The Ethnic Food Fair has become a traditional event at Waynesburg University. The third floor of the Stover Campus Center is always filled with students at the event, lined up to fill their plates with food from different countries and ethnicities.
Hannah Kalemon, freshman nursing major, said this semester’s Ethnic Food Fair was the first one she has been to and certainly not the last.
“I liked the music and the food was really good,” she said. “I enjoyed the overall experience. There were a lot of [foods] I have already tried, and I didn’t realize they were cultural foods.”
During the event, steel drummer Dan Meunier played music on the unique drum, bringing an island-like feel to the event.
Meunier has been playing his steel drum at the event for 10 years now, sometimes twice a year, when the event is put on in both semesters, like this year. His particular type of steel drum is a double second steel drum.
“It’s originally from the island of Trinidad, which is in the southern Caribbean,” Meunier said. “It was created in the 1940s, and it evolved from basically street kids banging on certain car parts and pieces of metal to make rhythm. They discovered that you can actually turn those dented pieces of metal into instruments that actually made pitch, just like a piano or violin or a guitar.”
Meunier first got into playing the instrument when he was learning percussion. He graduated with a masters from West Virginia University, where there was a steel drum program.
“That’s one of the reasons I went there; to really get into it,” he said. “The reason why the program there was so great is because one of the original innovators of the instrument, from Trinidad back in the 40s, was actually building steel drums and teaching students how to build and make steel drums at the university.”
Because of this, Meunier said Morgantown was a popular place for steel drummers to come to from all over the world.
Meunier plays his steel drum at many events, taking around 50 jobs a year, ranging from weddings to parties in backyards. The music he plays for the Ethnic Food Fair sounded like “island music,” according to multiple students at the event.
As a nice treat, desserts from different countries were also served. Some of those desserts were German chocolate cake, apple cake, flan pudding and gaufrette cookies.