Every year the PTA at Stonehill Hill International School organise the International Food Fair. It takes months of planning and it is a well liked and well attended event which raises thousands of pounds for the school community and the three charities the PTA supports.
When was it?
Saturday 21st January 2017, 1pm to 4pm.
The timing is deliberately in late January or early February each year so that home country food and supplies can be brought back by families returning home for Christmas.
What is it?
Parent groups volunteer to represent their home* country and donate dishes and desserts and then sell them to the rest of the school community and attendees from across Bangalore. In addition games can be played which are traditional to their country. They are allocated a space and tables and are free decorate their area in whatever way they please. People really go to town – it’s awesome. Flags and country colours are everywhere; the decorations are brilliant. People dress up in traditional costume or country colours. The Japanese always look incredibly elegant and the Dutch always look incredibly orange. The Iranians had rugs and beautiful books depicting Iran. The Chinese had delicate painted paper wall hangings. The Brazilians looked amazing as well as their stall. The Brits had Union Jacks everywhere and a lot of bunting! It was a riot of culture and colours and looked fabulous.
Gosh it was an amazing selection of fabulous food you can’t normally get in Bangalore. There was so much to choose from. 15 countries were represented in total and I will try and recall what was being sold.
The Japanese did a roaring trade in sushi (always super popular) and completely sold out within 90 minutes (and they made loads).
The French had very tasty pastries and crepes (with Nutella) that had a constant queue.
The Americans had sliders (mini burgers), rice crispy cakes and cookies amongst other things on their Stars and Stripes stall. Germany sold muffins and cakes.
The Chinese were selling Dim Sum. Next to them was Korea but for the life of me I can’t recall what they were selling. Next was India who had a fabulous display with lots of dishes including samosas and chicken biryani.
Mexico was crowded and I couldn’t get near! The Danish sold the traditional treacle cake and rice pudding with cherry sauce as well as a whole host of other dishes.
The Dutch were selling pancakes and buns. Israel was selling salad, hummus and tabouleh. Iran had a variety of rice dishes and rice based desserts.
The UK stall
We made sausage rolls, pies (steak, leek and potato, chicken), devilled eggs, flapjacks, meringues, trifles and lemonade. Our game was ‘Splat the Rat’ with British sweets as the prize.
Everything was really popular. We had to make several batches of lemonade. The ‘splat the rat’ had a constant queue of children. The flapjacks completely sold out as did the devilled eggs. We sold about 50 sausage rolls and 100 pies; and someone super organised turned up with a cool box to take home a batch of trifles!
We had take away boxes for those who wanted sausage rolls and pies but could not eat anymore food at the fair as they were stuffed.
The PTA also ran a drinks stall and a ‘Tiger Gear’ stall. Tiger gear is the school hoodies and house t shirts for inter house competitions. Both proved very popular.
The PTA sold vouchers (akin to raffle tickets) at 50 rupees each and they sold a lot. In total ₹299050 (roughly £3,610) was spent on the food and drinks (over £1000 an hour!) and more was made on the Tiger Gear. It is an amazing achievement.
The British stall took ₹41,900 (about £506) of that and we were all delighted that the hard work, sore feet (and literally days of baking) paid off.
The PTA supports three charities in addition to the school community. These are:
- the Iksha Foundation, who support children with eye cancer. Link: http://ikshafoundation.org/
- Morning Star Ashram – a home for street and challenged boys of Bangalore, and
- the Stonehill Government School.
All are very worthy charities who will benefit from this fabulous fundraising event.
It was a wonderful day, great fun with fabulous food with global friends. What the world really should be like.
*Home country – choosing a home country can be difficult for some expats who have moved every few years. These parents and children are generally known as ‘Third Culture’. They are free to decide which country they most associate with. For example Canadian passport holders coming to Bangalore from Germany chose to represent Iran, the country of their parents.