Latinx heritage month starts with professor versus professor cooking competition

By Megan Loock

Elm Staff Writer

On Tuesday Sept. 22, The Department of World Languages kicked off Latinx Heritage Month by inviting the students of Washington College into their homes with a cooking challenge via Instagram Live. 

Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Martin Ponti demonstrated how to cook authentic Argentinian chicken empanadas. 

Empanadas are a common street food in a lot of Spanish-speaking countries. They’re similar to turnovers but rather than be filled with fruit or dessert they’re filled with meat. 

Over the course of the cooking tutorial, Dr. Ponti paused in order to define the items in Spanish, for example referring to the dough as “la masa,” to fully immerse students in the language along with sharing facts about Argentinian culture.

“In Argentina, there is no one type of empanada, so you make different borders” said Dr. Ponti. 

Throughout the livestream, Dr. Ponti made jokes which students responded to using the react feature on Instagram live, which consists of emojis such as the laughing emoji and the thumbs up emoji. 

Students also engaged with Spanish via the comment section. 

“Cuál es el nombre de tu perro,” one of the many students viewing the live stream said. “Cuál es el nombre de tu perro” translates to “What is your dog’s name?”

Dr. Ponti’s corgi, Tony, was the real star of the challenge, making several cameos much to the delight of the audience. 

On Thursday Sept. 24,  Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Elena Deanda-Camacho demonstrated how to make Mexican empanadas via Instagram Live, further illustrating the diversity within the Latinx Culture in a friendly competition style. 

Despite the on-going shift to virtual events, the Department of World Languages managed to come up with a fun way for students and Professors alike to learn and interact with one another.

The Department of World Languages has a few more events planned, including hosting a talk on Sept 30, via Zoom with guest speaker Jennifer Domino Rudolph. 

Rudolph will be discussing her recently published book “Baseball with Meditated Latinidad: Race, Masculinity, Nationalism, and Performance Identity,” which studies and analyzes Latino-American Men in Major League Baseball, according to Literary Hub’s overview. 

For more information about upcoming events, visit The Department of World Languages Instagram page @wacworldlanguages.

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