Food is culture, politics and identity, and cooking is a physical and nurturing expression that shares this with people! For generations and generations immigrants and diasporas have been using food to connect themselves to their roots and to share their culture in their new homes. It’s a medium that crosses all borders and acts to assimilate – its an easy and delicious tool to educate oneself on the unknown and embrace cultural difference. Souk Berlin is planning to open a market place in 2020 dedicated to the immigrant, newcomer and diaspora food culture in Berlin. It strives to create a space to nurture the food heritage that immigrants have brought with them but more so to create a safe space for this food culture to develop and forge a new identity. One of the projects is the United Street Food Market that aims to raise both money and awareness around the situation of refugees in Berlin and the Souk Berlin project. Under the motto “Food unites us all!“ almost 20 organizations already came together in the Markthalle Neun on 31 July 2016 for the very first United Street Food Market. Again food culture proved to be the right medium to unite everybody under one roof. Kavita Meelu, the creator of Souk Berlin and food projects like Street Food Thursday, Burgers & Hip Hop and Kebabistan (just to name a few), has over and over witnessed the tremendous power food has to build bridges between cultures. People from all over the city flocked to the Markthalle Neun on a Sunday to feast on Somali tacos, Aleppi Kibbeh, Afghani dumplings and countless other delicious items served by the members of the various refugee organisations. The event managed to unite the best in both guests and vendors and the genuinely positive vibe and conversations throughout the event once again proved to concept of food as the most powerful integration tool.
At Stadt Land Food you will get a mini taste of this at a small version of the United Street Food Market presented by Souk Berlin. Five street food stands at Lausitzer Platz will be taken over by 1st to 4th generation immigrants and newcomers, and they will serve up a delicious showcase of new and evolving food identities that make Berlin a multicultural metropole. You will meet chefs that have roots in Syria, Gambia, Turkey, Korea, Vietnam to name a few. Let’s discuss what the Kebab culture of the future looks like or track the development of Kimchi from Korea to Germany to California to Germany. You will be offered a window into the food tradition of Syria, and more!
Per Meurling and Kavita Meelu