30 Jan 2017 | In a decade, said the weatherman, never had it rained so much in any of the republic days as it did this time, and tradition has it that Republic day is incomplete without the International Food Festival at JNU. As there was no respite from rains and news spread that Jhelum lawns was flooded, quick arrangements were made to shift the venue. School of International Studies new building’s indoor parking space and lounge areas provided refuge. Though skeptical about the turnout, much to everyone’s surprise a big crowd showed up, unmindful of relocation and expectant of culinary delights.
“We started our work two days prior to this and when the rain happened we were quite worried…we were looking for alternative options but in the end we are quite happy with the turnout [of students], at least we are not going in a loss”, shared a gleeful Tibetan stall in-charge Ugyan Choedep.
“Last year it was a really successful event but this time we were really worried because of the rains… the decision that was made to shift the venue to here [at SIS2] was a perfect idea, it was more managed… we [expected] very few people to turn up considering the moving of the venue but it’s unbelievable and wonderful to see people in JNU just come down to appreciate the variety of international food there is”, former ISA Joint Secretary Kanwoo who was eating a desert from the Kazakhstan stall mentioned.
While the change in venue did not affect the businesses of various stall owners, the overall experience of students did acknowlegde the downside of the movement. Some others though, were just happy with the variety of food that was there to offer. “The food is really good, I liked whatever I tried so far. The minus point though is that there [aren’t] enough dustbins, it looks ugly when we walk around with our food here”, shared Laura, a student from CSSS at the fest.
“We tried the Tibetan, Korean and Thai, and loved it. They cook in a manner where they don’t add too many masalas and we like that because where we’re from we have similar food too…I just think it’s very claustrophobic on the other side though, there is no air passing through and it’s like we have to constantly make trips [to and fro] to avoid the crowd… I miss the Jhelum lawn experience”, commented Niki Rai, a student from SSS.
“I like the variety, I like the atmosphere; I like the fact that people are together and they come from so many different places and they share the love for food and meeting new people. I liked the Syrian food a lot”, Susanna form Slovakia shared.
The Thai Ambassador, Deputy ambassador of Kazakhastan and diplomats from Uzbekistan and Afghanistan also made it to the festival.
D. Jennifer and Dhaval Bhate are both students at CSSS and work for The Informer.