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Tuesday, 09 March 2021 10:20

Building Pluralism Through Food Culture

A series of food bazaars were held in regions across the country to enable people of different ethnic communities to learn about each other’s cultures and traditions to build an understanding of pluralism through food culture.

More than 50 youth as well as community leaders representing different ethnic and religious communities took part in the festivities in Monaragala, Badulla, Jaffna and Anuradhapura, where food representing Sri Lanka’s multi ethnic culture was cooked and displayed. 

The highlight was cooking demonstrations of food representing different cultures that was prepared by local culinary experts representing their ethnic communities. The dishes included watalappam, kavum, udu walalu, payasam, laddu and vadai.

In Jaffna, young people from the north learnt how to make kavum, a Sinhala sweet, while those from the south learnt how to make vadai, a Tamil snack, with each group helping the other. Soon they were exchanging phone numbers to maintain their friendships through a WhatsApp group that they created soon after the food festival.

Most of the young people did not know the origins of the food that was cooked and shared at the festival nor of its cultural significance. The festival allowed them to see how pluralistic Sri Lanka’s food culture is - different food from different cultures is enjoyed by everybody irrespective of their cultural origins.

Four more food festivals will be organized in Matara, Batticaloa, Kegalle and Negombo.