Having the opportunity to experience a taste of cultures from around the world under one venue is a unique opportunity not to be missed. International Medical University (IMU) staff and students had this unique opportunity at a “Food Culture Day” organised by the BSc (Hons) Nutrition and BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition students at the Atrium of its campus in Bukit Jalil on 12 June 2015. It is a fun way for them to learn about the cultures of other countries in the world. For the Nutrition students, it is a valuable learning experience and helps to learn how food habits and food choices can affect a person’s health. On this Day, various activities were organised with colourful educational posters on the culture and tasting of food from ten different countries. Nutrition students manning the booths were also dressed in many colourful traditional clothes of these different countries. First year Nutrition student, Brandon Chan Chin Wing said, “My group was assigned to present on German food cultures. While on the project, I have learned more about the Germans and their cuisines- pretzels, German sausage and beer brewing, the histories and significance.” “I enjoyed the event as there is a lot of peer learning. My course mates did amazingly well! They did extensive research and presentation on the selected cultures. My friends dressed up handsomely in their DIY cultural costumes. With coaching tips from my friends and some self reflections, it helped me further improve my presentation skills.”
“Learning can take place beyond classrooms. Projects such as Food Culture Day stimulates curiosities and broaden our young minds. This experience has help to prepare me to be a competent and knowledgeable nutritionist not only locally, but also for the international market.”
Another Nutrition student, Darsheka Wanithasan said, “For me, the most interesting part of the event was the hands on experience in preparing various foods that were surprisingly easy to do as well as tasty, and still remain the favourites of people around the world..” “The experience will definitely help to prepare me for the future. With an understanding on how food habits affect nutritional status, I am better equip to give nutritional consultations to the clients. As the project is a collaborative effort, I was thrilled that my team worked really well together. Establishing good working relationship is important as they are my future colleagues! ” Another Nutrition student, Ng Cheng Yee said, “Food Culture Day was indeed a fruitful and valuable learning experience. Now we are more aware and appreciative towards the diversity in people and cultures. I like the project as it encourages active learning. Being a proactive learner, I learnt better and communicate more effectively through such activity.” When asked about the challenges faced, Cheng Yee said “Working in partnerships with various personalities can be challenging. However, she is quick to add “Nevertheless, we overcome our differences and succeeded in putting up an excellent presentation. She added that communication skills, teamwork and respect for others are some values she learnt from the project. After all we learn from each other!” she happily said.