Flavors and nations at the University of Debrecen

With more participants than ever before, the most recent Food Day featured dishes could be tried from as many as twenty-four different nations. The international student community of the University of Debrecen hosted their traditional gastronomical festival for the sixteenth time this year, which again served a charitable purpose.

Amongst students from abroad, the University of Debrecen seems to be the most popular Hungarian institution of higher education, catering for an international community of more than seven thousand individuals from around a hundred and thirty countries. International Food Day is the largest and most popular event held by ISU (International Student Union), a partial self-government organization of the University of Debrecen Student Union, where representatives of various nations present themselves through their traditional dishes every year on the square in front of the main building of the University of Debrecen. At this festival of gastronomy, participants and visitors can try exotic flavors and specialties from Africa, Asia and several other overseas locations.

“Food Day is one of the representative events at the University of Debrecen, during which we can test the taste of a small piece of nations. International students at the University of Debrecen form the largest multi-national student community in Central Europe, and their cohesion is exemplary,” said Zoltán Szilvássy, Rector of the University of Debrecen, in his opening speech.

László Mátyus, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, emphasized that International Food Day is routinely the most significant event for the international student body of the university, thanks to the perseverance of foreign students, who have preserved the tradition year after year and made the event more and more diverse.

Co-founder Attila Jenei, Director of UD’s International Education Coordination Center, recalled that the first Food Day had been held in 2005. The event has gradually developed into a festival-like international festivity since, with large crowds in recent years, where “borders are eliminated” as a result of noshing together.

This year's Food Day featured traditional specialties representing the cuisines from Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos/Thailand, Morocco, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The food-tasting and eating program was spiced up with karaoke concerts given by foreign student bands and individual performers.

This gastronomical event also functions as a charity occasion where, every year, the student community donates part of the amount collected from ticket sales to charity.

ISU has been supporting Foundation for Children with Leukemia (Leukémiás Gyermekekért Alapítvány) for several years, which would use the donation this year to create a ward fitted with a HEPA filter. This special infirmary venue would support the care of children with severe myelosuppression, especially acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, the foundation also plans to purchase a PCR machine to assist diagnostic work.

Press Center - ÉE