Prototyping a multicultural food event

The Formas funded research project The role of tourism in multicultural societies (TiMS) was initiated in collaboration between the Gothenburg, Skane and Kisumu local interaction platforms. Its central objective is to explore the role of tourism in multicultural societies, in Sweden and beyond, and to act towards the embracement and representation of diversity in tourism development and place branding.

One of the cases in the project explores the process behind the creation of events that aims to be transformative, inclusive and express cultural diversity. For example, how can such events contribute to intercultural exchange. And how do people new to a place, who engages as producers or consumers, experience such events?

Evaluate at food event i Dalsland
On December 3rd, the first of three workshops was held in Dals Långed, Dalsland. The intention with the workshop series is to gather local entrepreneurs and actors who will collaboratively prototype, test and evaluate a food event, based on cultures, traditions and spices from different parts of the world. The participants brought food, cookies and spices which they connected to traditions, stories and memories. These included crispy Syrian kahk (cookies) with a distinct taste of anise, Swedish saffron buns and the sweet carob powder. Many of the ideas that came up revolved around the comfort of gathering around hoot food and beverages during cold winter days.

Taste of syrian street-food
The English tradition of wassailing with hot apple-cider and hopes for a good apple harvest for the coming year, and a Syrian street-food of hot soup and beans dipped in salt and cumin where discussed, as were a tombola lottery with packets of assorted cookies from different food-cultures as prices.  
The prototype event will be tested and evaluated by different groups of customers at the newly established Långed Park the week before Christmas. In January, the participants from the first workshop will meet again to evaluate the event and plan for continuation.
A similar food-event workshop will also be held in Kisumu, Kenya.


A paper by Alice Hultdin summarises experiences from Kisumu and Dals-Långed, adding recommendations for collaboration on initiatives for intercultural exchange (Mistra Urban Futures paper 2020:1, published 29 January 2020)

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