Malak Community Dinner
Philospher Epicurus advised us to look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink. Luckily the Malak Community Dinner has all bases covered with an evening that brings community together to connect and dine.
The dinners originated out of Darwin Community Arts project My Sister’s Kitchen, which welcomed migrant and refugee women into the local community. While cooking, the women would practice their English, make connections outside of the home and learn about food from different cultures. At the end of the day their families and friends would come and share the food.
The program finished up but the dinners continued, taking on a life of their own. Today an average of 130 people attend the monthly gathering and an entertainment program has been added to the night. Darwin artists of all levels of experience are invited to perform for diners, and most nights are a feast of multicultural music.
Becky Hedland from Darwin Community Arts says the evening has its own diverse following of people who come for the company, the amazing food and in support of local performers.
“It’s a non-confrontational situation. You sit at shared tables but can just take in the entertainment if you want. It’s also by donation so people from all walks of life can come along. And everyone always walks out complimenting the chefs,” Hedland said.
Without volunteers, including the hard working team that turns out incredible Indian Burmese cuisine for a big crowd every month, the night wouldn’t exist.
“We depend on donations from the night, sponsors that utilize the night to get a community program’s message out and volunteers on the day."
Volunteer power, community spirit and good tucker is where it's at, and Malak Community Dinners are well and truly testament to that.