(Reuters) – A bunch of restaurants in Budapest have found a mouth-watering way to challenge Hungarian attitudes to Europe’s migrant crisis – by serving up tasty dishes from Syria and other countries that are providing many of the refugees.
It must be noted that the food provision in several places brought some friction.
A week long event, named “bORDER-Gastrofest in another way”, would like to provide information about everyday life in the four countries involved in the influx of asylum seekers crisis – Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea – and features brief interviews with immigrants living in Hungary.
Ivan Sandor, manager of the Manga Cowboy restaurant in a bustling district of central Budapest, said the project, in which the immigrants provide recipes that restaurants then prepare, could help dampen tensions fuelled by the migrant crisis in Hungary.
“In the past few weeks all sides tried to use the tensions for their own (political) benefit. I think that at a table laden with good food we can perhaps defuse these tensions,”
said Sandor, whose restaurant is one of 10 participating in the project.
One of the immigrants helping with the project, Akela Sabona, 27, came to Hungary with her family from Afghanistan many years ago.
“As I am a vegetarian, I told them about vegetable dishes … for example Borani Banjan,”
she said, referring to a traditional eggplant dish. Sabona was smiling broadly as she had just been granted Hungarian citizenship.
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