I live in Leuven, which is home to Belgium’s oldest and biggest university, KU Leuven. Every year many international students come to study here, those different student communities often host different events to present their local food and culture. Through years, I got to know many friends from all over the world, many of whom have inspired me in many aspects. Thanks to them, eventually I’ve developed my dream of travelling the world.
Last night there was an Ethiopian Art Evening organised by the Ethiopian student community, together with an international cultural centre called Pangaea. I’ve tried the Ethiopian cuisine before and loved their pancakes. It’s always nice to study a bit more of the culture of the country.
The location was inside KU Leuven’s Group T college/campus. The college of school for technical and industrial engineers is especially active in international cooperation’s with universities in China too. You can study Chinese language in the Confucius Institute here. I use to follow several language courses in this building and always loved how cool the architecture is.
The main hall of the Group T campus
Ethiopian students in traditional clothes
Inside the main hall, different aspects of the Ethiopian culture were exhibited, including photography (portrait, daily life and Ethiopian nature) and some old Ethiopian artefacts.
The Dinner (Injera and Wat)
Injera is a traditional Eritrean, Ethiopian and Somali bread (the Ethiopian version is with typical spongy texture). On top of Injera, different kinds of Wat are served. Wat is a stew or curry like dish, usually made of chicken, beef, beans and other vegetables.
The Coffee Ceremony
The coffee ceremony is an important part of Ethiopian culture. Firstly, the washed and selected coffee beans are roasted. Afterwards the grinded coffee beans are added in the traditional clay-made coffee pot called Jebena and the coffee is served in a small, handleless cup.
The scattering of grass on the ground during the ceremony reminds us of the dove returning to Noah’s ark with the green stalks. And the aromatic smoke is to offer Gods.