International Dinner organized by the ICD Interns Council

(Berlin, November 28th, 2012)

The Event was organized by the ICD Interns’ Council
Some would say Cultural Diplomacy starts in the kitchen. No matter how diverse our cultures may be, food always brings different types of people together. It is, as American chef James Beard once wrote, “our common ground, a universal experience”.

To celebrate the diversity of culinary cultures at the ICD, the Interns’ Council organized a wonderful International Dinner on November 28th, 2012. All interns contributed by bringing at least one dish from their national country. Indeed few restaurants offer a selection of as many delicacies from around the world under one roof. The variety was remarkable- French quiche, delicious Irish salmon sandwiches, the famous “Soutzoukakia”, a Greek dish of spicy meatballs served in a tomato sauce, and traditional Pakistani chicken pulao rice with meatball and egg curry. And that’s not all. There was Slovakian-style steamed dumplings (a favorite for many), Russian porridge, South African salad with fresh exotic fruits, and Romanian beans served with bread. Not to forget, some delicious desserts including the popular Dutch treat, “Oliebollen,” and scrumptious cookies from Australia.

Although the dishes were not labeled with tags, there was hardly any need for them; those in attendance merely approached each other directly to learn more about the particular dishes, resulting in greater interaction and thus, a better understanding of each other’s cultures and backgrounds. As one intern commented, “The exchange of foods facilitates the exchange of dialogue.”

As humans, we are naturally inquisitive about what we eat, and when tasting new flavors, we are always curious to know which countries or cultures these flavors are intrinsic to. Even the process of preparing the food was very enjoyable, as many interns who belong to the same native country came together to create something very special.

All in all, it was a brilliant and entertaining evening. There was a real sense of pride felt by all in their dishes and the opportunity to try so many new and different cuisines was a rare treat. The dinner was more than just about food, however- it was about people getting together, socializing, sharing funny stories, and most importantly, sharing their cultures. The most positive thing about such events is that they allow people to get to know each other better in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and needless to say, the addition of exotic and exquisite food always makes any occasion more interesting and exciting!
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