Christiane from Gunnedah Library took the time to share with us their reasons for participating in A Taste of Harmony. We discuss how they bring cultural diversity into their workplace and out to the wider community.
Why did your organisation choose to take part in A Taste of Harmony? How did it come about?
The theme of A Taste of Harmony fits in well with the programs we run such as Toddler Time, Brain Training at the Library and Junior Brain Games. In these programs, we present books and activities that fit into the theme of the food and culture of different countries.
How long has your organisation been participating in A Taste of Harmony?
We have participated in A Taste of Harmony for several years now.
Describe what your A Taste of Harmony event typically looks like.
Last year we integrated A Taste of Harmony into a number of the programs we run.
I presented the story Stone soup, a Russian folk story to the Junior Brain Gamers. There were ten children, and each one of them had a picture of one of the foods mentioned in the story. I had a Hungarian bogracz (cooking pot), a wooden spoon (from China). The children participated by putting their pictures into the pot at the relevant time, stirring the soup, and then sharing it out to eat afterwards. They also participated in handicraft by drawing the soup in the bogracz.
The adult Brain Trainers enjoyed jams from different countries for their morning and afternoon tea.
For Toddler time, the children enjoyed hearing books about different foods, for example Growing vegetable soup, The giant jam sandwich and The Magic lunchbox. Approximately fifty children and adults attended Toddler time during the week.
We created displays of costume dolls and books about foods from different countries for all customers to enjoy.
What impact has A Taste of Harmony had on your organisation?
It’s made the library programs during the week different and enjoyable for the participants.
In what ways do you celebrate cultural diversity in your workplace?
I am German, have spent twenty years living in Europe, and travelling throughout extensively. Some of our staff have German and Dutch backgrounds. We often discuss different foods, customs and cultures. I also encourage the Brain trainers to speak about their different backgrounds.
What tips do you have for other organisations interested in hosting a successful A Taste of Harmony event?
Find some great, fun food and culture books, especially picture books, to enjoy with children and adults, and just chat about them after reading. It’s fun and it’s free!