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International food fiesta feeds friends

By Owen Fishwick | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-04 09:04

International food fiesta feeds friends

Dishes served up by Jiangnan University's Thai contingent prove popular at the school's 7th food and culture festival held on April 28. [Photo by chinadaily.com.cn]

There are samosas from Syria, doughnuts from Yemen, and a particularly delightful spicy chicken salad from Thailand. It sets the palette alight with chili and citrus; the poultry eviscerated to create the look and texture of couscous. It's the combination of heat and spice with a cool, cool lime twist that make it perfect for a picnic or party in the summer sun.

By far the most popular national cuisine on offer is that of Kazakhstan, replete with mutton, dumplings, and pilaf. Crowds of students swarm the table, many doused in yellow and blue Kazakh flags mirroring the sky above. The little-known nation has risen to fame in China in recent months thanks to Dimash – a popular high-pitched Kazakh wailer who appeared on the Hunan TV show "Singer". Oh, to be a Kazakh boy at this university.

Topping off the tastings, I return closer to China, arriving at the shores of the Japanese and Korean tables. Red hot kimchi with a crunch is followed by hard boiled sweets imbued with the ash and smokiness of burnt rice.

Fit to burst, there is nothing left but to enjoy the celebration with everyone else, no matter how uncomfortable my dancing shoes are.

Overwhelming indulgence and food fancy are not to outshine what this event really means to the university here in Wuxi. The party atmosphere and smiling faces speak of lives being well-lived, of futures bright, and of a diverse community rarely-replicated and so-relished elsewhere.

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