PeyTon King/The Bison
Maxi Vergara, Dr. Lucrecia Litherland and Dr. Tony Litherland representing their home country Argentina at their Argentenian booth.
Thursday Feb. 20, OBU’s Recreation and Well- ness Center (RAWC) was buzzing with diversity.
Adorned with flags, food, drinks, music and guests of all cultures, the celebration was a social hot spot for people on and around campus.
Hosted 7:00-9:30 p.m., the event was generated in order to highlight the different cultures that have been brought to OBU through international students, staff and faculty.
The first booth to be seen from the main entrance of the event was representative of the country Argentina.
Donning the Argentina flag, the booth showcased the culture through books, postcards, pictures and the service of a popular Argentinian beverage: mate.
According to Vamos Spanish Academy, mate (pronounced, MAH-teh) is a “caffeine-rich infused drink is made from dried leaves called yerba mate mixed with hot water.”
Argentines normally drink mate in social settings with friends or at family functions.
Junior business administration major Maxi Vergara is an international student from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
As one who has played soccer his whole life, Vergara came to OBU to play center midfielder for the men’s club soccer team.
Vergara described his favorite thing about OBU apart from soccer.
“The people are so nice here,” he said.
One of Vergara’s teammates is junior international business major Peterson “Pet” Costa.
From Salvador, Brazil, Costa is another center midfielder for the Bison men’s soccer team.
Costa shared the trials that have come with moving from Brazil to Shawnee, Okla. have helped strengthen his faith.
He said being in a new country with cultural differences taught him how to really trust God.
Costa’s booth was lined with multitudes of chocolaty handmade brigadeiros.
This sweet traditional Brazilian dessert is the Brazilian equivalent to an American fudge.
According to an article written by Paula Mejia for Atlas Obscura, this dessert became popularized in 1940 when condensed milk became a staple ingredient for desserts due to wartime rations.
Made from sweetened condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles, this rich treat is one chocolate lovers are sure to enjoy.
Another kid-friendly dessert at the event was located just to the left of the Brazilian booth: fairy bread from New Zealand.
The incredibly simple dessert is comprised of white bread, butter/margarine and (preferably rain- bow) sprinkles, or “hundreds and thousands” as they’re called in New Zealand.
Senior health and human performance major Tahlia Walsh said this sweet snack is often served at the birthday parties of children back in Australia and her home of Te Awamutu, New Zealand.
Another sweet dish to make an appearance at the event was melktert, or “milk tart,” from the South Africa booth.
According to a recipe from African Bites, this tart is made from pastry crust, milk, butter, flour, corn- starch, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.
As a light, creamy, dessert reminiscent of a custard tart, milk tarts are a South African staple. Junior accounting major and track & field runner Sherine Van Der Westhuizen made this dessert to sit atop her table at RAWC The World.
While Westhuizen does admit she misses the food and Kruger National Park from her home in Kempton Park, South Africa, her experience at OBU has taught her a lot about her faith.
“I am from a really Christian community and all of my friends are Christian, so [coming to OBU] wasn’t really that different,” she said. “But so many people’s moral values lined up with mine here.”
One of Westhuizen’s favorite parts about OBU is the culture of all the international students.
“Seeing all of the different cultures and how these people came to the same place and still have the most amazing personalities that I’ve ever met in my life has just been very eye opening to me,” she said.
“It’s been amazing to get to see how many people can share the gospel and I really felt that I was led here.”
Loren Rhoades/The Bison
A RAWC The World attendee enjoys a cultural delicacy.