Dan Eash-Scott raised his arms in victory.Four entire cobs of corn in 90 seconds made him champion of the corn-eating competition.
“I love eating corn.” Eash-Scott, a junior history major, said, “My dad never realizes how many ears we’ll need, so I compete with my brother for who’s gonna get that last ear. This was honestly just a warm-up for Thanksgiving dinner.”
Corn-eating competition? Only in Indiana.
The “corn festival,” with a corn-eating competition and various other corn-themed activities, was held this past Friday on the outdoor basketball court from 6-7:30 p.m.
At first, people were just milling around, eating corn.
Oh, there was corn — pans full of corn. Toppings galore, as well. The first step was ladling on some butter, followed by a little mayonnaise (apparently people put that on corn?). It helps the parmesan cheese and street-corn seasoning to stick.
“Corn toss, corn toss!”
A few overexcited students chanted in an almost cult-like fashion for the oiled-corn toss. Leftover cobs from the earlier corn-shucking competition were slathered in canola oil, before being tossed back and forth between pairs of students. The last pair to drop the corn was declared victorious.
Students shucked green ears of corn on Friday night. By Saturday, they were cleaning colored powder out of their own ears.
The International Student Club’s Holi Festival celebration left splotches of color all over. Hosted on Saturday night, the event’s main attraction was bags of chalky, colored dust, set out on a table.
The bags were torn open, and everyone sprinted in to start tossing handfuls of colored powder at each other. Pretty soon, dozens of Goshen students were covered in a rainbow of colors.
It’s hard to feel standoffish during such a colorful, physical event. Can’t think of anything to say? Just throw a little powder in someone’s face, and run.
Passerby had to stay aware, or perhaps change into a less nice outfit, for fear of being ambushed.
Then came water balloons; two competing teams throwing the balloons at each other quickly turned into anarchy. The water soaking in with the chalk created a watercolor type effect, caking the dust into clothes and arms with swirls of color.
“They celebrate it in India,” student organizer Saif Ansari, a sophomore accounting and sustainability major, said. “It usually happens in March, but we couldn’t do it then, since it’s so cold here.”
Catered samosas from Maple Indian provided a delicious incentive. All of the samosas, as well as multiple huge bags of coloring and hundreds of water balloons were gone by the end of the event.
“I feel like it turned out really well,” Ansari said.
What do these two events have in common? At first glance, not much. One is an out-of-the-blue fall celebration of a classic Midwestern delicacy. The other is a traditional Indian celebration.
What they shared was participation, energy and enthusiasm. They forced interaction and community among those who may not commonly run into each other. They were loud, raucous and unexpected. They were primarily student-led. They happened at Goshen College, one night after the other, and they were special.