D.C. students get a taste of Singapore

D.C. Public School students took a culinary trip around the world Wednesday as a part of a cultural collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore.

Students ate traditional dishes from Singapore, and at Alice Deal Middle School in Northwest Washington, students and staff welcomed two special guests - the ambassador of Singapore and his wife.

Dean Gwadz, a sixth grade student at Alice Deal, said, "That was cool. That was really awesome. I can't believe he came to this school."

At lunchtime, the student body filed into the cafeteria and picked up goodie bags filled with Singaporean sweets and treats.

Many students also dined on savory Singapore stir-fried bee hoon -{ } thin rice noodles with shredded chicken and vegetables.

"They were good. I liked it," said sixth grader Damian Feliciana.

All 118 school cafeterias across DCPS served up traditional dishes from Singapore. In all, that's about 30,000 meals.

Alice Deal Middle School Assistant Principal Diedre Neal said, "We encourage our students to think locally but act globally. And so I'm hoping they had a little taste literally and figuratively of another culture."

The embassy sent staff ahead of time to coordinate the lunch.

"We had a chef in there making sure the dishes were perfect," Neal explained. "So yeah, everybody really chipped in."

Singapore Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri said the meal was very authentic, for the most part.

"It was a little bit less spicy, I prefer it more spicy, but Singaporeans we like all our foods spicy," Mirpuri said.

To honor the ambassador's visit, students participated in a fashion show.

"It seems like a really cool country, and they seem really modern," Feliciana added. "And they have some things in common with the U.S."

For some of the sixth graders, by learning about another culture, they learned a lot about their own.

Alice Deal student Zamiya Sabour explained, "I have some relatives that are Muslim and like Malay, so I have a lot in common with this."