The Encompass group, made up from members of Devon’s Caribbean, Hindu and Polish communities and supported by our theatre, transported over 100 people through tastes and traditions from their cultures during the event.
Flavours of Us began with a bharatanatyam dance blessing from the Hindu community, setting the tone for a beautiful afternoon.
Encompass group members then invited visitors to take part in a memory pot food story sharing session, led by community facilitators. Stories of cherished family recipes and culinary adventures created an intimate bond between those taking part, weaving together a fabric of shared experiences across cultures.
“I have a multicultural heritage and its great to see others celebrate theirs. It makes me feel more at home.” – Flavours of Us visitor
Dance costume gift sparks fond memories
A heartfelt gesture by Encompass group member, Rekha, to gift her cherished bharatanatyam costume to a young dancer has evoked a flood of nostalgic memories.
“The costume that Premal’s daughter wore is a traditional bharatanatyam costume. When I was 30, I performed on stage wearing that costume for a spring celebration. It was an amazing memory. I couldn’t wear the costume anymore and gave it to Premal’s girls, who do bharatanatyam. Seeing his daughter wear my costume and perform a dance to bless our event was truly special.” – Rekha, Encompass group member
Visitors were also able to explore the backstage areas of the Barnfield and were treated to a feast of food-themed creative installations and arts and craft activities. Chapati and rotla rolling, spice smelling and still life drawing engaged all senses, breathing life into the notion that food is not just sustenance but also culture.
“Great space to meet new people from different communities.” – Flavours of Us visitor
After a day filled with exploration, it was time for the grand finale: afternoon tea with a twist. The air was filled with anticipation as attendees sat down to indulge in a delightful array of sweet and savoury treats from each community, from spicy Caribbean BBQ wraps, through to Hindu Gulab Jamun (soft milk bites) and Polish Sernik (cheesecake).
“It [felt] genuine and we [could] see the love and passion shine through.” – Flavours of Us visitor
Flavours of Us not only tantalised taste buds but also fostered understanding, respect, and appreciation for the multicultural tapestry that makes up Exeter and Devon. The event was a celebration that went beyond food, leaving visitors with a deeper sense of community and a hunger to learn more about the diverse world we live in.
Explore the Day
Encompass is a collaborative project, creatively led by volunteer community members and facilitated by the Northcott.
The group works together to create and curate vibrant cultural experiences, to which everybody is welcome. It is delivered in creative partnership with South West-based theatre company Beyond Face, with consultation, mentoring and support from Sandhya Dave of Devon Diversity Consultants, and funded by the Northcott. This project received locality funding from Devon County Councillors Danny Barnes and Carol Whitton.Full list of thanks
I Love Exeter Northcott Fund
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