Opa! Honors College hosts Greek cultural dinner

Rio Scarcelli | staff writer. Kaitlin Dodd led students in a traditional Greek Dance on Tuesday. Students held hands as they danced in a circle, giving the steps their best effort.

Mary Liz Flavin | news editor

Sept. 16, 2021

Students all over campus celebrated Greek culture on Tuesday by enjoying traditional food, learning about customs and participating in a dance.

On Sept 14, the Honors College hosted a Greek cultural dinner in the Towers multipurpose room. 

Dr. Kathleen Roberts, the Director of the University Honors College, has been a part of the tradition for over 10 years. Before this year, only once a year student share their culture and heritage through food and festivities much like the Greek cultural dinner. 

“Sometimes we reach out to different international student groups, we’ve had a Caribbean dinner in the past. One of our very first ones was a dinner with our students from South Korea. It’s gotten to the point where students volunteer, they come forward and say can I share my culture which is really great,” Roberts said. 

The Honors College is in the process of having the cultural dinner twice a semester due to students enjoying it so much. 

Anastasia Mastros, a sophomore at Duquesne, loved participating in the Greek dinner. Coming from a background filled with Greek heritage, it reminded her of her roots. 

“I love knowing other people are Greek around me, when you are Greek you have a lot of Greek pride. I know specifically the islands I’m from, and it’s making that connection to other people that we all have a cultural origin together,” Mastros said. 

Students got to learn more about Greek culture when a Power Point slide was given by the host, Kaitlin Dodd. The Power Point described different customs such as traditional wear, origins of her family, Greek dancing and food. At one point during the evening, students participated in a traditional Greek dance. 

Dodd, a senior at Duquesne, led the Greek dinner and spoke about her family customs. She was excited to talk about what being Greek meant to her.

“Sharing my culture is everything, I’m obsessed with being Greek. I love my family’s history and culture so it feels so special to share that with the people I love, especially with so many friends tonight,” Dodd said. 

In addition to sharing customs Dodd’s parents, Michael and Dina Dodd, aided the dinner by preparing traditional Greek food. Dishes such as keftedes (deep fried beef meatballs), gemista (baked tomatoes stuffed with a rice filling), pastitsio (greek lasagna) and spanakopita (spinach pie with eggs and feta cheese) lined the food tables. 

For dessert, kourabiedes (Greek wedding cookies), portokalopita (orange cake) and koulourakia (shortbread cookies) were set out. A reek orange soda called Loux was also portioned out for students to try. 

Dina Dodd was happy to share her cooking with the students of Duquesne. 

“I really love it, it makes me really happy to see kids enjoying our culture. I’m just happy to see everyone enjoying it. So many kids came up to me and thanked me, telling me how nice everything is and how good the food tastes. That’s what every Greek mom wants to hear,” Dodd said. 

As the dinner ended many students left the MPR room filled with Greek food and an appreciation for Greek culture.