New friendships made at Pan-African Thanksgiving

Benjamin Garcia

Bianca Salinas, an architectural drafting student at Rio Hondo College, was at guest at the Black Student Union’s Pan-African Thanksgiving held on Nov. 16.

She explained that her reason for coming was because she was invited by BSU president Naomi Galloway after helping Galloway with making the candied yams.

When asked what went into them, Galloway helped Salinas remember, “Brown sugar, marshmallows, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla” in addition to yams, of course.

After the gathering, Salinas concluded that she had enjoyed herself saying, “The people here were very kind, it was an enjoyable atmosphere and the food was good.”

Vice President of BSU Donald Uti, who had organized the event, explained that his intention was to have an “ethnic” thanksgiving with his friends.

He further stated that the purpose of the event is linked to the meaning and importance of the food.

“I am Nigerian,” Uti contextualized, “With the foods that I brought — it means royalty, it means that you truly love your friends and family. I brought pepper soup.”

Student senate Majority Leader Phil Herrera cited making a connection with Salinas as a positive experience that he had because of the Pan-African thanksgiving.

He commented “It was nice to have conversations with them.”

Herrera explained that he came to the event to support Uti, who he has worked with in student governemnt in various way — these include “legislation last year for the club,” “support for the dance department” and when Uti ran for homecoming king.

He went on to comment that, as a culinary arts major, he is interested in anything that has to do with food — though, he only brought potato chips “this time.”

In regard to this: he commented that he greatly enjoyed many dishes present at the event including the macaroni and cheese (which has cream of mushroom soup in it) and the banana pudding with the vanilla wafers.

Herrera felt compelled to make note of the inclusiveness of the opening prayer and the fact that it felt “very indigenous.”

He further explained that he celebrates the indigenous as opposed to “the original meaning of thanksgiving,” along with his love for food — adding that that is what makes thanksgiving “so special” for him.

Herrera concluded, “It was nice to see some new faces and have dinner with some old friends.”