A cultural feast

September 14, 2017

Elia Zihariro, Nimi Jumapili, Anna Sumaili, Deine Jumapili, Olina Lulerhe, Jeanette Sumaili, Monkwa Shadrack and Hussein Sumaili.

Dancers Una Teuhema, Ree Peric and Mali Teuhema.

(Front) Leya Sumaili, Lucy Jumapili, Victoria Sumaili (back) Monkwa Shadrack, Abraham Kulundwa and Elia Zihariro.

The smell of food wafted through the outdoor area of Shepparton’s Encounter Christian Church on Sunday.

There was plenty of laughter as people gathered to enjoy the first Encounter Christian Church Food Festival.

The event featured a wide variety of entertainment and, of course, different food from across the world that represented Shepparton’s diverse multicultural community.

Ree Peric, 16, along with Una Teuhema, 15, and Mali Teuhema, 16, performed a Pacific Island dance as a tribute to their culture.

Ree said the first dance was about love while the second dance was taken from the Disney film Lilo & Stitch.

Ree said it was a lot of fun to be part of the food festival and they enjoyed dancing in front of an audience.

Encounter Christian Church’s Pam Siguenza said the food festival was amazing and it was great to see so many different people attend the event.

‘‘Obviously the food went really well, there was lots of different food — some I didn’t know,’’ she said.

Popular foods included an oxtail curry and different desserts such as Tim Tam cheesecake and Anzac biscuit ice-cream sandwiches.

Ms Siguenza said the food festival was a bit of a test for the church, but it was now keen to make it an annual event because it was very successful.

‘‘It was a really good morning,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ll be doing it every year.’’

The event was was aimed at raising money for the church’s welfare arm, We Care, and buy a freezer to store meals for those in need.

‘‘We Care simply exists to be able to help the community, people in need and families that don’t have food,’’ Ms Siguenza said.

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