For as long as I can remember, I have had a penchant for cooking. It traces back to when I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in Taiwan. I diligently followed different cooking shows such as MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver, and played with different cooking styles and techniques. As expected, when the plan of having a ‘beef night’ floated around in class, I was ecstatic. I remember discussing this with Ryan, who is also the VP International for the MM Exec society. The initial plan was for us to cook different dishes such as steak and curry and have a small dinner party, which then became a full-blown party as more people joined in! That’s the beauty of having a decent sized cohort – everyone can join in at anytime.
I cooked ribeye and striploin steaks while Jing cooked Ma La Xiang Guo, which is a traditional Chinese local delicacy, and Ryan prepared for us an East-Indian style of beef curry and everyone bought snacks and drinks. Almost 50% of the class was present and we had a lovely potluck that evening. A few of us cooked our dishes at home and brought it, but Ryan and I were cooking as the evening progressed. The process of everyone cooking together and helping around the kitchen enriched the entire evening even more.The rich diversity in food preparation was enthralling to experience. Moreover, I got the chance to witness the different spices that went into making a curry. The smell of different spices and their composition was another compelling reason for me to stay in the kitchen.
We capped the night with everyone sitting around the living room, eating and playing games, where we also had a small dance party afterwards and made the most of the night.
I am of the contention that cooking traditional food is a way of preserving one’s culture in a new place. It’s a piece of home that you always carry with you no matter where you go. Being exposed to different cultures within the cohort and being informed of their culture through the food they cooked led to an amazing bonding experience. Moving to an entirely different continent can be overwhelming and it sometimes makes one nostalgic. But isn’t the whole point of having a get-together is to eliminate that feeling?
We are all nomads astray on the road, seeking comfort and sharing love. That bonds once formed may perish in time, but the moments of joy will be forever missed.
Imagine all these guys stuffed in the Kitchen at the same time! 😀
– Wilson Lin MM ‘18
The sun gleams through between the curtains, the alarm clock is not too far behind. Yes! I am finally awake. For the first time this year, I wake up with a smile and immediately jump out of my bed, skipping the morning coffee and heading straight to change into whites. It’s HOLI! A mythological Indian festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, but who cares? As kids all thought about was getting out there and playing HOLI with colour, but why colours? Well that’s the way it is… Everyone in the neighbourhood (friends and families) comes together to the celebrate the festival, putting colour on each other and playing with water. You can’t forget about all the Indian food and music! Most people also take some Bhaang shots before the day starts.
Holi 17’ was slightly different, because this time I was in ‘Beautiful British Columbia’. As I was walking towards the venue of the HOLI festival at UBC, I was wondering how the festival would be. To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes. Was I right? Nope, I was wrong. People turned up in thousands, speakers blaring music to max, food, colour, you name it. It was 4C that morning in VanCity, but who cared. People slipped into their shorts and Ts’ and didn’t complain once when strangers in the party threw water and colour at them. The party only became intense as time went on. It was packed, phew! But hey, that’s what we want parties to be right? Everyone jumping to the beats with half coloured faces, high spirits and enormous amounts of colour in the air. Holi turning into a Rave party, and it was awesome. Thank you to all the MM folks who came along and to UBC for making HOLI 17’ so memorable. And who could forget the Bollywood themed after party too!
Stay healthy, my friends.
Written by Kartic Sharma ’17
As this is our first blog post of the year, I’ll share with you a bit of background about the program so far! There are 46 of us in the MM 2016 Cohort, and we are from over 15 different countries. If you’re worried about making friends, don’t be, because by week 2 it felt like we had been friends for years! Everyone is here to learn, and more importantly, support each other. We have made it a big part of our year so far to celebrate different cultures and different backgrounds. Our first celebration was the Lunar Moon Festival, where some of our classmates taught us about their culture and shared their very yummy moon cakes with us! More recently, we have been able to celebrate Diwali, which I would highly recommend to any incoming classes!
Diwali: the festival of lights. Unfortunately, due to our event venue, no fireworks were lit… but we didn’t let that bring down the celebration. An array of Indian cuisine was arranged by our classmates, and I’m hoping they are bringing leftovers for the next couple weeks. Mehndi (otherwise known as Henna) was beautifully done by one of our very own, and certain beverages were also consumed. Most importantly, however, was what I think was the highlight of the night… watching our boys dance! Lucky you, I have attached a short clip to go with this blog post, as I really feel like you need to get the full effect to appreciate it. It is safe to say that celebrating Diwali was definitely a highlight of the year so far, and probably has a lot of us wishing our “white girl moves” could be translated to those of our classmates. Not to fret, however, as I’m sure if I ask for a lesson, I will receive one, because that’s the way our classmates are. Kind, generous, and most of all fun!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and be sure to follow along with the MM Life Stories Blog 2016. There are a lot of awesome people in this cohort, and I think its safe to say that I now will have someone to visit on every side of the world.
– Tayla Westgard