Multicultural celebration for seniors

5 Sep 2017

Seniors happily anticipating Syrian style lunch

It was such a wonderful day of colours, great music, wonderful food and big smiles from Nadem Turkia (Damascus Kitchen) representing the Syrian Community in Darwin.

The menu was perfect, fresh wholesome and so authentic: heart shaped falafels on a bed of lentils and rice, a crunchy colourful salad with lots of spices and to top it all off lemony hummus followed by aoamah, Syrian sweets that look a lot like Greek honey puffs.

Seniors enjoyed the wonderful dry season day on the lawns of Poinciana Park, soaked up the Middle Eastern atmosphere and also learnt a few facts about Syria.

Damascus is the capital of Syria and is the oldest continuously lived in city in the world. Most people in Syria are Muslim, but there are also Jews and Christians. Before the outbreak of war, everyone lived in peace and harmony and it didn’t matter from what religious background you were from. People in Syria speak Arabic, Armenian, Kurdish, Circassian, Kurdish, French and English. Syrians can expect to live to be 70 years old, thanks to the community spirit, simple food and fabulous dancing!

In traditional dress, Nadem explained to us how the more senior you are, the more you dress in a certain way representing wisdom, experience and wealth. The way you dress is very important in the Syrian culture, woman wear belly dancing sashes around their heads like scarfs which make them look like amazing princesses of the past.

Nadem is very grateful for the opportunity to live and work in Australia, especially in Darwin where he feels multiculturalism is the heart of our culture and sets us apart from a lot of the other cities around Australia. We embrace, we are curious to learn more and celebrate different culture through food every week at the various markets around Darwin, which are also part of our cultural identity.

More pictures from this beautiful day can be viewed in our Photos gallery.

Lina Paselli, General Manager / Multicultural Affairs Manager COTA NT


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