The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com I Thursday, March 8, 2012
Martha Cook brings international cuisine to annual event.
by John Bohn
Daily Arts Writer
it's the main hallway you notice first. The unobserv-
ant may miss the elaborate gothic carving of Shake-
speare's Portia above the entrance, and it's probably
best to keep your head forward on South U anyway. But
once you're inside, it's the main hallway that strikes you:
high-vaulted ceilings leading to a replica sculpture of the
Venus de Milo; the tall, Gothic, framed windows to the
left overlooking a terrace and rolling lawn; the elegant
Gold Room to the right where the Elizabethan and Jaco-
bean drama blazes an autumnal hue.
It's a place of dandy dreams, of nostalgia for experi-
ences this generation never had, of an era we can only
catch glimpses of through the films of classic Hollywood
or the novels of Fitzgerald. And it's here that every Fri-
day, Martha Cook, an all-female residence hall, hosts an
ronistic style of" "Usually it's food.
however, is International Tea is
cessible to the ever tear
it's true anyone
can be permit- Elaine
ted into the build-
ing so long as they School of Art &
have an escort (a
fact commonly mis-
understood in public gossip), it's only on the day of the
International Tea that the hall, one of the four remain-
ing all-female housing options at the University, opens
its doors to the public. On this day, the usual English-
summer-home quaintness of Martha Cook is energized
by the radiance of diverse cultures far and wide.
From Gold Room to the Philippines
After experiencing the initial awe that comes with
the firststep into Martha Cook, those invited to a typical
Friday tea will first pass the hors d'oeuvres table in the
main hallway, where the ornate tableware would blend
in with the surrounding decor if not for the assortment
of foods laid upon it. To get a beverage, enter the Gold
Room, where you have a choice of either atea of the day
or a fruit juice from one of the two girls serving with
ornamental cups and kettle. Depending on the formal-
ity of the affair, the Gold Room could be filled with an
ensemble of well-dressed residents and their guests.
There is also the adjoining Red Room, named for its
red color scheme, which is just as elegantly furnished
as the Gold Room. The Red Room, however, has a per-
sonal touch: a large portrait of Martha Cook herself, the
grandmother of building architect William Cook. And
while it's impossible to literally dress up this Martha
Cook for International Tea, the building is still able to
pay the homage to her name.
Tomorrow, residents of Martha Cook will host vari-
ous tables featuring the food of aparticular country.TThis
year, the event is organized by Art & Design senior and
Martha Cook resident Elaine Czech. As Ethnic Council
Chairwoman on Martha Cook's Student Board, Czech
is in charge of planning a variety of ethnic events for
the dorm such as movies, dances and trips to museums:
International Tea is the largest eventshe is in charge of.
"It's usually a well-oiled machine," Czech said. "We
do this every year, and everything is so set in place."
Generally, 15 to
30 countries are
he ironic part of represented, fill-
ing the Gold and
hat rarely is there Red rooms with the
residents and each
Rrved. country's table.
The public at large
is invited to come
zech taste and experi-
ence the delicatessen
)esign Senior and culture of them all,
waltzing from country
Not only does this event align with the University's
overall philosophy of multicultural awareness, but it
also gives the residents of MarthaCook a chance to show
their rich heritages.
"A lot of people like to do a country they are from,"
Czech said. "Freshman year, I did Malta. That's where
my heritage is from. Last year, my friend and I did the
Philippines. She had a family friend cook authentic Fili-
For Nursing freshman Meghan Conger, it was a sur-
prise to find that Italy had not been represented in two
or three years. Italian herself, Conger was prompted by
this fact to sign up for a table to represent her family's
heritage this year. At the Italiantable, she willbe provid-
ing a make-your-own-pasta dish for event-goers, with a
selection of meats, pastas, veggies and sauces provided
by the Martha Cook dining hall. The stand will also have
Italian cookies and San Pellegrino up for grabs.
Food representative of any given country is purchased
from Ann Arbor's many ethnically centered grocery
shops and restaurants. LSA senior Connie Achtenberg,
who has hosted the Russian table for three years, gets
See TEA TIME, Page 45
AT THE MIC
Any performance by a musical group describing The Malaysian Student Association is going all-out in an Now that the high-quality glitz and glamour of the
themselves as "gypsy swinging serenading firebreath- effort to creatively share their history and culture during Oscars is over for another year, why not go see a movie
ing circus freaks" is far too fascinating to pass up - so Malaysian Cultural Night 2012. The evening will include that hails from the unintentionally hilarious and low-
make sure you don't miss the ever-dazzling, three- an hour-long play featuring music, dance and choir per- budget end of the cinematic spectrum? The legendary
ring-bound Caravan of Thieves as they take the stage formances as well as an array of Malaysian delicacies. filmic belly flop "The Room" has been dredged up by
at The Ark tomorrow. The show starts at 8 p.m., and The event begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Admission and the State Theater and will be screened Saturday at
tickets are from $15. food are free. midnight. Tickets are $6.