Around noon, I gathered up my plastic bowl and spoon and went to the yard for the spread. There were about 40 people sitting around the concrete tables and benches. Plastic bowls of different size were scattered on the tables. I went around to say hi to everyone by shaking their hands. Then I chatted with a couple of guys as I did a mental head count of the different API faces. There were people from different parts of the world gathered in one area: Loas, Cambodia,, India, Hmong, China, Japan, Philippines, Palestine, America Samoa, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Korea, and Tonga. Their ages ranged from early twenties to late fifties. A few minutes later some guys started to bring containers of food items to the table. They finished cooking in the building.
The food items consisted of minute-rice, Top Ramen Noodles, chili beans mixed with salami and summer sausage, mackerel salad, fried mackerel and sodas. After the food was lined up, an elder gathered everyone around and welcomed them to the spread. He expressed that the spread has been a tradition for many years. The purpose was to get all the Asian brothers together to enjoy food and have fun. He emphasized that everyone was equal and no one called the shots. Then everyone got in line with their bowls to pick up their food. There were a few volunteers serving the food. Those APIs who're working and couldn't make it to the spread had food delivered to them. Everyone ate and got full.
So a spread is like a picnic, feast, or potluck. Everyone chips in with whatever they can afford. Those who don't have any money are welcomed. Each building designates people to cook the food. As I said, it's about community. It's about male bonding without drugs and alcohol - not by choice.
The next spread will be some time in Ocotber.