Asylum seekers stir up traditional feasts

PEOPLE living in part Cork city’s northside got their taste buds really rolling when they were treated to traditional dishes from all over the world.

The event was organised by the Cork-based Ethical Development Association (EDA) in conjunction with around 30 people of varying nationalities who are seeking asylum in the country.

Eight members of the EDA threw open their kitchens at the weekend to allow groups of foreign nationals from the Kinsale Road asylum-seeker centre prepare their own traditional food which was then served at a party hosted by the Blarney Street and surrounding areas community association.

EDA spokesman Barry O’Riordan said that those living at the Kinsale Road centre never have the opportunity to cook their own food. Some of them have been living there for up to five years as their applications are processed.

“Last year we organised an event at the Bodega to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. People from a number of different countries attended that and we cooked food from around 20 countries. This latest event was an extension of that,” Mr O’Riordan said.

Those producing the food for last weekend’s event came from Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigerian, Afghanistan, Morocco, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Kosovo and Eritrea.

They also attended the Blarney Street party which was funded by the EDA and Cork City Council.

“These people get €19.10 per week, so they get little chance to interact with locals.

“This provided them with an opportunity to do something for the local community and share it with them,” Mr O’Riordan said.

Locals were entertained with music and by spectacularly dancing from the group Amamtombazane, which featured women from Central and Eastern Africa dressed in traditional costume.


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