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News | Feb. 8, 2024

A Taste of Culture.


On Feb. 6, the International Military Students Office (IMSO) and the International Military Students (IMS) of the Sergeants Major Course Class 74 embarked on a delightful journey of cultural exploration and camaraderie at the Sergeants Major Academy. This collaboration became a spectacular event known as "A Taste of Culture." Quentin Cormier, IMSO Director stated that the event “expresses how food is an essential part of every culture. It’s more than just a means of nourishment, but rather, a way of expressing oneself, connecting with others and passing on rich heritage. Food is deeply ingrained in everyone’s cultural identity and serves as a representation of an individual’s history and values”.

In total 47 countries participated and had a chance to break bread in a literal sense of the term. This annual event was held on campus hallways during lunch hour and open to the Noncommissioned Officer Leadership Center of Excellence staff and faculty as well as current Sergeants Major Academy students and their families.

The International students, hailing from various nations around the globe, showcased the culinary treasures of their homelands. Many of them, along with the help of their spouses prepared an array of exciting dishes, each representing the unique flavors and traditions ingrained in their respective cultures. From amazing smelling spices to mouthwatering desserts, the IMS presented an exquisite feast that transcended geographical boundaries.

In a display of unity and friendship, the students' military sponsors, contributed the American counterparts of the international dishes. This allowed for an extraordinary opportunity for the IMS to experience the fusion of flavors, blending their own cultural heritage with the rich tapestry of American cuisine.

Conversations flowed freely, with students eagerly exchanging recipes and insights about their unique culinary traditions. This wonderful occasion provided an opportunity for the IMS to share a piece of their cultural heritage through the universal language of food. It was a testament to the student’s commitment to promoting understanding, respect, and friendship among nations. Master Sgt. Hilal Hasan, a Lebanese student said he, "Found the experience fascinating as it showcased how different cultures prioritize various aspects of cooking, such as spices, quality, and tradition." He showcased his culinary expertise by bringing Manaqish Zaatar, a delightful flatbread seasoned with various spices, and Chicken Shawarma, succulent marinated chicken stuffed into flatbread with vegetables and sauces, both sourced from Lebanon. After nearly three hours of preparation, Hasan proudly displayed his dishes, paying tribute to his mother for her cooking guidance to him as a child. At the age of 18 Hasan shared he owned a popular restaurant in Lebanon, so it was no surprise to him when his fellow students eagerly returned for a second helping.