World Cultures Come Together for McMurry’s International Food Festival


McMurry University is full of unique, diverse students; but, sometimes it takes special opportunities to emphasize our beautiful diversity. However, there’s nothing like a potluck, a symbol of difference in unity, to draw people out of their shells with the smell of delectable food.

McMurry’s International Food Festival acted as a stage for a wide variety of students, faculty, staff, and other friends of the university to share foods from their cultures with the community.

The planning of the food festival was in itself a result of cooperation across boundaries. Three student organizations: McMurry’s Intercultural Student Association (MISA), the Better Together Alliance (BTA), and the Campus Activities Board (CAB) came together to ensure that the festival was a smashing success. In addition, there were even external businesses that provided free food for the event, such as Spicy India and La Popular. With the help of all those involved, there was certainly no shortage of delicious food to go around.

One of the volunteer chefs, Yuwei Bao, is a McMurry International student in her senior year. For the festival, she cooked kung pao chicken with fried rice.

“This is my second year of doing this, and I just enjoyed sharing food because sometimes it is hard for people to understand your culture because culture can be a very rough thing to talk about, especially history and religion” said Bao.  “But for food, everyone loves food, and you can definitely eat while you’re sharing other things.” While she was serving food, Wei also had different Chinese phrases at her station, as another way to share different aspects of her culture.

Marcus Ryser, the vice president of McMurry’s Intercultural Student Association described the International Food Festival as, “an opportunity for the international students to engage with domestic students. It gives them a chance to see that they might not be alone. It is also a chance for domestic students to get to know other cultures and have the opportunity to talk to these students that have cooked these types of spices or foods that are from other cultures that they may be from; it’s a good chance to exchange different kinds of knowledge.”

Marcus also spent his time during the food festival cooking crepes, a traditional French dish. “By nationality I am Swiss, yet I have grown up with the French border fifteen minutes away and have been exposed to the culture a lot,” said Ryser. “I felt like I wanted to share something of my personal background, but also something that is obviously very French and share it with the McMurry community.”

Not only was the food festival created with educational purposes, but it was also an exciting way to spend the evening and try something new. “It was good, and I had fun,” said Agustin Rios, a senior English and Writing major. With a line of people that stretched across the room, waiting to try tasty food, I am sure there are many who would agree with him.

McMurry’s students are the heart of the university, and events like these, where students work to come together and connect with one another, are exciting signs of even better things to come.