Refugee Week celebrated with community ‘dumpling day’

Date published: 04 July 2024

Refugee Week was celebrated in Rochdale with a family-friendly event with cultural foods, bringing the community together to honour and support refugees.

Despite currently being closed for redevelopment, staff from local art gallery and museum Touchstones, organised the ‘dumpling day’ at the Ukrainian Centre on Saturday 22 June.

This event honoured Refugee Week and contributed to the development of The Dining Room, a new dining and museum space at Touchstones.

More than 150 people attended Dumpling Day, which showcased a diverse selection of international dumplings, dumpling-themed activities, and a variety of music to celebrate Rochdale’s rich community heritage and the universal love for dumplings.

The activities included dumpling tasting from Ukrainian, Caribbean, and Nigerian cooks, dumpling making with Iranian and Chinese experts from Heart&Parcel, and creative workshops such as decorative salt dough dumpling making, designing dumpling characters and stories, and cross-stitching or crocheting dumpling patterns.

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from artists, cooks, and organisers about their involvement in the event at the Global Café.

Laura Mansfield from Touchstones comments on the inclusion of dumplings to celebrate the event: “In Ukrainian culture, the dumpling holds a special significance beyond a traditional dish - they’re considered a cherished talisman.

“Dumplings are found in countries across the globe, it’s a food that unites different cultures and I think we managed to do just that with this year’s dumpling day event.”

The festivities coincided with the Culture Co-op and Open Eye Gallery’s Home exhibition, which showcases contemporary Ukrainian photography from five Ukrainian artists.

The exhibition is spread across several locations in Rochdale until 12 July, including Rochdale train station, Number One Riverside, Ukrainian Church and the Ukrainian Centre.

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