Under one moon, Gannon University students and faculty, as well as Erie residents came together under Gannon University’s Hammermill center to celebrate unity with International Night. Wall to wall tables contained food from around the world with international talent to accompany.

International night had my stomach filled with amazing food I had never even tried, while also offering restaurant favorites with a homestyle twist. If you ever thought you had to travel the world to sample amazing cuisine, think again. International night provided the perfect sampling of 20 countries from students right here on Gannon’s campus.

While I didn’t try everything, I do have a couple of my favorites I want to mention. First, maybe it’s just my sweet tooth talking, but France had one of the most amazing desserts, bringing macarons of every unique flavor to International night. No, I’m not talking about coconut macaroons, but those super fancy, fruity meringue biscuits. I had raspberry and nearly melted with complete and utter happiness. 

Also on the list for amazing food includes jareesh, a crushed wheat dish from Saudi Arabia. I don’t event know how to describe this delicious food, but that it reminded me of a delicious homecooked meal of rice and gravy, but way better.

Japan’s sushi, South Korea’s zucchini pancakes, Honduras’ baleadas and the many rice dishes from India provided more delicious dishes that filled me up. I was waddling to my seat and trying to settle my overfilled stomach when the talent began.

Nepal, India, China, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia and Burundi showcased amazing talent including dancing and singing. Most of the evening I had stolen glances at the beautiful and elegant dresses passing by, admiring their bright colors, sparkles and flowing skirts. As a group of girls from India and Nepal approached the stage, I was excited to see the performance. Each move was graceful and precise, bringing elegance to the stage and making me want to dance as well. Each looked they were having the time of their life on stage. A surprise occurred though when a young girl hopped up on stage, wearing kitty ears, and started to dance as well. I do not know if that had been part of the original choreography, but it certainly added an element of surprise and a little bit of cuteness to their performance.

Yihong Zhang, representing China, performed an amazing piano piece, while Pedram Maymand, representing Iran, sang a song that blew me away and Dante from Cameroon spoke words that truly touched my soul. Each student brought amazing talent from their country and proudly performed in front of a gym full of eager watchers.

While the night ended after two food filled hours, my only critique was the wait to get to some countries for food. However, much of the food is worth the wait.

All in all, I highly recommend an evening of cultural experience with International Night. It’s dinner and a show with decadent food and jaw dropping talent from around the world.

Featured image courtesy of the Saudi Students Association, see more of their photos from International Night here