Quick! Name the fourth most populous country in the world! The answer? Indonesia. And although this country is not one that Americans are particularly knowledgeable about, the Colorado School of Mines offers students many chances to educate themselves, such as the tea put on by the Indonesian Student Association November 30 in Stratton Hall.
The event served as an effective introduction to Indonesian culture, especially in its provision of food. As promised by the name, guests were several varieties of tea along with coffee. More interestingly, the event also provided samples of traditional Indonesian dishes. It was like a miniature Indonesian meal, with a main course, side dish, and dessert. My favorite would have to have been the dessert of sticky rice with sweet sauce, though all the dishes were delicious. In fact, more than one professor arrived at the tea after having been roused out of their office by the aroma.
The food was definitely a focal point, but the tea offered non-edible pathways to learning about Indonesian culture as well. The students representing Indonesia were eager to share their culture, and overall very friendly. To educate and generate questions from the Tea-goers, there were also traditional objects from Indonesia, including some very elaborate puppets, and a book full of pictures of the beautiful country. For those looking for something a bit more intellectual than free food, the tea provided that as well.
Overall, the Indonesian Tea was an excellent way to learn more about the often overlooked, but very intriguing country of Indonesia. Learning about other cultures is essential to becoming a well-rounded individual, and if becoming a more well-rounded individual includes tea and food, all the better. The Indonesian students at the Colorado School of Mines worked hard to prepare the event, and those who had the privilege of attending were richly rewarded.