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MSU international students showcase food, culture

Published On: Feb 17 2013 01:42:32 AM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

There's less than five minutes before the doors of MSU's Student Union Building ballroom open to flood of hungry Bozeman locals.  

"It's going to get really crazy and we're going to be distracted selling the food and stuff so, I'm looking forward to start," says Moroccan student Houda Zaazaa.

More than 150 international students representing over 30 countries are represented at the International street food bazaar.  Many complete the finishing touches just in time.  Students like Zaazaa.

"The kitchen was really, really full with people but it was really really fun, too," says Zaazaa.

It's her third year participating in the event and she says, it won't be her last.

"You cook your own food and you're proud of your own country..."It's a showcase, you show your own traditional food and clothes and everything so, it's really fun," says Zaazaa.

Faisal Alsaad and his classmates from Saudi Arabia started preparing for the bazaar a month ago.

"My family came from this tent," explains Alsaad.

It's also his third year participating.  He says the bazaar is an important event since it allows him and his colleagues to show the American people who they really are...the real Saudi Arabia.

"We are part of this culture, which is MSU.  We are part of this family and we want to increase the awareness of our country...not the media Saudi Arabia, the actual Saudi Arabia," says Alsaad.

I talked to folks attending the event who say, they're excited to learn about different cultures but say, it all comes down to the food.

"It's only four miles from my house and I'm seeing the whole world here."

Attendee Amy Warde says the bazaar is a great way to expose her daughter Ashley to other different cultures.

"We've traveled before when she was really young but she hasn't left Montana for a lot of years so, this is a really good experience and good food," says Warde.

She's not alone.

"We still come to the bazaar because we love to get the good food.  We come especially for the Indian food," says MSU alumnus Will Hatch.

It's even more reason to get folks like Zaazaa geared up for next year.

"I will do it every year until I graduate," smiles Zaazaa.

In addition to food, international students also sold clothing and performed traditional music and dance.