Sri Lanka is a country with a vast cultural diversity, which makes it more unique and beautiful. Different cultures have their own unique food styles and this could be easily used to strengthen the bond between each other, as everyone loves to taste different cuisines. To make this concept a reality, on 30th May 2018, Rotaractors from the Rotaract Clubs of Alumni of University of Moratuwa and Wellawatte organized the ‘Cultural Food Eve’. This was the apogee of a ten-month long effort of the project ‘Together as ONE’.
By introducing each other, we started our discussion around 6.00 p.m. We started explaining on the varieties of food we have brought, especially the ingredients and the process of preparing them. Our fellow Rotaractors from the Rotaract Club of Wellawatte introduced four cuisines which belong to Tamil cultures, such as Ulundu Vadai and Sambol, Mothagam, Laddu and Paruththi thurai Vadai. They also described the process of preparing them. While having the discussion, they served us those food items to taste and they were really delicious.
Then came the turn to present Sinhala cultural food items. We had brought Kokis, Asmi, Mun Kevum and Thala Aluwa (Sesame Toffee), which are prepared for Sinhala & Tamil new year festival and for other auspicious events such as weddings, opening ceremonies etc. According to the Rotaractors from Rotaract Club of Wellawatte, Laddu is used for auspicious events and Paruththi thurai Vadai is used as a tea-time snack. As they mentioned, this snack is famous among Tamil people and they gifted us a packet of Paruththi thurai Vadai to take home. We filled our stomachs with Ulundu Vadai and Sambol. Eating Mothagam was a new experience for all of us.
This event was not only about tasting the food, but also about getting an insight into each other’s cultures. From this discussion, we learnt some new recipes, good food habits and how individual, social, cultural, religious & environmental factors influence people’s food habits. Our discussion was not limited to food, but also about recently released Sinhala films as per the request of Rtr. Nijanthan Jeyakumar.
It was a great evening with a great bunch of people. We tasted a lot, learnt a lot and made some new friends. The day ended with the valuable demonstration ‘Food can play a major role in enhancing ethnic harmony’.