Students in field

Finlandia Fridays dishes on Diversity Dinner Week

March 12, 2021

Diversity Dinner is a long-standing tradition at Finlandia that students, employees and community members alike enjoy annually. It’s a logistical feat that puts students in the kitchen, cooking up dishes from their heritage and culture that they can share with others. For the creator of the event, Leann Fogle, the challenge this year was how to continue the tradition while also mitigating the potential risk of COVID-19.

“This year, instead of preparing the meal themselves, we will ask Dining Services to prepare the meal for the students just so we can stay within safety standards and not have too many people in the kitchen,” said Fogle. “Dining Services have been amazing and Tim Nakkula has been so helpful and excited to do this.”

Many students volunteered and five were selected to have their heritage showcased during the event. The students are providing Dining Services with a recipe of their choice. Rather than having the event on one day like it has been in years past, this year’s event will be a week-long affair with one student’s recipe featured each evening. One of the biggest changes to the event is that it will only be open to residents of Finlandia Hall.

“This year we’re really lucky we get to have Mexican, Vietnamese, Russian, Puerto Rican and Japanese food all celebrated,” said Fogle. 

Sophomore PTA student Yadiel Sevilla Ruiz is looking forward to sharing his Puerto Rican heritage with students in the form of beef empanadas.

I really hope they enjoy it and encourage them to try it and open their minds,” said Sevilla Ruiz. “They can at least try things they’ll probably never eat again, but they can at least say they ate it once and, hopefully, next year they can be in the Diversity Dinner too making their own plate.”

Diversity Dinner Week will take place March 15-19. Below is the full menu. Please direct any questions to Leann Fogle at leann.fogle@finlandia.edu.

  • Monday: Daniella’s Mexican  Authentic Flank Steak Taco
  • Tuesday: Tam’s Vietnamese Spring Roll
  • Wednesday: Andrei’s Blini ( Russian Pancakes with a fruit jam filling)
  • Thursday: Yadie’s Puerto Rican Ground Beef Empanadas
  • Friday: Marin’s Nikujaga Japanese Beef and Potatoes



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Thanks for checking out Finlandia Fridays, one of four podcasts in the Finlandia University Podcast Network. Finlandia Fridays is a weekly interview series talking about a wide range of Finlandia University topics. You can check out an archive at finlandia.edu/fridays. We also invite you to subscribe to the Finlandia Podcast Network wherever you get podcasts.

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