Spiritual clubs serve food, conversation

The smell hit first.  A mix of curry and cinnamon wafted through the open doors of the rotunda and out into the hall.   Inside, music played and the chaplain waited next to a table filled with samosas, monkey bread, Mediterranean salad, and several other great-looking foods.
This was the third annual Taste of Religion, hosted by the clubs of Spirituality, Service and Social Justice (SSSJ). Many spiritual clubs came out to introduce who they are and what they do. The experience, as Rev. Wright put it, was “drop in, drop out, pretty informal… hopefully something fun and there’s free food.”
People trickled in and out; some were drawn by the food, while others, had heard about the event in emails, on Facebook, or from a friend.  When asked why they came, some people shrugged, or said they didn’t know.
“I didn’t know it was happening…[but] I’m always into trying new food so I thought it would be nice,” one student, a sophomore named Laura, said with a smile.
When asked if they thought events like this one were important to the overall religious diversity on campus, many students, such as a sophomore named Sarah, felt that it was. “Food is one of the most important aspects of learning about cultures,” she said.
As the event progressed, the conversation turned from the idea of religion to culture overall.  One student commented, “I associate food with places and culture and religion is just a part of culture.”
Overall, the small setting provided a nice opportunity get to know some new clubs and to learn more about the religious diversity that exists on campus.
The calm atmosphere—very different from the chaos and excitement of LogJam—allowed individuals to chat about school, clubs and religion in a way that centered around one main topic: food.  Representatives from different cultures brought a variety of dishes that did not necessarily originate within their own faith. Each recipe—may it be monkey bread or vegan apple pie—was the product and creation of our students.
This event, with its calm music and delicious food, allowed students both new and old to come together and discuss not only their clubs, religions and cultures, but the things they enjoy doing, or the major they plan on studying. By bringing individuals together through something as simple as food, SSSJ’s Taste of Religion contributed to building community amongst spiritual clubs as well as the community of Puget Sound as a whole.