Eid-Diwali Dinner 2015

On November 6th, the South Asian Student Association (SASA) organized their Annual Eid-Diwali Dinner in the Tilton Hall. This event aims to celebrate two of the most popular cultural festivals in the South Asian Subcontinent.

Diwali is one of the largest and brightest festivals in India. It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.

Eid-al-Adha also called the Sacrifice Feast or Bakr-Eid is the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year. It honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command, before God then intervened, through his angel Jibra’il and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted.

The event, free for all Clark students, was completely jam-packed. All the guests were welcomed into the venue with traditional greetings and tikka, a red powder applied to the forehead symbolizing a traditional Hindu welcome. It commenced with recitations of both Hindu and Islamic prayers by students.  Following the prayers was an array of performances by students.


Clarkies on the Tilton  Hall stage. – Photo by Demet Senturk

The performances were halted for a bit for the food break, where a traditional South Asian dinner was served free of cost. While I did not get to try out the food, I did go around the tables asking people how they liked the food. The response was fairly positive, though some of my girlfriends were too busy freaking out about the level of spiciness of the food.

Later, the performance continued with a few more singing acts, including myself, and a senior student dance. The show ended with a wonderful performance by the SASA E-board. The night was a great success; the attendees were not just South Asians but a diverse mix of students, alumni and faculty. It made me really happy to see that everyone actually took out time to respect our culture and tried to dress in traditional South Asian clothing. Around 60 Clarkies were involved in the entire process of making it such a great night. From the dancers to the choreographers, the entire night was student run.


Radhika and other Clarkies on stage. – Photo by Demet Senturk

I haven’t been home for Diwali in 4 years now, and that entire period around Diwali is probably one of the most difficult ones for me. Homesickness and nostalgia take over. I look forward to Eid-Diwali every year because for that brief period of time, all is forgotten when I see the entire community coming together and celebrating culture and traditions, just like we do it at home.

This was my last Eid-Diwali as a Clarkie, and I have some of my best memories attached to this day. While it will be really sad not being to celebrate and be part of this event next year, I hope that the culture and community keep thriving on the Clark campus. And that Eid-Diwali continues to make incoming and present minority students feel at home and create their own lifelong memories!


(Cover photo by Demet Senturk)




Event Recap: Screening of ‘Provoked’

As leaders for the CAVE Community Task Force (under the Dean of students office), we are constantly trying to promote awareness regarding safe relationships on campus. You may know us as facilitators from your ‘Consenting Communities’ sessions during orientation. We are working in the Clark Community to ensure the wellness of Clarkies, promoting healthier and safer relationship practices.

Since October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, we all wanted to take this opportunity and have a dialogue within the community regarding domestic violence. We had a rare opportunity to screen the movie, ‘Provoked’. Provoked is an Indian film shot in London with a diverse cast of actors and actresses. Loosely based on the true events experienced by Kuranjit Aluwalia, who murdered her husband due to abuse, this movie tells the story of an Indian woman who was physically and emotionally abused by her husband over the course of their marriage. Unable to tolerate this abuse, Kuranjit Aluwalia (played by Aishwariya Rai) lit her house on fire where her husband was severely injured and later died in intensive care. The movie focuses on her battle to receive justice in the British Court and portrays the story of a victim rising from the flames society has pushed her into.

The event took place in Jefferson 320 on October 26th and was quite successful among the Clarkies that decided to attend. An open discussion took place right after the movie where many talked about how the pattern of abuse was very similar to other cultures. A representative from YWCA was also present to talk about some of the work the YWCA does regarding domestic violence in Worcester.

The great thing about having such events on campus is that we are all made to think outside of our own comfort zones and understanding. Yes, there was an opportunity for us to watch this movie and make a stereotypical assumption that men from more conservative cultures always end up having the power in their relationships. However, it was not surprising that, the Clarkies present at the event did not choose to think like that. Instead they appreciated watching a movie that they probably would not have watched. Instead of looking at what was different, they chose to look at all the aspects that make it the same. We all agreed that violence was present in every culture and that they may happen in different forms. However, we agreed on the bigger picture that regardless of the culture no one should be a victim of violence and nothing justifies domestic violence.

Even though Domestic Violence Awareness month is over, we must also not forget that awareness for such issues should not just be a one-time-thing. We have the opportunity to educate ourselves regarding such issues that are constantly happening around. While we may not always have the ability to stop such heinous incidents from happening, we always have the ability to try and support those that have experienced them and continue to do so. We only truly fail when we don’t even bother to try.


(The feature image comes from the Facebook event page.)



Throwback Thursday: Crompton Collective

Enjoy this great post from July 23, 2014!

As part of my summer resolution to get up off my posterior and explore more of Worcester, I visited the Crompton Collective last week. Having heard rave reviews of the place, I couldn’t help but have high expectations, which I’ve learnt in life is never a good thing as you’re bound to be let down (I’ve made it a goal to pepper my writing with profound life advice). Happily, the Crompton Collective is one of those rare gems that never fail to fulfill your expectations.

Officially described as a curated boutique marketplace, the Crompton Collective features the crafts of local artists in Worcester and New England as well as a choice selection of antiques and vintage collectibles. The space was surprisingly large and was tastefully arranged with all sorts of interesting trinkets, knick-knacks and odds & ends. The Crompton Collective is THE place to come and collect pieces to decorate a brand new, bare space or find that one bric-a-brac to complete your room. I was amazed by the sheer variety of items available, from handcrafted jewelry and homemade soy milk candles to antique furniture and vinyl records. The wares of the local artists were especially diverse. They included toys, baby clothes, glass, pottery, art, cards, stationary, accessories, illustrations, T-shirts, even skateboards! I was fascinated by the vintage stand-up globe, the miniature antique chairs complete with plush cushions, the old typewriter hearkening back to the 1900s, and the antique gramophone. The spendthrift in me was determined to wreak havoc in the store and my wallet. After a good part of two hours spent whittling my list of “essential items” down from twelve to four, I decided to walk away with a charming paisley cushion, a wall hanging (very cool, lace stretched over an embroidery hoop) and a teal colored memory box fashioned like a treasure chest. My room looks all the better for it. But more on the Crompton Collective (as this article is not devoted to my shopping habits and good taste). They feature 81 vendors and are said to sell 5,000 items any given month, which speaks for the variety and the success of the store.


The building itself has a great deal of history to its name, complementing the character of the marketplace. It was built in 1860 by George Crompton, an inventor who is most famous for his patent of the Crompton Loom, which was invented in Worcester. This invention helped his textile business flourish, transforming Worcester from an idyllic New England town to an industrial hub. Fittingly, the Crompton Collective celebrates this history by its focus on vintage goods and local products, and is boosting the local economy and culture as a result. Amy Chase, the genius behind the Crompton Collective, has long been an avid fan of thrift stores, yard sales and vintage retailing. Incidentally, she is Boston’s first Fashion Blogger. Her passion is reflected in the selection of items, the arrangement of displays and the commitment to honor local talent.

The Crompton Collective truly celebrates all that is local and has much more to offer beyond antiques and collectibles. The White Room at Crompton is an über-cool, multipurpose space available for hosting events such as weddings and baby showers. The team behind the Collective even offer décor and design services for such events. The Canal District Farmers Market is arguably the most popular event held in the space. Held all year round, the market is open every Saturday between 9am-12pm and on Thursday nights from 4pm-7pm in July and August. The markets teems full of fresh local produce, and offers goods such as cheese, eggs, meats, fish, breads, pastries, chocolate, and wine for good measure. The summer has additional features, such as free horse and wagon tours around the Canal District. The Crompton Collective hosts a plethora of other events, such as book clubs, photo shoots, parties, knitting nights, jewelry making and clothing swaps.

Whatever your tastes or interests maybe, the Crompton Collective is bound to have some jewel to make your mouth water and your heart leap in (consumeristic) ecstasy. Go on, check it out, and shop Worcester!


Find the Crompton Collective online, through their website, Facebook (, Twitter (@ShopCrompton), Pinterest ( or Instagram (@shopcrompton)



Closer to Home: India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act

Fifteen years ago, on November 2nd, Manipuri poet Irom Charu Sharmila started her still-ongoing hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Last week, my own home state of Meghalaya demanded for the Central government to implement the act. Thankfully, the central government decided not to deploy the act. Almost characteristic of Gandhian non-violent retaliation, the contrasting duration of Sharmila’s protest shows a grim side to Indian central governance. Particularly, the management of its territories that are marginalized by ethnicity and culture. Amnesty International has deemed the now force-fed-via-nasal-tube Irom Sharmila, a “prisoner of conscience.” A prisoner, in the world’s largest democracy.

Irom Sharmila (Source)

Irom Sharmila (Source)

Manipur, a Northeast Indian state rampant with insurgent violence, had been under the mercy of this act after its local government declared a state of emergency. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, or AFSPA, grants security forces the power to search properties without a warrant, to arrest people, and to use deadly force if there is “reasonable suspicion” that a person is acting against the state. Clear in the dogma is its negligence for human rights. Sharmila’s hunger strike started as a result of the Malom massacre, in which 10 innocent civilians were shot dead (including a 62-year-old woman). At least 42 persons were hospitalized after they had been brutally assaulted by the designated military faction, the 8th Assam Rifles. Yet 15 years later, the Act still remains. 15 years later, my own home state of Meghalaya is declaring a state of emergency.

In the past decade, secessionist movements within my home state have become increasingly agitated. National Independence Day, in celebration of freedom by colonial domination, is a bandh day. A bandh is a general strike by a community or political party. The public is expected to stay at home and report to work. With my home state being relatively small, transportation shuts down, schools close and everyone stays in. As a child, I’d never known any different. We figured out a way around it, playing in the streets from early in the morning to late at night. It became in its own a bittersweet celebration of freedom from regular strife. A day off. Yet, demonstrating or driving on the streets would lead to serious life-threatening repercussions from secessionist insurgents.

More recently, the central’s shutdown of coal mining in the region correlated with a drop in employment. Somehow, the demand for autonomy by coal-funded secessionists turned into blatant extortion. In particular, there have been kidnapping of government authority figures within the state. Such occurrences are sensationally covered in the news. But dialogue had been compromised for requesting the AFSPA from the centre. Perhaps, such are the benefits of a federal system. Thankfully, the central government declined the request. The implementation of the AFSPA would have only made things worse for everyone, damaging the tranquility of democracy’s still intact facade.

It is terrifyingly hopeless, to be so far away at a time when tumult seems inevitable. Yet, I scroll through my Facebook and everyone I know is leading a normal life. Yet again, the AFSPA is being implemented in other states within India. In light of recent news, my initial indifference to the act turned to fear. Fear that such an act exists in a country that supposedly values its democracy, while terrifying its very own citizens.

– Fileona 

(Here is the source for the featured image)


Reflections on Migration in Europe: From a Perspective of a Legal Migrant

Migrant. Immigrant. Alien. Words that bear an inherent vulnerability while connoting an otherness. As I write this, I myself am supposedly outside the space of my habitual residence. I am a legal alien or a legal migrant student. However, I am termed an international student. My legal reason for crossing borders: academic upward mobility. The term international allows for quelling a negative reading. It is as if, just in terminology, international promotes a liberal attitude on migration. That it is ok to cross borders. Yet I fear this optimism stems from my privilege.

In recent months, “migration” seems to have gained dialogic momentum. In social media parlance, it is trending. Everyone around me seems to be talking about it: from OPTs to Donald Trump to the migrant crisis. With varying levels of related anxiety and sorrow, these issues bring forward a big challenge to our pluralism. There are intellectual forces of inclusiveness and also forces (still intelligent) of xenophobia. The easiest resolve would be to state that we’re all immigrants – that since the beginning of time, migration shaped humanity. The religions, ethnic distinctions, and civilizations that exist are all formations born of migration. My own forefathers supposed Austro-Asiatic inhabitants of modern day Cambodia migrated to India to form new cultural-ethnic identities.

But this is an easy idealist resolve. Xenophobia sparks from the danger of another ideal. The ideal of an imagined nation. Both migrant and nation interact in a world governed by policy and capital. Our virtual space, as this blog, allows for discussion and saturated viewing. Even so, understanding the complexities of migration is challenging.

The imagined nation is externalized in national holidays, bordered fences, names (of country, people, language, etc), and other verbal/visual paraphernalia. If one is to speak of belongingness, the nation provokes a memory that very much triggers a set code for social existence. Citing Social Psychologists Roy F. Baumeister and Mark R. Leary, humans have a fundamental need to belong. This drives all social function and conformity. National memory works to seduce such a condition. Seductive, the imagined nation is an ideology that permeates through all our lives.

Why else would a Third Culture Kid find it so excruciating to answer the question: “Where are you from?” Somehow, the TCK is already outside this paradigm of imagined nation. But they too are, to a great degree, anomalies. Eventually, to provide a negative analysis, the TCK is an outsider. To speak of causations for such imagined nation, the basis could be religion, ethnicity. All things conducive to xenophobia seem to plague the imagined nation, making things problematic. As a radical example, the Islamic State takes this very idea to pillage towards an imagined nation. In this case, the outsiders who don’t adhere are either killed or have to migrate. Migrate to where? Other nations with their own imagined borders and xenophobia.

Migrants from conflict areas move for security and economic prospect. The imagined nation is a barrier here, particularly because the national border is a manifested physical entity. Walls, barbed wire, armed patrolling guards, all blocking the “migrant.” Let’s take the “migrant crisis” in Europe as case study. Be it Turkey, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary… every stop denies entry to the “illegal” migrant. The term “crisis” associated with these influxes denotes a state of alarm in Europe, particularly because the number of migrants overwhelms the tranquility of nation states.

Belongingness, familiarity and a fear of the unknown; very human socio-psychological terms come to play. Policy and capital then play a more terrifying role as motivator of xenophobia. Immediately, some form of dehumanization occurs and the crisis demands “solutions.” Other countries have responded to the crisis with open arms. Images of cheering, gift-holding Germans welcoming migrants jolt a hope. Yet this too has been criticized as hypocritical atonement (Check article: “Germans need to understand that the Refugee Crisis is not about them”). The question is whether nations do not allow for immigrants, or restrict entrance. Obviously, this is a situation where national imagination and the sole migrant clash as ideals in a real, far more complicated world. Forgive my feeble attempt at making this overtly comprehensive. My greater concern, problematic to this blog post itself, is with being a migrant.

Closer to our geographical location, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s campaign path towards “making America great again” has involved a great deal of controversy. Relevant here is his claim that all illegal immigrants in this country are Mexicans. Mexico, south of the border, has sadly become the negative typification of a nation. A place where the American spring-breaker to commercially indulges, yet also rampant with the violence of drug cartels and kidnappings. Sadly, that is all Trump sees in his address – polarities that define another nation. In this, the working class immigrant is trapped by a stereotype that is lethal yet effective in Trump’s imagining of his nation.

It is a different case for me, the international student. I am not of working class origins, and my academic pursuits (if I were to generalize) make me a bourgeoisie. I am allowed entrance, yet my mobility is constricted by bureaucratic guidelines, documents, stamps, visas, passports, etc. All documents acquired after thorough background and financial checks. Yet nothing takes away from the fact that after a designated time, I too am unwanted. There are segregating attitudes, between the poor migrant and the privileged migrant. Yet I don’t think there is much contrast in the essential decision: moving as a choice.

Moving away from a nation state can be seen as a form of rebellion. The migrant is indifferent to the imagined nation yet also conscious of the identity it creates. Immigrant cultural signifiers like Chutney Music in the Caribbean or Tex-Mex food in the USA, attempt to both merge and amplify the cultural differences migration allows for. Mobility, in pursuit of a better livelihood, is justified in a world that champions human rights and pluralism. To generalize, the virtual space of the Internet propagates discussion of identity. Perhaps capital, borders, policies, visual media and the migrating subjects are all in a concoction. The very virtual space we resolve to for solitary distraction permits these discussions. But again, it is a space whose access is dominated by monetary privilege. Perhaps this blog post too is a frail attempt at resolving far too many reflections. What stays true is that I have a legal visa, sealed with an expiration date, while some people cannot afford that bureaucratic security.

– Fileona 

*The cover photo’s source is here.


Sentiments from the Diaspora: South Africa We Stand in Solidarity: Fees Must Fall

In the US we are so quick to use this “first world, third world” othering lens. I think the recent “Fees Must Fall” case in South Africa should be a catalyst to show people that the US, this “first world” nation, is also imperfect and is dealing with developmental issues that the rest of the world faces. Incredibly high tuition creates opportunity disparities. People from varying socio-economic backgrounds have a harder time getting in and staying in higher education because of the outlandish fees. In South Africa, youth led protests have brought a freeze on public universities’ tuition increases. This call for change is a lesson American youth could learn from, if we expect to see change.

Institutions across South Africa were expected to have between a 10%-12% tuition increase by 2016. These figures keep in mind the minority elite population and further the disregard of the lower income students. For the country’s small middle and upper class, the tuition raise isn’t much too fuss over, but for the majority of young people in South Africa, this is not something that they can’t watch happen. Youth lead protests against the fees increase have broken out around the country. On October 14th, students from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg started off the protests. Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town followed. The protests began as peacefully attempts to get the attention of the institutions. They began to reach dangerous levels when police intervened and used excessive force to maim them.

Witwatersrand University students protest against fee hikes in Johannesburg on 21 October (Source)

Witwatersrand University students protest against fee hikes in Johannesburg on 21 October (Source)

I have friends and family in South Africa and wanted an insider’s perspective of what’s been going on. My cousin who actually goes to University of Cape Town (UCT) laid it out for me like this: The protests began at his school a few weeks prior. Students at that time had been protesting the university’s outsourcing of janitorial jobs. The school wanted to employ workers from elsewhere, which would in turn discontinue local staff from receiving certain benefits like sending their own children to the institution with subsidy. The protestors at his school then joined in solidarity with protestors from other universities to voice their concerns with the inconceivable tuition increase. They shut down the campus and occupied public spaces so they couldn’t be ignored. UCT responded to the protests by signing a court interdict which banned the students from demonstrating in this manner. The students became aggravated by this seemingly flippant disregard for their concerns.

The students then held a mass meeting, where many of them were arrested. The group of students my cousin was with marched down to the police station to demand the release of their peers, but no one was released. They then moved their demonstration to the parliamentary offices. With the support of students from Stellenbosch University and Cape Peninsula University of Technology and other groups of students, they occupied parliament. My cousin and other protestors were met with heavily armed police. They were tear-gassed and stun grenades were used on them.

South African students protesting school fee hike (Source)

South African students protesting school fee hike (Source)

I am from a Southern African country and used to live in South Africa for a bit of time, so it’s hugely important for me to keep up with the goings-on of the area. But I think this case is of great importance to the Clark community and youth across the US because we are in a similar situation. We are at a time in the US where investing in higher education directly means being owned by debt for the majority of our lives. For many, college isn’t even something people can conceive for themselves because of the insurmountable tuition costs. Speaking personally, my family and I have had to sacrifice a lot for me to attend and stay at Clark. It’s daunting thinking about the amount of debt that I’ll be whittling away at for years to come.

This issue finally has gained a bit of headway in the US. President Obama has developed a plan for two free years of community college. Some of the current presidential candidates have even acknowledged the extremely high tuition rates and are promising plans that will elevate the pressures of debt. Bernie Sanders, for example, is saying he will work to make public colleges tuition free, which is incredible! I would love to see this come to fruition. I know many of us would love to not have to worry about being hounded by Sallie Mae.

Socialists Alternative is one student lead organization that, among other things, is fighting for free education. They have chapters across the US and the world. Even in South Africa. After speaking to the Clark branch of the group, it sounds as though they are right there in solidarity with the protestors in South Africa. The manipulation of education as a tool to generate profit is something that’s going on globally. A direct quote from James Patin, one of the Socialist Alternative members is:

“Education ought to be free because an education is, for so many people, the only opportunity for a better life. When we make education a debt sentence, we say that only the rich deserve the chance to better themselves. When we make college free, we declare everyone equal, and put more power into the hands of the vast majority of people.”

These sentiments echo exactly what the South African youth are working for. Although the #feesmustfall campaign isn’t calling for free higher education, they are demanding an education that isn’t exclusionary by socio-economics. It’s unreasonable for school fees to be raised above the rates of inflation.

Because the youth in South Africa have banded together and refused to be silenced, their concerns have been heard. Now, time will only tell if their wishes for reasonable fees will be met. Will American youth follow in their footsteps?

– Lulu

(Feature image on top is from:


The Onion @Clark

After almost two hours of granting us a lot of laughter and some life wisdom, Scott Dikkers continued to stand on stage. Those interested could go up to personally meet him and get a photo. As the line rapidly grew longer, I approached my friend Maria Rudorf to ask if she would like to wait in line with me. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the time. What she did have, though, was an unasked question:

“Have you ever encountered a problem that couldn’t be solved by comedy?”

I found the question so interesting that I ended up asking Mr. Dikkers when it was my turn to take a photo with him. His answer was,


…And here I must avoid quoting because my memory is imperfect, but he mentioned something about humor being an inherent nature of humans and of life, that we are essentially ‘neanderthals’ without humor, and that everything is communicable and solvable with it.

That simple answer only increased my respect for him. I came to the lecture that night never having read the Onion. My only experience with satirical news was really just The Freudian Slip. Living abroad had taught me how to laugh even when I had no idea what was going on, and I suppose I grew to become overdependent on that. Satire is a little more complex than my usual sources for laughter.

Yet at the same time, I’m not wholly a stranger to satire – at least maybe not consciously. Dikkers talked again and again of how humor helps us through the miseries of life. The best satire writers, he found, were the ones society would deem unsuccessful. They were experts at flipping the finger at fate’s faults and laughing despite undesirable circumstances.

While I can hardly call myself satirical, I do remember occasions when humor turned tragedies strangely manageable. During the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, I had gone to school several streets away from the bombed site. School ended early, and we all had to walk under the looming helicopters to a safer place. Amidst the dire situation, my Palestinian friend laughed at it all and told me not to worry because as long as I am with her, I will be safe. After all, bombings failed to kill her for 16 years.

Be it oppressing poverty or never-ending wars, satire reminds us again and again of the ridiculousness of human problems. It tells us that we can be greater than that; in fact, we can laugh at it. It is not only a means of finding peace in the mind but also a challenge to the accepted reality. When asked about his opinion on political correctness and comedy, Dikkers answered that he couldn’t really relate to certain comedians’ claim that PC restricted comedy. To him, making fun of an oppressed group of society is completely unnecessary. Satire should, instead, be a message for the oppressed against the oppressor. It would be his greatest success if he could pass on this message through his books and articles, and that people will continue to use humor to shed light on the illusion we live under.

It’s been a week since his talk, and I still have his voice in the back of my head, telling me that creativity liberates. I hope you’ll find the thought as memorable as I did.


Scott Dikkers, the founding editor of the Onion, visited Clark University on October 19th as a speaker for a Clark Speaker’s Forum-sponsored event. As the owner and longest serving editor-in-chief of the world’s first humor website, Dikkers shared with Clarkies his story and some lessons he picked up along the way. You can read the Scarlet’s cover of the event here and check out his website here.

Before my first post ends, I’d also like to share with you the five ‘creative principles’ he shared with us that night: 

1) Live your mission.

2) Invest your passion, not your money.

3) Be prepared to scrap everything.

4) Trust your people. Give them as much freedom as you can.

5) Don’t work hard. Don’t work smart. Work right.

Thanks for reading!

– Charis

Bocado Tapas and Wine Bar

Food Refuge

This is my fourth year as an international student in the USA, and for an Indian vegetarian foodie like me, first year of college meant a drastic change of habitat. It was culture shock on another level. In the first month of freshman year itself, I had exhausted all options of good food available to me. I was out of options.

I feel that most of the students on campus, international or otherwise, initially go through this struggle to find good affordable food. So, I reached out to the international community on campus asking about some of the good restaurants around campus that they like to go when they’re missing home or just want a change of scene. Here is a list of places that they suggested.

1) Bocado: Tapas and wine bar. They also have salsa nights every Thursday.

Boba shake at Pho Dakao on Park Ave.

Boba drinks at Pho Dakao on Park Ave.

2) Ya Mon:  Jamaican Jerk Hut. Ashleigh, a first year international students, says, “the food is rich and spicy and almost hearty like home food. Also the atmosphere reminds you of home, watching someone cook while you dance or just hang out with friends”

3) Pho Dakao & Soc Trang: Vietnamese

4) Sahara: Middle Eastern. Do try their stuffed grape leaves, Labne and Kibbi.

5) Bahnan: International Market, Bakery and Café. “Their Shawarma is amazing” – Turku Hasturk (Clark U ’17).

6) The Sole Proprietor: New England Seafood

7) Chuan Shabhu: Chinese hot pot. It’s a bit on the expensive side, yet worth it. Try their Taro tea.

8) Roti Boti: Pakistani. Asad, another first year student, says “ It is halal so for any of my fellow Muslims concerned with that, it’s a great option. The chicken biryani and chicken masala dishes are pretty good”

9) Hacienda Don Juan: Salvadorian & Mexican. Do try the granadilla juice and papusas, it’s a great place for vegetarian.

10) Saigon: Vietnamese. Great place if you’re on a budget, the service is super fast as well.

Hacienda Don Juan is right on Main Street, just a short walk away from campus.

Hacienda Don Juan is right on Main Street, just a short walk away from campus.

11) Crown Fried Chicken: Fast food. This place really popular amongst chicken lovers.

12) Sake Bomb: Japanese. It’s cheap after 10:30pm.

13) Red Pepper: Authentic Chinese

14) Basil & Spice: Thai. It’s a bit far on shrewsbury, but you can just split a cab with some friends and it turns out to be pretty cheap.

15) Hien Vong: Vietnamese. Raga, a senior from Indonesia, claims that this place has the best Pho in town, no questions asked.

16) Pampas Churrascaria: Brazilian Steak house. It’s inexpensive, you get all you can eat steak!

It’s a common mistake for first year students to think that Worcester doesn’t have much to offer. But clearly that is not the case, and this city is full of affordable international food options. So the next time you feel like you’re tired of the cafeteria food, you might want to call escort, there are plenty of places to be dropped off at.

– Radhika