Every year Symbiosis celebrates “International Students’ Day” on July 31st, which is also the birthday of Dr S B Mujumdar, the founder president of Symbiosis society.
Symbiosis International Students’Food Festival started as an initiative taken by both Dr S B Mujumdar and Sanjeevani Mujumdar to give the students an opportunity to showcase their culinary talent.
As a part of the celebrations International Students’ Food Festival was organized on 30th July at Symbiosis Vimannagar campus. International students from 32 countries including Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Thailand, Bangladesh, studying in Pune participated in this event.
The Symbiosis International University (SIU) holds the International Food Festival annually to give a chance to the international students to introduce their culture and traditions to the Indian students through their food.
This year too, international students from not only SIU, but across institutes in Pune were invited to participate in this event.
They are not professionals from a catering institutes but just students away from the home and doing their best to prepare the typical cuisine of their country. Often do not have the required ingredients or the appropriate vessels or even the ‘secrets’ of the recipe but the enthusiasm and zeal with which they prepare their country cuisine is something to be appreciated.
All participants presented lip-smacking traditional delicacies from their respective countries. The students did not restrict themselves to only food but also put in special efforts to decorate their stalls with their cultural handicrafts, dressed up in their native dresses and also played the local music of the countries they represented.
“This time we had participation from students from 32 countries, with the student representation from African countries being the most”, says Sonal, a member of the International Student Council, Pune and the organizing member of the Symbiosis International Food Festival. The event attracted a lot of people, who were delighted to have food from the world over, under one roof. Some of the stalls were even seen serving full course meals complete with beverages and desserts.
Former Indian cricketer Venkatesh Prasad was the chief guest at the food festival. “This food festival is one of its kind and the participation is outstanding. It is great to see different countries coming together to showcase their culture,” Prasad said. The judges for the food festival included The Hyatt,Pune, chefs Suvendu Roy, Gagandeep Singh and Manjay Thakur. The participants were judged based on the decoration of their stall, presentation skills and the taste and nutritional value.
(Devyani Nighoskar and Payas Talreja are students of media studies at Symbiosis International University.)