Eman Alabbassi, Shepparton based Iraqi homemaker is one of 8 women who form the Creative Team for the first stage of the Shepparton Culture Kitchen project.
Eman says, “It is wonderful and a big achievement to have started the Shepparton Culture Kitchen project during this challenging time with all restrictions and social distancing. The project has brought together a diverse group of women to come along and share stories and food experiences.
To me, this project is the initial stepping stone to approach food and culture from a different perspective. I remember in my country our food was very organic to the plate. Here in Australia it’s not the same and many of us have forgotten how to be healthy in our eating like it was back home. We can introduce a healthy food chain in the Goulburn valley region that is formed by the different cultures that surround Shepparton.
Also provide a space to celebrate our cultural diversity and engage the younger generation by sharing food culture stories and raise the awareness of culture. I never saw what I wore (hijab) as being a problem or a difference, but when I first arrived in Australia I realised that what I wore was a barrier between me and someone else. I am a very positive person so to see and feel this it was very hard.
I am happy to be part of this project because we can share our culture and be who we are – not how others think they see us.”
LISTEN TO EMAN’S REFLECTIONS AND MEMORIES
Shepparton Culture Kitchen is a new project co-produced by MAV and Greater Shepparton City Council, to explore the diverse food cultures of Shepparton’s diaspora communities and the vital role they play in addressing issues of health inequity and disadvantage facing the region.
Shepparton Culture Kitchen is proudly supported by VicHealth, Greater Shepparton City Council, Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria.
Image credit: Eman Alabbasi. Courtesy Eman Alabbasi.