On Wednesday afternoon we had a fantastic time as Samina, Shebana, Shamim and Rabia came to Holy Nativity to show more than twenty of us how to make traditional homemade curry. The Halifax Central Initiative staff came to Holy Nativity with all of the ingredients and expertise to produce a cheap and amazing home cooked meal.

Malc Spring was very enthusiastic about the whole afternoon saying “I’m a huge curry fan and learning how to make it authentically is a dream”. Shebana Sadiq said “It is really important to engage with residents from different parts of the ward. This has been a great opportunity for people to interact informally and develop relationships across communities”. She also said “this has been a good way to break down perceived barriers”.

Our vicar, Robb said “It’s great fun isn’t it. So many people like having a curry! It is amazing the way people bond together over food. There is something wonderful about not only eating together but cooking together that instantly creates friendships”.

Hazel Roberts from the church said “It’s great to interact with people from different communities. It’s not often we get to interact with people from backgrounds other than our own”. This was echoed by Samina Arshad who led the cooking lesson who said “I’ve really enjoyed cooking over here. It’s a real bridge between the English communities and us”.

Robb said “It has been really important for our communities to make relationships and begin to work together over the last year. Samina and I happened to be sitting next to each other at a meeting and got talking about how we could foster relationships between cultures. I’m really grateful to Samina and the Central Initiative for working to make this amazing, fun afternoon happen”.

Whilst the food was simmering there was even time for some henna tattoos.  That’s always going to be a winner with some of our congregation!

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“It is lovely to see people challenging themselves to do things they haven’t done before. It’s amazing to see the type of things that people have in common, especially the love of food” added Amanda Ogilvie-Berry.