MavLankans welcome guests to Sri Lankan potluck

The MavLankans Sri Lankan Potluck Party was held in CSU 245 on Oct. 29. They created a little Sri Lanka in the venue. I saw many people – most Sri Lankans were gathering together and catching up. At first impression, the event was small but well-organized. It wasn’t too uplifting at first, but later it became different and welcoming to people. I was invited along with my two friends who had no experience of Sri Lankan culture, so we were quite excited to try a new experience.

The MavLankans’ potluck is an annual event usually held in the beginning of each semester to welcome new incoming Sri Lankan students. However, MavLankans are encouraged to bring their friends to experience their food and culture. That is how we were invited. Most Sri Lankans bring their own foods for the event. Before the event, either the president or the secretary of MavLankans sets up a list of who’s going to bring which food, so people don’t bring the same dish.

One friend who already knows quite a lot of Sri Lankan introduced me to MavLankans. All of the members were very friendly.

After a bit of chatter, the president of the MavLankans, Salinda Jayaweera, was kind and generous enough to start the event with a welcoming salutation. He also came up to guests and told us to enjoy the Sri Lankan food and to have as much as we wanted.

MavLankans prepared all the foods for the event, did all of the grocery shopping and cooking themselves. Considering that, I didn’t expect a whole lot from the food, even though I was excited. However, the food they served was truly amazing. That is not only because we were hungry at that point, but also because the food tasted tremendous. They served rice, marinated chicken, a unique form of mashed potatoes, desserts, and so on. Some of them were very new to me, but I guarantee you that it tasted great.

“Sri Lankans, especially MavLankans, are so welcoming to everyone. I feel like they’re a huge family that brings everyone together,” an American student, Anna Lambrecht, said. “It feels like when you meet up with cousins and aunts and uncles.”

After the fabulous dinner, things started to turn into a real party. They set something up on the big screen. They put the lyrics of Sri Lankan songs, so that all who can speak Sri Lankan can sing along. Most of men men sat next to each other on the table and started to sing along with a man who was playing the guitar the whole time.

It was a really strange feeling because I felt like I was home suddenly. They were having so much fun. They were “a really tight knit group,” Lambrecht said.

“Everyone shares, everyone helps, everyone has fun,” Lambrecht said.

Not surprisingly, one of my friends also told me she loved the atmosphere of this event.”

After the time of fiesta, Jayaweera kindly suggested to pack as much as the leftovers we could with a nice smile. I had to do so since the food was really good, plus who doesn’t like free food?

Overall, it was a really delightful experience. Thank you to all of the MavLankans for inviting us. And next time, you might want to visit them!

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