There’s a lot of harmony in the kitchen

Australia will further celebrate its multiculturalism with Harmony Day on Tuesday, March 21, and what a better way to embrace different cultures than to use the language of food.
About 10 south coast students from an excellent ESL program (English as a second language) at the Encounter Centre, Victor Harbor have written a brief resume and presented a recipe from their homeland in a simple but effective recipe book as part of their studies with support from their course coordinator Anita Grantham.
It’s been a lot of fun and a great learning process, and as part of the Harmony Day celebrations we have included three of the scrumptious dishes in our Eat Wave section on page 34, and how Investigator College promotes Japanese food as a healthy school lunch box option (P33).
The local ESL program is funded through a state government program Adult Community Education, and Anita believes it has played a huge role in helping the students assimilate so well in our community.
“The social impact for the students at Encounter Centre is just wonderful,” Anita said. “Everyone is so passionate about this ESL program and it is so nice that friendships have been formed as a result.
“The students are supported by an equal number of volunteer tutors to develop their English language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students range from beginners to upper intermediate in their English proficiency, so levels of support and a variety of learning resources are needed.”
Harmony Day, which is always celebrated on this day with festivals and multicultural awards around then nation, is intended to express cohesion and inclusion in Australia and promote a tolerant and culturally diverse society.
Orange is the colour chosen to represent the occasion, and everyone is encouraged to wear orange clothing and/or the distinctive orange ribbon to show their support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.
For the record, 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent from overseas with one of about 300 ancestries, and apart from English the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish and Hindi.
But when it comes to food, well, everyone loves a great meat pie, a pizza, a good curry and a host of magnificent Asian, African, European and South American dishes. In fact, even icy poles from Alaska on a hot day. This is Australia, and you have to admire the adult ESL students who have embraced our culture and have become valued members of our community. Happy Harmony Day.