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World Food Celebration


William Penn University is proud of its diverse student body. We currently have 75 international students as part of the WPU family. Recently several students with international roots participated in the World Food Celebration. In partnership with the local group FACE (Fine Arts & Cultural Events) of Mahaska County, students selected recipes reflective of their heritage and cooked food for this community event held at the Oskaloosa Arts Center. Twelve countries were represented with nearly twenty different dishes served to local community members and William Penn University students in attendance.

Student, Madison Van Diest, a Sociology major from Anaheim, California, prepared a Norwegian flatbread called Lefse. She says, “Lefse making has been a tradition in my family that has continued for generations, so I chose to prepare it as a way to show my family’s traditions.” Madison was not only excited to share her Norwegian heritage, but also to learn about the cultures of other WPU students.

Ezra van Rooyen, a Masters in Business Leadership student and Tafara Hondonga, a Business Management major, both from Zimbabwe teamed up to prepare Sadza ne nyama ne muriwo or Sadza, meat and veggies. Ezra says, “We wanted to show Americans a staple food we eat in our home country of Zimbabwe.”  They enjoyed seeing the various countries represented and hearing the positive response of people who tried their dish.

This event offers WPU students the opportunity to share not only their food, but to have conversations with others about their different cultures.  The World Food Celebration is just another example of the real-world experiences our students can be a part of right here in Oskaloosa.

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