Yusniza Yusoff, Malaysian homemaker was overwhelmed with happiness and surprise when she was selected to be one of eight women participating in the Shepparton Culture Kitchen Creative Team.
She says, “If you cook good rice, happiness will come in your family and people will love you and remember you. These are some of the important words my mother told me. In my upbringing and culture we eat rice with everything. When we finish one pot of rice, it is okay because I always already have another one ready. Sharing this with everyone in the community is a great opportunity for me.
This project is great so far because I think back to my mother and the way I was raised – it is very special. For me, this project also means, we can create relationships between different cultures in the region of Shepparton. We can share information and knowledge not only about the foods but also about the story behind it. I believe every food has special significance and I believe that “what you have, you give, and you will get back.”
Shepparton needs a project like this because we are rich with over 30 nationalities who can speak about 50 and more different languages. This project will help us with a deeper understanding of other cultures and their foods and can be a platform of what “multicultural towns are”. It will also encourage locals to start knowing and learning about the diversity of foods and what they mean within their communities.”
LISTEN TO YUSNIZA’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: Yusniza Yusoff. Courtesy Yusniza Yusoff.