With Christmas comes food and last Wednesday the “A taste of Christmas at M&S” workshop was only the beginning for me. This week, I had the opportunity to join the Faculty of Biological Sciences in their Traditional British Christmas Dinner, an event organised to bring international students together and give them a sample of what Christmas celebrations look like in the UK.
After arriving to festive and beautifully decorated tables at the Refectory, I had a quick look through the Global Student Recipe Book whilst eating a yummy candy cane. This cookbook features easy-to-make recipes suggested by students coming from different countries around the world like Greece, Italy, Lithuania and many more.
Afterwards, whilst waiting for the food to be served, I got to know some Singaporean and Indian students and had an interesting chat about the Christmas traditions in their home countries. Just a few minutes later, we enjoyed a typical dinner made of turkey, roast potatoes, sprouts, gravy, cranberry sauce, parsnips and carrots; and to wrap it up, we picked from a selection of profiteroles, chocolate brownies and some classic Christmas pudding and mince pies.
The food went quickly, and we moved into the most fun part of the night: Christmas games! It all started with a Christmas quiz that tested our knowledge of Christmas carols and traditions and exposed some amazing information, for example, did you know the NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks Santa leaving the north pole every year!? Furthermore, we had the chance to open some Christmas crackers. These are cardboard tubes that are pulled apart by two people who then get to keep the contents inside each of their parts- I got a small plastic yo-yo and a Christmas riddle. Afterwards, we played the After Eight Game whereby each person places an ‘after eight’ chocolate piece on their forehead and tries to get it down to their mouth by only moving their face. It took plenty of weird facial expressions and bit of melted chocolate all over my cheek, but in the end, I managed to complete the challenge and enjoy a wonderful evening meeting new people and obtaining a deeper insight into an English Christmas.
If you are or will be part of the Faculty of Biological Sciences, make sure to check their website for similar events including Pancake Day dinner and Fish ‘n’ Chips night: https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/undergrad-international/doc/global-community
I wish you all get to enjoy as much food as I have these holidays and have a merry Christmas!