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‘Peace on Earth Cook-off: International Edition’ community event to be held

By Staff | Nov 23, 2018

The classic Hanukkah dish, sufganiyot, which is a doughnut filled with strawberry jelly, is one of the many foods people can make, to compete in the cook-off at Shepherd University.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The holiday season is celebrated in a variety of ways around the world. While in the United States and many other countries, Christmas is the prominent celebration at this time of the year, Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated in December.

In fact, many of Shepherd University’s 55 international students have never celebrated Christmas, coming to the U.S. from countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, China and Ghana.

To recognize the many different holiday traditions represented within Shepherd University’s student population and within the Shepherdstown community at-large, Shepherd University is hosting its first “Peace on Earth Cook-off: International Edition” in the Student Center Ballroom on Dec. 5, from 4-6 p.m.

Community members and Shepherd University students can sign up to bring their “best dish” to share at the event, whether it’s something as familiar as an American apple pie, or something more unique, like the Brazilian dish, frango com quiabo, or Jamaican dish, curry goat.

“We decided to make this a community event, so both our students and community members could join in the celebration,” said Shepherd University Director of International Affairs Lois Jarman. “It’s a great opportunity for community members to get to know our international students, by sharing their favorite dishes from their own cultural backgrounds at the event.”

According to Jarman, the event was given its name, to represent a general sense of holiday spirit, so all students would feel their respective holidays from this time of the year were represented in the name. For the international students from India and Myanmar, they may celebrate Bodhi Day on Dec. 8, the day on which Siddhartha Gautama was said to have reached enlightenment. International students from Israel will be celebrating Hanukkah from Dec. 2-10, commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

According to Jarman, an assortment of community members from around the Eastern Panhandle have been selected to judge the dishes and award prizes accordingly, including State Farm Insurance Agent Pam Neely and Shepherd University Provost Scott Beard.

Those interested in participating in the cook-off need to register by Nov. 28, by contacting Fadela Belhaj at fbelhajs@shepherd.edu.