A Taste of NC State

I attended a Taste of NC State on April 5, 2013 where different foods from around the world were shared.  This event, held on Harris field out front of the Witherspoon student center on NC State’s central campus, helped students explore some diverse, worldly cuisine.  There was also music playing of various cultures as well as dancers on stage in this welcoming environment.  After scanning your card in you could visit each of the six tables that hosted different types of foods from various restaurants of different places in the world: Saint Jacques French cuisine (French), Thai Villa (Thai), Waraji Japanese (Japanese), Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro (Greek), Virgil’s Jamaica (Jamaican), and The Pit (Southern American).

The French food included tartines provencale which are basically small slices of bread with tomatoes, tapenade, ricotta, basil leaves, pepper, salt, olive oil and onions spread over it.

They also had mini croque monsieurs which are pretty much small ham and cheese sandwiches.

The Thai Villa cuisine consisted of pad prik sod which can be chicken, beef, or pork stir fried with fresh chilli, garlic and seasonal vegetables.  This was served with Thai iced tea.

The select Japanese food were vegetarian California rolls and gyudon.  A California roll is a kind of sushi roll, usually made inside-out, containing cucumber, crab meat or and avocado.  Gyudon, literally meaning beef bowl, consists of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly

sweet sauce flavored with dashi (fish and seaweed stock), soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine).  It also often includes shirataki noodles, and is sometimes topped with a raw egg.

IMG_0265Found at the Greek cuisine table was beef schwarma, a pita bread wrap of meet and vegetables, served with falafel, a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.

Jamaican food that was served of course included jerk chicken.  Fried plantains, similar to bananas, was also served along with Caribbean shrimp.  You would also be greeted by a guy with a strong Jamaican accent that I thought was funny but cool.  “Ya won’ it spicy?” he asked before soaking the chicken in type of pepper hot sauce.

IMG_0264The final table was traditional southern American from the restaurant in downtown Raleigh, NC called The Pit.  They served chopped BBQ, coleslaw and slider rolls.

IMG_0266There was actually an extra table at the event not listed that served some type of South American desserts like this cake shown.  Great way to end this diverse meal!

Overall this was a great event that filled up my stomach.  It opened my eyes to the many different cuisine around the world and how people can survive off of such different foods but some can also be very similar.  My friends and I enjoyed ourselves and were happy to visit and I think everyone else that was there would say the same.  Attendees were also aloud to get a free t-shirt and button to show and remember their experience.  I encourage everyone to try and attend it in the future.

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What’s the Deal with Brazil?

I recently attended an event that took place on February 27, 2013 in the Caldwell Lounge at NC State University.  It was a Brazilian showcase where many interesting things were shared about the country including history, geography, lifestyle, etc…  On first arrival each new person of the audience, including me, was given a bracelet with letters and words on them that I cannot read and told to make two wishes.  I am still unsure as to what the purpose of this was but was told by another attendee that she thought the bracelet had to be ripped off or something for the wishes to come true.  She did not know and neither do I but getting past that confusion there was a Brazilian women presenting a slide show.

I first picked up on the capital of Brazil which is Brasilia.  She was from south Brazil and shared some of the beautiful attractions and sights to view there.  The Itaipu dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric facility and a very nice structure that produces around six times the amount of energy as the Hoover dam.  The Iguazu falls are amazing and very appealing to the eye and a great tourist attractions for those seeking to visit.  She described southern Brazil as a place where people relax and enjoy going to the beach but says that this may be different up north.

“Brazilians know how to party,” she claims.  One of the most famous cities in Brazil is Rio de Jinero where many events are held and famous sights like the Christ the Redeemer statue and summer Olympics stadium belong to.  The most well known Brazilian holiday includes Carnival.  Carnival is an annual festival where people wear colorful masks, feathers and costumes and thousands of people dance to music.  There was a mannequin at this showcase that showed a typical outfit of a women for this event.  There are also parades held and attended as many close shop and come out to celebrate life.  Frevo is the type of music and dance they enjoy at this event.  Trio Electro is a kind of truck or float equipped with high power sound system on the roof that plays for the cloud.  These were created specifically for Carnival and now used in similar events in other districts and countries.  It is not all fun and games however.  When looking at a night time picture of the hills of Rio de Jinero the lights that are seen are actually the favelas, also known as the slums, where poverty is prevalent.

Brazilian diet consists of three main meals as well: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Their biggest meal of the day is lunch unlike in the US where our biggest meal is usually dinner.  Dinner is actually lighter in Brazil.  Some of the food includes churrasco which is pretty much a type of BBQ, Feijoada which is black beans stewed with a variety of meats, Caipirinha known as the national cocktail, and Brigadeiro which is a chocolate bonbon and served at children’s birthday parties.

The big sport and source of entertainment in Brazil is soccer!  People are very fanatic and passionate for their country at sometimes fight and cause riots at the stadiums and in the streets.  Brazil seems to have many reasons for everyone to visit if they ever get the chance.

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Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking

Last Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm, I attended an event that took place in the lounge of Syme Residence Hall where information about modern day slavery and human trafficking was shared and discussed, relating exactly to what we were discussing in class that week.  I like many think that it’s sick that slavery can still exist in the year 2013 in many ways in many different places around the world.  Here in the U.S. in our western way of thinking we are accustomed to believing that slavery is over because growing up we are only taught about the African slave trade that took place but was then abolished.  Though probably not as prevalent as in some other locations of the world forms of human trafficking actually still exists here in the states.  Specific cases and forms of how slavery has been used to produce many items that we buy can be found on different websites such as http://slaveryfootprint.org/.  There is a great chance that many items we all own and wear has at some point along the production line passed some form of slavery.  It is estimated that there are 27 million slaves around the world today and there is great possibility that this is actually greater than this number because of unknown cases.  That is more than the entire African slave trade in which we know of.  How the hell does this happen and why does it still exist?  It is unfair to all these people, in which some were born into these situations contradicting what  is stated first of all in the universal declaration, that their natural human rights are being violated.  They are forced to work fields, factories, perform sexual activities, etc. and are treated poorly in these illegal forms of producing goods and services that many individuals of the first world or global north use every day for convenience.  Some victims have no way of escaping, surviving, or providing for their families otherwise.  That is such a large number of people for just this one problem and combined with an endless number of other issues in this pitiful world it overwhelms and can lead to some becoming hopeless and ask how in the world can we ever save the world?  It damn sure cannot all be fixed in this lifetime but we can at least start with a combined effort to get things going and set up good habits for future generations.  The problem is that human nature is too selfish for things such as sustainable development and such traditionalists in living in a mind sets to do things the way they have always been done and survival of the fittest.  We should all be equal in humanity and appreciate each other instead of this competition BS in industries and need to find new ways (which we are very well smart enough and capable of doing) of producing some of these items that take advantage of slavery.  We all with a combined effort have to also be willing to give up materialistic things that support and continue to empower such practices.  There has to be some other way of doing things and still being as productive and convenient of a society.  Unselfish sacrifices need to be made for the future.

Resources to help fight human trafficking include: Polaris Hotline 1-888-373-7888, NC Stop Now, International Justice Mission … know some of the physical indicators and many type of places that human trafficking may occur in which we learned include massage parlors, nail salons, truck stops, and *rest areas!  If anything seems suspicious like little kids looking lost or something then contact the hotline …