Nidhi – Auckland

“Auckland’s home pretty much we’ve been here for the last 15 years so this is home, our kids have grown up here, they were born here… this is where we live.

Recently, a friend of ours was going through some tough times and we invited them over for dinner and, not that I was expecting a big anything out of it, the way the evening unfolded we ended up talking about some real issues and having some deep conversations. Surprisingly, it was like a huge weight off your chest, it was good conversation and I think food did that. It was home made food and everything was really homely, coming from the heart, it just lightened up everything. Not that we resolved everything that night!

I’m from India and sharing food was just an everyday thing, you know? Even neighbours! They were a part of your life on an every day basis. Here it’s hard to connect with neighbours. Everyone’s busy, and everyone has their own lives going on.

Sometimes when you meet up with friends, you can catch up with everyday life; share what’s happening with the kids and things like that, but it’s not long enough to get into real conversations. You know, the deeper stuff. It would just be nice to have more community living. That’s what I really miss, if I were to put in a nutshell. Just people staying in close proximity and neighbours being a part of your everyday life; that would be good.

Most people I think, not just cultures, connect with food. Just coming together whether it’s a special occasion or on a regular basis – that’s how I grew up. I remember from my childhood my grandmother taught me how to cook some favourite recipes in the family. My mum was always there. I think it’s really important for kids to be involved with making food, sharing food. I hope my children get the same opportunity.”

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