Paper passports made their way around the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Nov. 3 as live music, dancing and cuisine from more than 20 countries filled the building.
The seventh annual The Amazing Taste event invited students, staff and members of the Muncie community to Ball State to discover new foods and cultures.
The event featured cuisine from countries like Rwanda and Saudi Arabia, and students could also take part in various performances, a photo booth, ice sculpting, belly dancing, henna tattooing, an animal show and even bug tasting.
“The amount of culture present for students to explore is truly amazing,” said Suzanne Clem, marketing coordinator for Ball State Dining Services. “In addition to discovering new cuisine and learning about the traditions and history of other countries, students from vastly different backgrounds have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with each other at the 25 or more cultural displays."
Many of the displays were created by international students eager to show what life and culture in their home countries is like, Clem said.
Freshman psychology major Amahd Helms said she found the amount of diversity at Ball State to be "surprising," and after attending the event, she felt more knowledgeable about her peers.
“There is a lot of diversity at Ball State that I didn’t really know about until I came to The Amazing Taste," Helms said. "I learned about other cultures and their foods. Trying the foods was the best part about the event and the live performances. This is great to have."
Faith Brewer, a senior health science major, volunteered as a greeter for the event and said she thinks the diversity found at The Amazing Taste is "amazing" and hopes more will come help in the future.
“Being a greeter and volunteering for my second year in a row, I’ve seen so many different people and cultures," Brewer said. "And since the event is open to the entire Muncie community, a lot of people come out and eat food and just learn about each other.”
The event began in 2010 when Dining Services decided to create a large-scale international-themed event, Clem said. General dining feedback showed students were interested in trying international food on campus, so the event was a way to infuse diverse food in their special events.
At that time, the Rinker Center for International Programs also held their annual international festival "iFest" as a way for students to learn more about global cultures. Ball State Dining, the Multicultural Center and the Rinker Center would later combine their efforts to begin hosting The Amazing Taste.
"The Amazing Taste is now the flagship international event at Ball State," Clem said. "We're happy to have it and look forward to many more events like these."