International cuisine, entertainment night at Nashua Community College

Courtesy image At 6 p.m. Friday, Nashua Community College will present a multicultural dinner at the school, 505 Amherst St., Nashua.

NASHUA – At 6 p.m. Friday, Nashua Community College will present a multicultural dinner at the school, 505 Amherst St.

Helping newcomers feel at home and introducing residents to new cultural experiences, Nashua Community College, in conjunction with One Greater Nashua, will host its annual Around the World Dinner. “The doors will open at 6 p.m., and this is a buffet-style meal, followed by multicultural entertainment in the auditorium,” said Elizabeth Berry, ESOL professor and World Language Club advisor. Berry credited the World Language Club for putting the evening together. “They put in the legwork. This is their celebratory event,” she said.

The buffet spread will feature food from around the world, with Brazilian, Chinese, Columbian, Dominican, Indian, Greek, Russian, Bolivian, Lebanese and Puerto Rican dishes. After dinner, city residents and college students will take to the stage in the Judd Gregg Hall Auditorium on campus to showcase their talents.

“It is like a multicultural talent show, based on volunteers who would like to share a song or dance, typically from their culture,” Berry said. While there is no set list of performances, Berry said the African dances are popular. “People want to volunteer and share their cultures.”

The annual event has been held for the past five years, with 2016 representing the biggest turnout yet. “Last year was the biggest – we (had) around 150 people. The first year, it was like 50 people, then 79 the second year, and over 100 for the third. It’s been growing steadily as word has been getting out,” she said.

Berry said the evening continues the college’s work with United Way of Greater Nashua’s “One Greater Nashua” – a local consortium of schools, agencies and social organizations working to improve health equity of city residents by helping individuals access local resources, connect with their community and integrate into the city. “It’s a networking event where newcomers, refugees, feel welcome,” she said.

“Last year, a gentleman came who was a newcomer to the Nashua area, and he had not seen or connected with anyone sharing African culture since he has been here,” she said. During the entertainment portion of the event, he was happy to see locals with African roots performing on stage, she said.

“Everything we’re doing is to co-support the mission of One Greater Nashua, because NCC is a part of the coalition. It’s about sharing culture and creating a welcoming community, both on campus and in Nashua – and throughout New Hampshire,” she said.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information, contact Berry by calling 578-6912 or by email at eberry@ccsnh.edu.