From France to Indonesia in a Weekend


A couple of Fridays ago, my weekend started off with “An Evening at the French Renaissance Court” at the Johnson Museum of Art on campus. A friend in the History of Art Majors Society had recruited me as an event photographer for this event that took participants back into the sixteenth century – allowing them to sample typical dishes of the time, listen to assorted music on the harpsichord and lute, hear poetry from the era, and also tour the corresponding exhibit of architectural renderings and other pieces of interest. The evening was probably one of the classiest Friday evenings I’ve had during my time on the hill, and was a welcome – if brief – respite from the bustling streets of collegetown.

The following day, on Saturday, my fellow editors and staffers at The Cornell Daily Sun spent eight hours in a lecture hall electing the next editorial board for the paper. As we left that room, my term as photography editor came to a close, meaning that on Sunday, I wouldn’t have to be at the Sun for the entire evening – a rarity for me in my Cornell years.

What to do with all of that free time on a Sunday? My housemate and I ventured to Willard Straight Hall for the Indonesian Food Festival, put on by the Cornell Indonesian Association (which amusingly goes by the CIA). An Indonesian colleague in a group project in one of my classes had invited us to come, and what better way to celebrate my first free Sunday than by sampling food from a country I knew almost nothing about? The food combined a variety of flavors, textures, and ingredients that I haven’t really had before all together as a meal (bright green rice gelatin, anyone?). The event was so high-profile that the Indonesian Consul of New York came up and joined us in the Straight’s Memorial Room as a guest of honor (not to mention that one of the primary sponsors was the national bank of Indonesia!). Two cultural events in one weekend, both unlike anything I’ve experienced before at Cornell.

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