Afghan culture on a plate

6 October 2020|Community News| Off Comments off on Afghan culture on a plate|

LOCAL restaurant Zafira Fine Foods has launched a cultural experience to share Afghan and Hazara culture and history with the local community.

Located in Moonah, Zafira Fine Foods was established three-years-ago and provides employment and training to people who have come to Australia as refugees from Afghanistan – predominantly from the Hazara community.

Zafira Fine Foods cultural officer Najibeh Jafari said the cultural experience would teach the community about Afghan and Hazara culture.

“It’s nice to show people that Afghanistan is not only war – we want to show people we have a greater culture and history,” she said.

“We will ask people what they want to know about the culture and then give them a little experience where they can eat food and watch how we make the food.”

Ms Jafari said working at Zafira Fine Foods had provided a lot of benefits to the Afghan and Hazara community.

“We learn more about our culture because some refugees have no idea about the history or culture, especially children who have grown up here,” she said.

“I feel more self-educated, no one told me about my history and culture, so I’m teaching myself and would like to pass it onto our next generation.”

Zafira Fine Foods owner Kirsten Singleton said it had employed 13 people who had arrived from Afghanistan as refugees and a further 10 people who had been on temporary work visas.

“The opportunity to work is something everyone wants, and they’ve come to start a new life and have been able to contribute to the country they’re living in by demonstrating they’re very capable and resilient people,” she said.

Independent Member for Clark Andrew Wilkie has supported the growth of Zafira Fine Foods, helping the establishment receive funding through the Stronger Communities Fund.

“Zafira is a really important cultural centre and restaurant for the Afghan community as it gives them somewhere to come and support each other and share their culture not only among themselves, but also the broader community,” Mr Wilkie said.

“It’s important they are able to tell their stories and educate the broader community, so we understand the terrible circumstances that continue in Afghanistan, the terrible circumstances that many of these people have endured – it helps us to understand the community and embrace them better.”

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