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21. May 2024


Cookery evening connects people and cultures

The "Generation Cooking" event has now taken place for the fifth time at the Family Education Centre (FaBi) in Bocholt. People of different ages and nationalities cooked typical local dishes together and forged social links.

The "Generation Cooking" brings together senior citizens and young people, as well as people from different cultures. Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Eritrea, Canada, Croatia, Poland and many more: the list of nations from which people with an international family history took part was long. The food was cooked in Afghan, spoken in several languages and it became clear once again that cooking brings people together.

The association Leben im Alter e.V. (L-i-A), the senior citizens' office and the integration office of the city of Bocholt, Jusina e.V. and the family education centre - multigenerational house had invited as part of the project "IHelp" and "GenKuVie" (abbreviation for "Generations - Cultures - Diversity") of the federal working group of senior citizens' offices.

Bocholt is(s)t colourful

"In the last, fourth edition, we complied with the wishes of the previous participants and selected recipes from our cookery book", reports Bruno Wansing, integration officer for the city of Bocholt. They then looked for new recipes for the current edition and found the support of Zeyneb Mohammady from the Afghan community in Bocholt. The woman from Bocholt with Afghan roots selected four recipes for the cookery afternoon. There were mantu, steamed dumplings, kabuli, bolani and ferni for dessert.

The young Afghans, who had no idea beforehand that Afghan food was being cooked, were just as enthusiastic about the recipes as all the participants. Atal Said, who has only been in Bocholt for a few months, said: "Who doesn't love mantu! It tastes almost like home, but only almost, mum is just mum..." Yafet Zerei, 16 years old, from Eritrea: "I have found my new favourite food!"

Chef Michal Derendorf, who provided the ingredients and looked after the participants, was delighted: "It was delicious!" He hadn't known Afghan cuisine before. He had a few tips for the main course, kabuli, and so there was "a variation with sauce". "The Germans love sauce", Derendorf knows. "I thought it was great how younger and older people got on so well."

"I was pleased that we cooked the dishes from our home country with senior citizens and other young people today", said Zeyneb Mohammady, "and the variation with sauce was also really tasty."

Engaging in dialogue - learning from each other

"What we want to achieve with this campaign is that senior citizens and young people do something together and get into conversation", emphasises Agnes Wellkamp from L-i-A. "It is also important that people with an international history exchange ideas and learn from each other", adds Bruno Wansing.

Participant Dimtirios Macheras was a little irritated: "On the one hand, the young ladies explained to me how to make the bolani and on the other hand, a senior citizen told me exactly the opposite", Macheras said with a wink. In the end, the young Afghan women who had prepared the recipe were in charge. Armina Jahic, who will soon be graduating from the vocational college at Wasserturm, was delighted: "That was very nice. I've never done anything like this before. I thought it was great how well older and younger people get on together, I've experienced that differently in society."

Project to be continued

Even though the "Generation - Cultures - Diversity" project comes to an end in 2024, the organisers want to continue this format. "We have one more event as part of the project, but the date has not yet been finalised", says Agnes Wellkamp. "But it's definitely worth continuing, as the reactions have shown, and not just this time."

"Because the exchange between young and old and also between people with and without an international family history is so important, there will also be an intergenerational cookery event in 2025", announces Bruno Wansing.