International students present home countries at Cultural Cafe

Patrick Williams

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct an editing mistake

The Kent State Office of Global Education hosted its first Cultural Cafe event of the fall semester Friday, Aug. 30.

Cultural Cafe is a biweekly event where international students give presentations about their home countries, said Gyorgyi Mihalyi-Jewell, international programming assistant for International Student Scholar Services. Presentations are usually accompanied by music, food, coffee and tea.

Anuttra Promnart, a financial economics graduate student from Thailand, gave a presentation about her country. The audience laughed when Promnart, or “Pom,” as many people call her, explained that the Thai word “ma” can mean “to come,” “horse,” or “dog.”

Promnart said her favorite thing about Thailand is the “spicy” food of which she brought a less spicy version to the event.

Promnart said the way that Thai people eat food is different from how many Americans eat, Promnart said.

“You guys would have your own individual dish and you just kind of eat together and you stare at your friend’s and be like ‘Oh yeah, that looks better than mine,’” Promnart said. When Thai people eat, they each have their own rice and share the rest of the food between them so “you can have like five different foods in one meal.”

She said she enjoys working in the Office of Global Education.

“Just to work in this kind of environment is pretty nice because just in one day you can meet people from 20 countries that you can’t find anywhere else unless you work on a plane or something,” Promnart said.

Part of Promnart’s job is helping Cultural Cafe presenters get their presentations and food ready

Cultural Cafe has been in Van Campen Hall but is moving to the fourth floor of the library, Mihalyi-Jewell said.

“The reason we’re moving to the fourth floor in the library is because we want to attract more people, more domestic students,” Mihalyi-Jewell said, “so they can learn about how many different cultures and people from different countries are here.”

Mihalyi-Jewell, who is from Hungary, will give a presentation on her country in October. She said cultural cafe began in the Fall 2012 semester.