About 80 students from the full-time, on-campus learning studies of WOU did a good job in organising a Penang Food and Cultural Fest at the main campus today. The event was part of their coursework assessment and also helped to raise funds for a worthy cause.
The participating students were from the Comparative Religions class for the September 2019 semester. The event allowed the students to become acquainted with the main religions and cultures of the various communities in Penang. Additionally, all proceeds from the food sales would be directed to the childrenâ€™s cancer ward of the Penang Hospital.
There were a total of 10 stalls set up to sell foods and share insights on the various major religions and cultures. The students covered Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity and Sikhism, and also highlighted the cultures of the Indian Muslim, Punjabi, Tamil, Eurasian, Hokkien, Cantonese, Peranakan and Thai communities.
Various clothing, accessories and other artifacts from these cultures were put on display to educate the visitors, who comprised of the staff and students of WOU. The visitors were drawn to the delightful foods and tempting delicacies, and it was evident that the students had invested much thought and effort into the project.
For instance, the Sikhism/Punjabi group of students brought in a chef to fry pakoras and dish out chapatis on the spot. The Thai â€˜sawadikaâ€™ stall prepared tom yam, mango rice and taufu bergedil. The Tamil group served thosai on the spot. Other foods on sale that day included vadais, samosas, popiahs, herbal eggs, nasi lemak, fried noodles, rice porridge, and Peranakan dishes like peaflower rice, curry kapitan,Â and desserts like tarts and brownies.
The event was declared open by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & Educational Technology) Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, who cut the ribbon to the accompaniment of upbeat music from a Punjabi dhol drum player. Other performances at the fest were a Malay group dance, an Indian dance and a Chinese song presented by one of the students.
As the half-day event drew to a close, the students relaxed and engaged in some fun by playing â€˜Holiâ€™ â€“ festival of colours – during which they smeared one another with colours and danced to the popular energetic Tunak Tunak bhangra pop song.