The menu didn’t even include missionary!
Students at Cambridge University have been branded racist â€“ for organizing an African-themed dinner.
Invitations to the formal dinner asked if guests would like to â€œescape collegeâ€ and â€œtravel far awayâ€ and used Swahili phrases from Disney film The Lion King, including â€œhakuna matataâ€, which means â€œno worriesâ€.
The menu at the Queensâ€™ College event, organized by senior students, included Senegal fish balls in a spicy tomato sauce, chicken tagine from Morocco, Nigerian delicacy fried plantain, South African malva pudding, and Cape wine.
In response, undergraduate Alice Davidson wrote a 525-word blog titled â€œAfrica Isnâ€™t Yours To Appropriateâ€ accusing organizers of â€œinappropriately borrowing elements of a minority cultureâ€ and using them as â€œfashion accessoriesâ€.
Ms Davidson said it would have been better â€œif the initiative had come from members of the African Society Cambridge University themselves, who could then determine the menu and terms of cultural exchange.â€
Pointing out that the dinner was held in the Cripps Dining Hall, which is â€œonlyâ€ filled with portraits of white people, she added: â€œOr maybe if the [dinner] was more honestly named â€˜West Africanâ€™ or â€˜South Africanâ€™ themed, rather than attempting to reduce an entire continent into three courses.â€
She went on: â€œCultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture, specifically adoption of the minority culture by the majority. Whether it be hairstyles, music, â€˜fancy dressâ€™ or food, whatâ€™s key is the power dynamic by which the majority has historically oppressed the minority.â€
Another student supported Ms Davidson, accusing organizers of lumping together 50 countries without giving any thought to their cultural differences â€“ which they would never have done with European states.
Cambridge University African Society president Halimatou Hima confirmed the group withdrew its support for the event over historical prejudices.