Students explore Ivory Coast in latest International Coffee Hour

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The International Student Center hosted Jehu Mette, graduate student in economics, for the latest International Coffee Hour on Friday. The recurring event invites international students to share the culture of their home country with the Kansas State community.

Mette guided audience members through the culture of his home nation, Ivory Coast. His presentation informed attendees about national symbols, different tribes, traditions and much more.

Also known as the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, the French-speaking African nation is approximately the same size as Germany. It is bordered by Liberia and Guinea to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.

Due to Ivory Coast’s tropical to sub-tropical climate, a number of crops are grown there and then exported to many places across the globe.

“One thing that I noticed was the distribution of cocoa and coffee beans,” Kaley Dick, senior in dietetics and gerontology, said. “I had no idea that we got so much of our stuff from them.”

Ivory Coast is the world’s number one producer of cocoa and number three producer of coffee beans. Mette talked about common cuisine and the ingredients used to make it, and after the presentation, attendees were treated to a dish of plantains, rice, fish and spices.

Mette also showcased some of his country’s other points of interest, such as its seven national parks and the population of pygmy hippos, an endangered species.

Mette immersed the audience in Ivorian culture by explaining the roles of men, women and diversity in the country’s traditions.

Natalie Vesta, freshman in business administration, said she found the information about the tribes to be especially interesting.

“I always think of [Ivory Coast] as very small, so I didn’t think of a lot of different groups in it,” Vesta said.

Asma Bin Ateeq, graduate student in education, said she found the country’s cultural richness to be very unexpected and surprising.

“They have culture, they have food,” Ateeq said. “I didn’t know all the different tribes. That’s just so interesting.”

For more information about upcoming International Coffee Hours, check out the International Student Center website.

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