Food festival follows Parade of Nations

HOUGHTON – After the Parade of Nations, people could get foods from countries such as Phillippines, Turkey and Brazil at the Multicultural Festival.

Michigan Technological University students from more than 20 countries set up booths inside the Dee Stadium Saturday afternoon, which also had booths for everything from henna painting to jewelry.

Indonesia had a booth for the second year, offering foods such as rendang, a beef marinated in a mixtures of spices, and coconut milk custard with sticky rice.

“This is common Indonesian food that every Indonesian would like,” said Handy Chandra, one of the students manning the booth.

This is the second year for the Indonesian booth, Chandra said. They sold out of food last year and prepared the same amount this year.

“I think this is a good event to meet people from our country, to meet together and work together to strengthen our friendship,” he said.

The Society of Hispanic Engineers made elote, a snack of ears of corn rolled in a mixture of mayonnaise, butter, chili powder, lime and cheese. It is a Mexicano snack but also frequently seen in places such as Chicago and Los Angeles, said Joshua Leon.

“Any place with a large Mexican or Latino population, it’s a very popular snack,” he said.

Though the society is mostly a professional group, the event is a fun way to share their cultures, he said.

“It’s a step away from being professional, looking good, doing well in school,” he said. “It’s a chance to embrace other cultures. And in my experience, the best way to do that is through food.”

Despite living just blocks from the parade start in Hancock, Noah Aschauer hadn’t made it to the parade and festival before this. He praised his Nepalese meal, especially the spiciness.

“It’s nice to see rice with the big chili peppers in the middle,” he said.

Travis Wakeham got food from Bangladesh and the Muslim Students Association. A Tech student, Wakeham also frequently gets the weekly international Khana Khazana meal. And as a Houghton High School alumnus, he’s come to the festival for years,

“I think we have so many students from outside the U.S., and it’s a good way to bridge the campus community with the Houghton/Hancock area,” he said.