangel spoke about how Angolan food was very similar to quite a few countries.

“Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, sometimes São Tomé, and even Cape Verde all have similar foods. All these different countries have similar cultures because they all were colonised by Portugal.” Rangel stated

From artifacts to food, there was a lot to discover in the Angola stall! Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer

Syria’s representative decided to share a little secret of the tradition with eating food. “We say Bismillah and start, and we never stop eating!” laughed Saleem Alhalabi

Patriotic and proud: Saleem Alhalabi is more than proud to represent Syria. Image Credits: Shutterbugs Club Photographer

International Day was once again successful as thousands of visitors from diverse nationalities attended the event. The beauty of this event is that you don’t need to go across the world to experience new cultures; Middlesex University can bring the world to you!

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