Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Indian vegetarian cooking class Refugee week

Last Saturday, AIA, in cooperation with the Lane Cove Seniors Centre, organised a Sri Lankan/Indian vegetarian cooking class. The aim of this event was, following refugee week, to raise awareness with regard to the current treatment of asylum seekers in Australia, give information on the correct facts on Australia’s refugees (coming by boat) and show the human faces behind the headlines. Whereas most people attending the event were not familiar with AIA’s current campaigns, we started off with a brief introduction on AIA, its campaigns and everything happening around refugee week. A volunteer from our refugee caseworker team also explained what her work with Amnesty involves and how she tries to help asylum seekers with their application for Refugee status in Australia.

Leigh Drew, an experienced vegan cooking teacher from the Sydney Community College, managed to coordinate the group of 25 participants, whose ages ranged from 5 to 75 years, in preparing six beautiful dishes: Pilaf Rice, Roti, Tofu Saag, Baigan Bharta, Aloo Gobi, and Chana Massala. After the cooking, we enjoyed our homemade lunch, while flipping through our recipe booklets and discussing what was mentioned during the introduction.

It was hart-warming to see everyone listening in astonishment to the facts, figures and the human stories behind the headlines on refugees in Australia, as well as working together to get a beautiful meal on the table. At the end even the local ranger and the responsible for the Senior Centre joined in. All in all a very pleasant family day!

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