Spanish Fiesta: Language Department spices it up

The key to a man’s heart is through his stomach. That being said, St. Kate’s has found a key to a woman’s heart, and that is through empanadas. The Language Department Teachers Assistants (TA) in both Spanish and French joined forces to bring a taste of their cultures to the St. Kates community.

On October 3, Laura Traetta, a Spanish TA, prepared an event with a focus on Argentina, her home country.

“This is a cultural event that we do with Residence Life, and the aim is to motivate students to learn about culture, which gives them the chance to study another language,” Traetta said.

The event, called Empanadas Cooking, allowed students to come and learn all about Argentina’s culture, and also eat a traditional empanada. In America, they would be similar to meat pies, but the taste is quite different. Empanadas were chosen as the food of the night because they are a traditional food, and are easy to make. They can also be prepared for vegetarians, where the stuffing is altered from meat and cheese to tomato and cheese. During the event, students came to help prepare the empanadas, which is when Traetta informed them about Argentinian culture, such as music, art, theater, sports, politics and more. Of course, the famous Argentinian soccer player, Lionel Messi, became the catalyst of the evening, and female hormones surged throughout Crandall Hall. The Health and Wellness Clinic most likely got a full case of Messi- fever that evening.

The evening was quite educational, as it allowed students to get a glimpse of Argentina as a vast, culture-filled region. Sarah Haglund ‘18 learned a lot through the event, and had a great time.

“It was really fun to make the empanadas, hang out with people, and hear Argentinian music. This experience actually helped me to want to learn Spanish because it is an interesting culture,” Haglund said.

Many more multi-cultural events are planned for the future in Crandall Hall, ranging from more cooking escapades, to projecting a movie and even engaging students in improvisation related to a specific culture.

“The idea is basically to teach students, in an easy way, of our culture and the diversity it brings, and the influences it has that some people were not aware of or had no prior knowledge of,” Traetta said.

Almost every Friday there is a Language Studies Event. The next event will be held on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, and the plane leaves mainland U.S.A., crossing the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe, landing in a little place called France, the land of mimes and croissants. Anyone with a thirst for knowledge and a stomach for diversity is welcome to attend, and be sure to look for posters and updates on the Language Department events.

Malvina can be reached at

Comments are closed.