Pakistani Gastrodiplomacy at the Unpad International Day 2022

Pakistan Country Booth at the Unpad International Day 2022

Unpad International Day 2022 received high enthusiasm from students. Many of the visitors came to see the spectacular show and taste the food from the international students. This event is an opportunity for international students to provide cross-cultural understanding through culinary culture, or commonly known as Gastrodiplomacy.

In the midst of the crowd of visitors attending the country booth, one of the most visited country booths was the Pakistan country booth. The national flag and photos of Pakistan’s national heroes are prominently displayed on the walls of Pakistan’s country booth. The green and white balloons also strengthened the national identity at the Pakistan country booth, making it even more eye-catching.

Irfan, a student from Pakistan who is studying for a Master’s Degree at Universitas Padjadjaran, introduced Pakistani Salad and nasi biryani as the attraction of Pakistan’s booth. Since he is the only student from Pakistan, Irfan prepared all the food himself and is assisted by several Indonesian friends. Pakistani Salad is one of Pakistan’s traditional foods, consisting of fresh vegetables such as cucumber, lemon, tomato, and carrot. The smell of chili in the salad makes visitors curious about this salad. Alas, out of all 50 servings prepared by Irfan, all were consumed with no leftovers. “Usually, we eat this salad with nasi biryani. This salad can also be eaten directly without any spices,” said Irfan at the 2022 International Day event.

Pakistani Salad Served by Irfan, Pakistani Student at Universitas Padjadjaran

Nasi biryani, which is already familiar to Indonesian tongues, is also much loved by visitors to International Day 2022. The smell of spices and pieces of grilled chicken attracts visitors to taste the nasi biryani. Responding to the perception that nasi biryani and Nasi Kebuli come from Arab countries, Irfan explained what are the differences between the two foods. “Nasi Biryani comes from South Asian countries, such as India and Pakistan. Although the culinary culture in the Middle East region looks similar, nasi biryani differs from Nasi Kebuli in terms of taste,” Irfan explained in an interview with Wartakema. “Biryani rice is similar to kebuli rice provided by Afghanistan Country Booth. However, nasi biryani has a spicier taste than nasi kebuli. Here I add chicken and potato although Pakistanis usually eat nasi biryani with lamb too.”

Picture of Biryani Rice from Pakistan 
(source: Google Images)

Irfan gave a historical explanation when discussing Pakistan and its culture. India and Pakistan were once one country before finally separating in 1947. The separation of Pakistan and India was also highlighted by religious differences, which sparked conflict between Hindus and Muslims. The dispute over the border has also escalated the conflict between Pakistan and India. Because they are still in the same area, coupled with the fact that they were once one country, India and Pakistan have some similarities in terms of culture, one example is this nasi biryani.

Irfan also talked about the habits of Pakistanis which are quite different from Indonesians. In the interview, Irfan said that he had experienced culture shock in terms of eating culture, stating that he wasn’t used to eating rice in the morning. “Indonesians always eat rice all day long. We eat nasi biryani at night. During the day, we are used to eating bread as a staple food. Despite the cultural differences, I can find ingredients that are similar to my home country quite easily.”

Penulis : Rifia Azka

Reporter : Rifia Azka

Editor : Fareez Eldacca

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