Joy Abounds at International Community Potluck
N. Neslihan Ivit
On February 29, I was very excited for my second time joining the international community potluck. I arrived early at the Coldbrook Lion’s Hall to lend a hand with the setting of the tables, chairs, and cutlery. At 5:30pm, people started to arrive with the dishes they had prepared, each from their traditional cuisines.
It is fascinating that families from different cultures come together, unite around international flavours on the table, and share them with joy and love. When I went near the table with the food, I could see all the different colours, smell different spices, and even feel the emotions behind them. This table was a pure representation of Canada.
The gathering started with food and continued with warm conversations leading to friendships. I met people from Mexico, Syria, Venezuela, The Netherlands, Russia, Bulgaria, and Colombia, and had great time talking with them. But when it comes to enjoying these potlucks, the kids are by far the winners. At the beginning, they started to talk and play quietly, some being shy, some not. By the end of the night, they were all running and jumping around together. I sincerely appreciate their ability to blend so quickly.
Who is organizing this potluck, and why are they doing it? To get some answers, I talked with Plamen Petkov, an immigration lawyer who practices in Kentville with the law firm of Taylor MacLellan Cochrane. He is the chair of the Immigrant Support Group, which has organized this potluck 3 to 4 times a year for the last 13 years. It is a non-profit, all-volunteer group who welcomes immigrants to the Annapolis Valley community. The main aim behind these potlucks, as Plamen explains, is to provide opportunities for immigrants to become connected with people in their new community. As far as I have experienced, this aim is well achieved. It is heartwarming to think about all the connections and friendships built thanks to these potlucks since 2007.
If you would like meet people from different parts of the world who choose to live in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, and get together around delicious international dishes, I suggest you to check out the next potluck.
N. Neslihan Ivit is a winemaker and wine blogger with international experience in the wine business, who has been working in the growing wine industry of Nova Scotia since 2016. For more, visit winesofnesli.com or @winesofnesli on Instagram and Twitter.