A TASTE of Eastern Europe is coming to Salford in a bid to strengthen ethnic integration into the community.
Eastern European residents over the age of 55 and living in Salford are invited to participate cookery sessions, which will focus on making traditional ‘Pierogi’ recipes.
Considered a national dish in Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia, Pierogi dishes are dumplings filled with a sweet or savoury filling.
It is hoped that the sessions, held at Islington Mill on James Street, will encourage different ethnic communities to integrate with each other.
According to the 2011 census, a total of 5625 Eastern Europeans were living in Salford at that time, with 111 men and 94 women over the age of 65. Europia estimates that there are now about 500 individuals of Eastern European origin now living in Salford over the age of 55.
Kush Chottera, executive director of the charity Europia, says that many Eastern European countries lack diversity compared to the UK and that it can be difficult for newly arrived people to integrate.
He said: “They come from very orthodox Christian countries and many have never seen or spoken to someone with a different faith.
“We hope that these events will help integrate and connect Eastern European culture with British and other cultures.
“They can often struggle with the UK system and language.When someone feels connected to the local shop, town hall or office, they feel more confident.
“We are looking to make small, simple changes that people can connect with.”
Each country has its own variation of the Pierogi dish and Kush hopes that people will share stories of their recipes, improving their English and providing them with more understanding of different cultures.
He added: “We hope that people will share their experiences and that we can dig out personal stories; for
example, how they used to make these dumplings with their grandparents.
“Five of the stories are going to be performed on stage by artists outside Eccles Town Hall on June 26.”
The sessions will begin on 17.00 on Monday 18 April and will last an hour and a half.
If you would like more information, or are interested in attending the sessions, please email Europia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 8338823.
By Adam John