Harmony Day is bringing cultural diversity home this year, with a trio of videos featuring three talented local chefs cooking food from their motherlands.
‘All people who migrate to Australia bring with them some of their own cultural and religious traditions, as well as taking on many new traditions,’ said Jenny Tang, Community Development Worker at Advance Diversity Services (ADS).
‘We wanted to share these videos with a wider audience to show how honouring the traditional recipes from people’s homelands can enrich our region and nation.’
Tastes from the Homeland showcases Thai, Nepalese and Bangla cuisines with each chef giving step-by-step instructions to guide people to cook their recipes at home.
The videos were produced by ADS and launched as part of the In Good Taste festival in February run by Georges River Council. They were also initially created to celebrate International Day of the Mother Language, on February 21.
Harmony Day on March 21 is an Australian Government initiative that acknowledges the contributions of multicultural communities to Australian society and promotes inclusiveness, diversity, respect and belonging.
Ms Tang said that pre-COVID the St George region had always celebrated the day with community festivals and local events with global food, music and traditional dress. In 2020, however, COVID restrictions meant events of this kind had to be cancelled.
‘To be super safe again this year we’ve decided to bring Harmony Day home – providing our wonderful Tastes from the Homeland resource on YouTube and giving everyone the chance to participate.’
The videos feature Thanyarat Khotdet preparing two types of Thai Green papaya salad, Suraj Pradhan cooking up a warming plate of Nepalese momos and Nusrat Tanjina making a tasty Bangla Hilsa fish pulao. The chefs also converse with ADS community workers to help viewers understand where their dishes come from and also revealing local sources and substitutes for traditional ingredients.
Kay (Sineenat Khantaracha), Thai Community Worker for ADS, Rishi Acharya, Nepalese Community Worker for ADS, and Tasneem Rashid, Bangladeshi Community worker for ADS have all eagerly vouched for the tastiness of the food cooked by Thanyarat, Suraj and Nusrat, and confirmed that their recipes can easily be replicated at home.
The three chefs have all been in Australia for more than 10 years and continue to cherish their home traditions. Happily, they have also embraced the customs and cuisines of other nationalities, which form such a distinct and valuable part of our multicultural society and heritage.
‘Harmony Day is really about belonging – and working together,’ said Ms Tang. ‘Leaving no one behind.
‘With such a diverse culture we can all learn a different way of doing things. I’d encourage people to view these videos as a way of doing something differently, trying new recipes, and connecting with others in the community.’
View the Tastes from the Homeland videos at bit.ly/goodtaste2021
Or directly link to individual videos:
Bangla Hilsa fish pulao: https://youtu.be/j2qLeZPLh6c
Nepalese chicken momo: https://youtu.be/dAYvEYRUgSs
Thai green papaya salad: https://youtu.be/6jvIoHpjdRI
Caption: Suraj Pradhan cooked up a warming plate of Nepalese momos while conversing with Rishi Acharya.